I have always said that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do.
There is only one constant in your life and that is YOU.
So why wouldn’t you invest in yourself?
One of the things I talk to people about quite a lot is how people find it difficult to spend time doing things to improve themselves.
But is it that hard?
Of course, it all depends, but I wanted to share some easy to invest in and improve yourself.
So, I decided to write about some of the simplest steps you can take to invest in yourself. I hope you enjoy it!
Easiest One: Start Investing $ in Your Future
This is the most basic but also a very significant first step most people don't do until later in their career and life. Why is that?.. Why do wait so long to realize we don't have enough to even handle with emergency expense that came out of nowhere?..#covid19
We live in a capitalistic country where investing, money management and our careers are core bricks in this foundation. We cannot Not live and succeed in our life without being smart with our money and our livelihood. Starting early.
I want to talk about the most common cliche about investing: buying a cup of coffee. Ugh, I hate that example. That comparison is over 100 years old, why do we still use it to make a point of investing? I cannot live without my creamy hazelnut mocha at least once a few days, it is more than just a cup of fancy coffee, it is my inspiration and my reward for a successful work and project I have done; It's one way to get happy at least for few hours, it's priceless to me.
The coffee example tries to make a very important point: we need to learn to differentiate Luxury versus Necessity expenses. When we make that distinction early in life, you can take one of the expenses you can live without and start.. investing in yourself early.
How do we do that?
Here are some examples. If my gym membership is important for my mental and physical health, it needs to go to my Necessity column. Do I really need all three streaming services: Netflix, Hulu AND Amazon Prime? Or can I live with just one? Oh, yeah, can we live without the HD feature that also adds $2 every month? If you take any of those two away, you can start putting that $18 already in a checking account, or better yet, some stocks.
Here's the most important thing we all can do better: we need to get smart about our futures. We need to learn to play the money game that rich folks have been playing for years. We do not need to earn $100k a year to finally decide to invest some extra money. The truth is: we will never have enough money. But, we can always have Just enough money to live with, and extra.. invest in ourselves. Start small and you will see the progress. It will make you feel good, I promise!
I am not going to go over every single tool you can do to start putting extra money away. There are links below my article to help get inspired. My favorite two books that helped me few years ago when I was living paycheck to paycheck and not have any savings are: The Intelligent Investor and Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins.
These are the most basic things I have learned and also want to share, from hard experience.
Try to pay off your credit cards first, if you need a second job or work extra hours, do it. It is going to suck big time. Those Credit companies will charge you 15-30% of interest just for you to give them free money. It is the biggest financial waste anyone can do in their life. Make sure you get rid of your debt; use and pay your balance in full every month. That extra 15-30% put towards paying off your car or investing some in stocks. It will also improve your credit score, a lot.
If you have 401K at your job, fully take advantage of that, if they match 3%, make sure you max that out. You are literally getting free money put into your savings.
I love investing in stocks, I highly recommend it. In times like now, during COVID19, I am investing heavily in companies that have proven themselves for decades and also tech companies. If you don't feel comfortable in knowing which stocks to buy, look into investing into ETF funds or mutual funds from companies like Vanguard. I use Robinhood just because it's free no-commission platform and their app is really user-friendly. Just make sure to do some reasearch first before investing into stocks, but the right stocks portfolio tends to have higher returns than any checking account or 401K, on average.
Think about it for one second, if you just put in 40$ a month into stocks or ETFs, the usual return was about 6%, before COVID19. If you start in your early 20s, and keep reinvesting any dividends for at least 10 years, by the time you are 30, you will have $5088. That's the money you can use for a house down-payment, as emergency fund, or a trip you aways wanted to take. You sure you want both Netflix and Hulu now? You really need to put a price on what's important to you now and what it is worth to you in the future, as a trade-off.
Get Your Health In Check
Without any doubt, health is the biggest thing that you can and should spend your time on. That is also the reason it is at the top of my list.
This is the biggest one that people don’t take care of and this is why it is at the top of my list.
When we are healthy we have the ability to make the most of our own personal capabilities and get the most out of ourselves.
We are also far more likely to be happy and this means greater success in relationships and friendships and other areas of life.
The best thing is that you don’t have to live some sort of crazy austere lifestyle to improve our health.
It can be as simple as changing one small variable, which can show almost immediate improvements in the way we feel.
Simple things like going to bed earlier can have an immediate positive effect.
Learn How to Plan
Many people understand what their goals are, but don’t actually understand how to get from point A to point B.
Learning to plan is important to help you to achieve your goals. It is an important skill in so many aspects of your life.
Instead of just knowing your starting position and your goal, you need to learn how to plan all the incremental steps between.
It’s not difficult, you just define all the next steps and try and execute them.
Don’t worry, it’s easy, but you might make some mistakes along the way. Each time you plan something you will learn to fine-tune the process of setting smaller goals to achieve your ultimate ones.
Exercise is one of the most overlooked ways to invest in ourselves and perhaps one of the easiest changes that can have a dramatic effect on our lives.
It falls under the “improving your health” category, but it deserves its own section in this article because it is just so important.
Exercising doesn’t mean having to push your limits, but rather maintain a good level of physical fitness.
It’s also something that is easy to integrate into our lives. Why not walk to the supermarket instead of driving your car?
These kinds of changes are simple and can have a huge and almost immediate impact.
If you are a more competitive person you can also play some team sports for fun. It's also a great way to meet new people.
Exercise also has numerous health benefits, such as improved circulation, mood, and sleep.
When we are exercising, we are truly feeling happier and generally better about ourselves. This means we are functioning at our best.
It’s true that happy people seem to be the luckiest, but it isn’t luck. Happier people are simply more attractive to others and people gravitate to them.
It can be hard to learn to relax in the hyper-connected world we live in. We have everything more or less at our fingertips and it can be hard to switch off. In fact, so much so that we touch our phones thousands of times every day!
Investing time in relaxation is crucial for us to recharge our batteries. It can have an enormous positive impact on our mental well being and best of all it is a simple way to improve our lives.
I like to relax by sitting on my favorite chair without any electronic devices and to let my mind wander.
I also tend to focus a lot on my breathing and appreciate the time that I can have to myself.
There are many other ways you can do this too, such as yoga, meditation, listening to music or many others.
Whatever method you choose, try to relax for at least thirty minutes per day for the optimal effect.
The day we all stop learning is the day we die. Learning is a lifelong endeavor that we all should spend time on.
For me, learning is fun, because it is something I want to do.
When I say learning something new, I don’t just mean knowledge for your career. It could quite be about anything.
Perhaps you want to learn how to speak a new language or learn how to make furniture out of wood?
Constantly learning develops you into being a more well-rounded person. It presents us with new perspectives and teaches us to approach things in a fresh way.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the ways to improve yourself and your life. There are many ways to do it and there is no right or wrong.
Remember, self-investment and improvement is a habit and not a chore!
Here is a list of some great resources for the sections I mentioned above:
- The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham
- Money - Master the Game, Tony Robbins
- A Guide for Beginner Investing from Nerdwallet
- How to Invest Money and Grow: The Smart Way to Grow
Learn How to Plan
- How to learn to plan in 4 steps?
- A Way to Plan If You’re Bad at Planning
- How to Make Daily Plans That Will Actually Come True
Get Your Health In Check
- 10 small steps for better heart health
- 17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night
- 10 Simple Ways To Start Eating Healthier This Year
- Easy hotel workout
- How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time
- No Time for Exercise? Here Are 7 Easy Ways to Move More!