2009 Money moves: Get more training, make more money

If 2009 ends up anything like 2008, you're going to have to really stand out to get a raise. While excellent performance is a good way to do just that, it may be difficult to do if nobody is buying stuff. Thankfully, there exists another way to merit a raise; continued training. There are plenty of opportunities to get additional training at low or no cost to you, which makes this an even sweeter deal.

It seems that an MBA is often one of the first continuing education options that people flock to. While it does have many positives -- highly recognized, available from many sources, and covers a wide breadth of knowledge-it is unfortunately a long and often expensive journey. You can see one blogger's assessment of what an MBA cost her family. The results may surprise you; they certainly surprised her.

That doesn't mean an MBA isn't worth the cost, especially if you can get help from your employer, but it is important to look at how much you'll spend versus your return on investment. If you include the cost of your time, the actual cost of an MBA can skyrocket very quickly even if you take all of your courses online.