7 Low-Cost, High-Impact Resources to Make the Most of your L&D Budget: Personal Development Edition

Learn to use your L&D budget more efficiently by investing in these 7 resources that can help you improve on a personal level.

Marian Vazquez
July 15, 2018

In a previous article, we discussed the importance of creating an overall culture of engagement in order to align your organization’s expectations with your employees’ goals. This is true for every organization, including those with limited budgets.

Whether your company is a small startup or a large-scale corporation, you may be facing this difficult task of balancing a limited budget. In the specific case of a restricted L&D budget, the challenge will most likely be to provide enough resources for your employees to improve professionally and personally, without going over your available budget.

This situation might become quite the juggling act, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In order to find that happy middle, we hope the following 7 suggestions will help you start making the most out of a limited L&D budget. This time we will focus on the topic of personal development, as the emotional and mental wellbeing of your employees is also key to their development.


1. Book: Mindset - Updated Edition: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential by Carol S. Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, with decades of experience under her belt, explains the overwhelming power of our mindset. According to the book, fostering the right mindset can lead to a person successfully reaching their goals, both personal and professional. The wrong mindset, on the other hand, can jeopardize success and undermine a person’s self-esteem.

An editorial review of this book states: "If you manage people or are a parent (which is a form of managing people), drop everything and read Mindset." Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start 2.0

Available on:

Amazon UK: £7.57 (Paperback)

2. Book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

This book, by award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg, takes the reader on a journey to understand how habits work, and how we can program ourselves to adopt healthy habits that lead us to success.

As stated in the summary, the author draws on the experiences of successful and influential people such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights advocate Martin Luther King to explain how our habits can shape our future, our communities and the world at large.

Available on:

Amazon US: $9.69 (Kindle) / $10.20 (Paperback) / $16.33 (Hardcover)

Amazon UK: £6.79 (Paperback)

3. Service: Headspace

Headspace is your very own meditation coach at the palm of your hands. It is essentially an app that guides you through meditation exercises, and makes videos, articles and other resources available to help you overcome stressful situations at work and at home.

Available on:

Headspace: From $7.99/month

4. Offline Course: How to be confident

The School of Life offers offline courses in the London area which center around developing skills for personal growth and improvement. In “How to be confident”, you’ll learn how to overcome certain barriers, timidity and work around shyness to advance in life and achieve success.

Available on:

The School of Life: £55

5. Book: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Prof Steve Peters

According to this book’s summary, the main goal of the author is to guide you as a reader so you can become happier, more confident and more successful in life.

Professor Steve Peters presents what he calls a “mind management model” which helps readers identify how their minds work, and how people sabotage themselves sometimes. He also offers practical tips on how to manage your emotions so you don’t feel overcome by them, as well as guidance on how to develop healthy mental habits.

Available on:

Amazon US: $13.61 (Kindle) / $14.33 (Paperback)

Amazon UK: £5.99 (Paperback)

6. Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

This highly entertaining anecdotal book is based on the premise that staying positive and constantly looking at the bright side of things is actually the wrong way to live our lives. As the book summary states, “improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.”

This refreshing book will give you tools and suggestions on how not to let life hurdles overly affect you, how to accept your faults and fears, and how to face the uncomfortable and painful side of reality in order to lead better lives.

Available on:

Amazon US: $11.49 (Kindle) / $14.99 (Hardcover)

Amazon UK: £8.49 (Paperback) / £12.73 (Hardcover)

7. Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is ideal for those in need of a confidence boost. According to the book description, over 16 million copies have been sold, evidencing that classic author Dale Carnegie’s teachings continue to be more valid than ever.

In this book, the author offers practical advice and multiple techniques on how to improve your persuasion skills, boost your popularity, communicate better, and even make friends more easily.

Available on:

Amazon US: $1.99 (Kindle), $14.99 (Hardcover)

Amazon UK: £6.79 (Paperback) / £8.83 (Hardcover)


As you may know, your employees’ mental and emotional health not only affects their personal life but their job performance as well. Maybe they would wish to improve their confidence, unlock their full potential or simply learn strategies to better manage this complex thing called life. Whatever the case, employers should be able to provide the tools for them to accomplish this in the best available way.

A vital part of any employer’s job is to ensure that their people feel comfortable and valued as assets to their organization. Employees feel valued when they are aware that the company invests in them and thus cares about them. One of the most straightforward ways to do this is providing them with a proper Learning & Development budget that they can use freely.

As an employer, you may feel the L&D budget you have available is not sufficient to reach this goal; fortunately, there are ways to spend little money while still showing interest in your employees. You can incorporate the above resources into your Learning & Development strategy, and spend your precious money in the smartest of ways, while keeping your employees happy and engaged.

*Amazon prices may vary daily
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