Many successful companies run expansive research and development departments, allowing them to enhance their capabilities and discover and exploit the new opportunities this speculative research often brings.
Josh Kaufman suggests that we create our own personal R&D budgets–akin to those of corporations–for our personal development:
What would it look like if you set aside 10-20% of your monthly income as a personal R&D budget? [â€¦] That money can then be used â€“ guilt-free â€“ in any way related to improving your skills and capabilities: purchasing books, taking courses, acquiring equipment, or attending conferences.
Personal finance gurus might disagree with me here, but I think having a robust personal R&D budget is more important than maximizing savings. I’m all for having a well-funded emergency account and saving a minimum of 10-20% of what you earn each month, but savings can only get you so far. Investments in improving your personal skills and capabilities can simultaneously enrich your life and open doors to additional income sources. New skills create new opportunities, and new opportunities often translate into more income. Your ability to save is limited; your ability to earn is not.