Sometimes the first person everyone forgets is themself. Make sure that doesn’t become you and you continue to invest in yourself.
In the events of everyday life, sometimes the easiest person to forget is you. We often find ourselves so wrapped up in taking care of other people or other things, that we often put our own personal needs on the backburner.
Trust me, if you’re young, you need to get ahead of this now while you still can. Investing in you gets absolutely no easier after having children either. I used to get up at 6 AM to go to the gym four days a week, now the thought of missing any sleep I can get makes me sick.
Bottom line is, don’t forget about the most important person, you! We all have something in our life that relies on us or needs our help, but we must remember to put ourselves first at least part of the time. Investing in you is one of the few ways you can continue to grow yourself professionally and personally.
Below are a few suggestions on areas to continue investing in you, and how those can be beneficial, especially from a financial standpoint.
- Set Financial Goals
- Continue Your Education
- Start a Side Hustle
- Try Different Things
Set Financial Goals:
What’s the number one way to invest in you? Figuring out what’s important to you and then putting capital towards it. Maybe you have student loan debt you want to pay off, maybe there is a certain sports car that you want to buy for yourself, or heck, maybe you have a goal of building an indoor basketball court so you can improve your game.
Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s just important that you find something. Once you have that “it” or goal you want to drive for, start putting money towards it to achieve that goal.
I have some goofy examples up there, but one I love to use is a Country Club membership. I had a friend who was a great golfer and he always had a goal of joining the local club. For me, it never made sense to spend that much money on a hobby I was terrible at, but this was his passion.
He did it the right way; he drew out a plan and he executed it flawlessly.
- He did the math. He knew there was a $10,000 discount on joining the club before he turned 30-years old, so in his planning he wanted to save enough before his 30th birthday.
- He created a budget. It was a $7,500 initiation, and then it cost him $3,500 a year for every year after he was a member. Being a planner, he built a budget plan that accounted for his first-year initiation, and second year of dues.
- He needed to save $11,000 and he had just over 60-months at the time to do it (he was about to turn 25).
- The exact math said to save $183.33 a month, but he started stashing $200 a month into a separate account each month right away. If he found himself with a few extra dollars laying around, he would put it directly into the Country Club fund.
I’ll never forget, on his 29th birthday, he joined the club and he still has zero regrets. Not only did he invest in himself and purchase something that was important to him and made his life more enjoyable, but he also stuck to a budget and did it 12 months quicker than he anticipated.
The smartest thing he did, he paid himself first. He didn’t wait until the end of the month to see what was leftover. On the first of the month he transferred $200 to the account and then used the leftover funds to only increase his monthly contributions.
I see it now that I have children, it’s so easy to pay yourself last. To say, “I’ll get those shoes if it’s in the budget at the end of the month.”
You just can’t operate that way. If you truly want to invest in you, make sure you set up financial goals for what you want, and that you pay yourself first.
Continue Your Education:
Rule number one on investing in you, is to figure out what you want, and then set a plan to achieve that goal. Easy, right? Well, maybe you aren’t certain on exactly what you want, maybe there are three or four different ideas you have, and you know you can only achieve one goal.
The best solution I can give you is to continue your education. Maybe that means taking a college course or weekend class on one of your ideas and see if you still feel the same way at the end. A small investment of money for a class could end up saving you a huge mistake and waste of time.
A perfect example for me was about two years ago. My friend had the opportunity to purchase his late grandmothers’ home, and he was going to fix it up and rent it out as secondary income. The idea of extra money really got my gears turning, but I just wasn’t sold that rental properties were a good investment for me personally.
I scheduled a meeting with a local company that had a ton of rental properties, and I took a class at the local community college on flipping houses. It was a basic financial course on bookkeeping and creating LLCs and stuff of that nature.
While the classes taught me that I loved the idea of real estate, I also knew I wasn’t in a place to start the process. The capital required to start renting homes was far too high for what I was willing to invest. Sure, you can start with hardly any money, but the course and meeting taught me that the cost of interest is too high to give you a chance at being successful.
My takeaway from the continuing education courses was I needed more money if I was going to be serious about getting started in real estate. That’s why I know have a budget amount each month that I put into an account that is for the first home I want to buy and rent out.
