Ask the Readers: When is the Right Time to Spend Thousands on Your Own Business?

If you came upon an windfall of $5,000 or $10,000 through a tax return, bonus from your day job, or another unexpected place, what would you do with the money? Would you use it for your personal or business dreams? One of the hardest decisions soon-to-be and current entrepreneurs have to make is prioritize the "extra cash" they have on hand.

  • Since you employ yourself, do you give yourself a raise?
  • Do hire some part-time help or a consultant to do work you can't do?
  • You've been eyeing new equipment, so do you drop a few thousand on that?
  • Do you save it for retirement, a house, or another future big expense?

Dropping Thousands of Dollars on Your Dream

This is the exact question that my wife and I had to answer.

Since we moved to San Diego she has been focusing 100% of her effort on growing her wedding & portrait photography business in Southern California. There were the initial start-up costs of getting the proper business licenses and sample products for our customers to see, but how much do you invest past the initial "$100 Startup" phase?

The more skilled of a photographer you are, the better your work is. But another key component is the better your photography gear, the better your images. At the same time we still have her student loans to pay off and have plans to own a home, travel to Italy, and have children in the next decade as well.

What Do You Think?

I'd love to hear in the comments below when you think the best time to invest in your business is.

Should you use your personal savings or gains from other parts of your life to invest in yourself or should you only use money earned through your entrepreneurial endeavors?

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What We Decided

As for what my wife and I decided to do, we agreed to invest in more gear for her business (specifically a professional camera body and two lenses) instead of paying off student loan debt, saving for a house, or putting more into retirement. There really wasn't a "clear right answer" and we deliberated about it for a long time, but that is what we decided to do. :)

What do you do with a windfall? Do you invest it in your business or use it for personal goals?


You can check out other "Ask the Readers" posts here.