Investing in you doesn’t mean you just go out and buy yourself the “something”. If you gave me a tool, I won’t always know exactly what to do with it. Most of the time, you need the instruction manual to be successful.
Think of continuing your education and taking a class on something you are passionate about as the manual. You might read through it and realize you no longer like the tool, or don’t have the capacity to use it. You may also realize it’s the exact tool you needed in your life and it works perfectly.
Start a Side Hustle:
Interested in investing in you, but don’t have the capital? Start a side hustle and complete the classic “kill two birds with one stone”. On one side, you are investing in you by expanding your horizons and starting a side hustle. I don’t care if it’s mowing yards or writing articles to help beginning investors get their start, it’s still an investment.
The second part you are getting is the financial reward from the side hustle. Maybe you are making an extra $40 a week by mowing your neighbors’ yard in order to start your first trading account. Or maybe you paint Grandma’s house for some extra cash to pay off a credit card that was getting ready to hit high interest. I don’t care what your end goal is, having a nice side hustle is a great way to start investing in you.
The key to a great side hustle is doing something that you enjoy. I want to say doesn’t feel like work, but if you’re getting paid, that’s going to be fairly difficult to find. I’ve been doing this from a very young age, and the financial benefits have been outstanding for me.
In high school, I mowed my grandma’s yard and did landscaping all four summers of high school. I didn’t make a ton of money doing it, but when I went to college it paid for all my dorm furniture and my first year of books. That is all money I would have had to come up with or borrow if I hadn’t had the side hustle in high school.
I continue this today with articles and other small jobs to put my children through college with as little financial burden as possible. The money I earn is all bonus to me and goes straight into 529 accounts for them. You may ask, how is giving to your children investing in you? Well, every dime I give now is one less bill I must foot in 15 years when they go to school, I’m just getting ahead of it as much as possible.
Remember, you are investing in you, don’t stress yourself out with a side hustle. When I first began, I put too much pressure on myself for a supplemental income and the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. Find something you enjoy, and only give it the appropriate amount of time that your schedule allows. Remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s $25 a month or $25,000 a month, any amount is a great investment back into yourself.
Try Different Things:
The last piece of advice I would give when investing in you, is trying different things. Be adventurous and spontaneous to find a new passion. That may include joining a local young business association, or maybe you get involved trading a different segment of stocks or options.
Joining a local young business professionals’ group is one of the best decisions I ever made when I started my career. We met once a month and had various presenters come in to talk to our group. Not only did I meet young connections in the group, but I was also introduced to a ton of experienced local business folks in the community and made connections.
I hate the saying, but it really is true. It’s not always what you know, but who you know. Don’t live your life by that philosophy, but it certainly is a good thing to be well connected.
A quick example of how it helped me: I was buying a car about six years ago and couldn’t get the price where I wanted. As I was walking out, the General Manager of the dealership recognized me from the group and asked if he could help. I told him we were off by $1,000 and he closed the deal and gave me what I needed.
Different investing strategies are also a great way to invest in you. Maybe the way you’re doing things is no longer the best available way to get things done. Maybe you are missing out on growing your money by 10 to 15 percent by not changing your strategy.
Anytime you can learn something new, you are only making yourself more valuable as an employee and a human being. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to college and get your MBA or go and complete CPA courses. Those are both great examples of investing in you, but light internet reading on new trading fads or checking out the Wall Street Journal each day can really add a ton of value.
When I first started trading stocks, I was all about the tech giants. Apple, Tesla, Google, and many others. Then later I realized I needed to focus on some high dividend stocks and even a couple of mutual funds to diversify some of my risks.
Tech stocks are great when times are good, but they can also be bad when the market crashes or the company misses a deadline. By diversifying my portfolio based on a lot of reading I did, I saved myself a lot of ups and downs the last five to ten years.
Remember, anytime you want to try something new, don’t forget to practice with a simulator.
Hopefully after reading this your mind is charged up with ideas on how you can invest in you. Remember, everything starts with a plan, and then comes down to execution. Don’t wait until it’s too late to remember that you are important and you can’t put yourself on the backburner.