Hey there, let's talk about a topic that will help you improve your life in every aspect. That topic is: how to invest in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you not just learn how to make more money, but also how to be healthier, happier, and smarter.
When you start investing in yourself more, your life will improve across the board. When you have extra money, you have more freedom to do what you want. When you're healthier, you'll live a fuller and longer life. With happiness comes peace of mind, and when you're smarter, you have the capability of finding solutions when life throws you problems.
Let's talk about ways you can invest in yourself and why each way is important to improving your quality of life.
1. Read Books and Blogs
One of the best ways to improve your knowledge is to read. Blogs are an amazing source of free information where you can learn about just about any topic out there. You may have stumbled upon this personal finance blog when looking for an answer to a money-related question.
Books are an excellent source of information. While individual books do cost money, you can read several thousands of books for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Fiction books also make you smarter in a different aspect. According to USA Today, “reading meaty, character-driven fiction might actually make us better, more empathetic people, studies show. Some literary evangelists go further: they say that reading the right books at the right time can ease almost any human ailment.”
Regardless of the topic, reading is one of the top ways to learn something new.
2. Exercise and Get In Shape
Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Through eating healthy and regular exercise, you will better reach an ideal body weight, build muscle, and live longer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week, spread out over the week, is ideal for staying in shape. For strength training, Mayo Clinic recommends working out every muscle group at least twice per week.
When you invest your time in yourself through exercise, you will live a longer, healthier life. While I regularly talk about saving money by canceling that unused gym subscription of yours, if you are regularly going to the gym, you're doing well improving your overall health!
3. Make Goals and Stick to Them
Invest in yourself by setting goals and sticking to them. These goals can be money-driven, such as building your wealth to a certain level or based on other factors in life. Some goals could be job-centric, such as getting a promotion, or relationship-centric, such as making time for you and your spouse to have a date night weekly.
Spend time making goals for yourself, and make goals with your spouse and kids if you have them. When you all work together, you're not only investing in yourself, but you're investing in your family's future as well.
When making goals, follow the SMART principles: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound. You can read more about SMART goals here.
The way I stick to my goals is to review and update them frequently. Sometimes you'll get to a point where you realize a goal might need some tweaking, and that's perfectly okay!
4. Take Online Courses To Learn Skills
There are many online course websites around where you can learn countless skills. If you're looking to learn something new or looking to supplement your existing career by picking up a related skill, there's never been a better time than now to invest in yourself by taking an online course.
You can learn new skills at any of these sites:
Udemy and Teachable use a model where you pay for individual courses based on what you're looking for. Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning are subscription-based, and you get unlimited access to all courses for a monthly fee.
Be careful when spending money on courses, though. It's easy to become a course-a-holic and take many courses without getting a return on investment. Always go into a course with a goal in mind as to what you want to get out of it.
5. Start a Side Hustle
One way you can invest your money in yourself is to fund a side hustle or side business. For example, when I started The Dollar Blogger, I invested money I had saved over the years to give the blog a headstart. It's possible to start blogging for very little, but by investing in my business, I was able to speed up the process of growing my audience.
You don't always need to invest money to start a side hustle, however. Some side hustles can be done using what you already have. For example, if you were to drive for DoorDash and already have a car, you could earn hundreds of dollars each week by delivering food.
6. Create Multiple Income Streams
Creating multiple income streams will set you up for success because by having many ways of earning income, if one way gets cut off, you're still earning money through other ways. For example, if you have a full-time job, a side gig, investment income, and income from real estate, you'd have four income streams. If you then lost your job, you'd take a hit to your income, but you'd have three other sources of income to cushion you while you looked for a new job.
Here are some income streams that can be combined to help you raise your net worth considerably over time.
- Your full-time job
- One or more side hustles
- Rental income
- Interest from your high yield savings account
- Dividend income
- Peer-to-Peer lending income
Building up income streams takes time, and most would advise focusing on one at a time. This is especially true for passive income streams in which each generally takes a fair share of money and/or time.
7. Practice Self Care
Self care is often overlooked, and yet it is so needed for all of us. Work and responsibilities can often drag us down, and without self care, we may face burnout.
Spending time taking care of yourself is not only good for you; it's necessary! Whether it's reading a book, taking a hot bath, watching your favorite movies, or having some ice cream, always practice self care.
Here are Best Life Online's 40+ self care ideas that will help you relax when you feel overworked and stressed.
8. Keep Yourself Healthy
Invest in your health by doing your best to stay healthy. This means routine visits to the doctor, eating well, and exercising regularly. Staying healthy not only helps you feel better and live longer, but it also helps keep medical expenses down.
Pay attention to your health, and avoid things like smoking cigarettes or consuming too much alcohol. Take walks regularly and stay active. Eat healthier food and eliminate junk food – except to reward yourself periodically.
Staying healthy will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, hands down.
9. Encourage Good Habits and Break Bad Habits
Create good habits such as getting up on time, limiting time in front of the TV, exercising regularly, and taking care of yourself. According to Relax Maven, good habits:
- Bring you closer to your goals
- Reduce wasted time
- Replace motivation
- Build the foundation for your best life
Likewise, breaking bad habits is also equally good for you. Good habits can often replace bad habits. To break a bad habit:
- Replace your bad habit with a good habit
- Identify triggers for your bad habits and avoid them
- Break bad habits with someone else. An accountability partner can go a long way
- Surround yourself with likeminded people
- Overcome negative self-talk
When you invest in yourself by breaking bad habits and forming good habits, you live a happier life overall.
10. Be Creative
Being creative can help you in more ways than one. There isn't an instruction book for many things in life, and when there isn't a manual, creativity often finds the solution. Questions are often best answered through creative problem-solving.
Art, music, fiction, and performance are all forms of creativity that allow for expression and thought. When you're able to express yourself better, you can better understand the kind of person that you are.
As a personal example, I invested in myself through my music. I learned to play the piano when I was in preschool and played daily for my childhood and young adult life. It was through music that I was able to express myself where words didn't do justice.
11. Get Out Of Debt
Getting out of debt is a more traditional form of investing in yourself financially. When you get out of debt, you no longer owe money to someone. You can then better grow your savings and invest for your future.
Being debt-free is a wonderful feeling. My wife and I became debt-free in April of 2020. Our living expenses are now extremely little, which gives us freedom if we have a month where income is low.
Some people use debt as an investment vehicle, and this is perfectly okay, however, for the average person, I truly believe it's better to seek a debt-free lifestyle so that you are protected from owing money during a financial hardship.
12. Invest For Retirement
A high percentage of millennials don't have an idea of how much money they'll need to retire. By investing when you're young, you will increase your success at retiring at a reasonable age.
In fact, for every $1 that you invest into your retirement, assuming an 8% annual growth, you would have:
- $4.66 after 20 years
- $10.06 after 30 years
- $21.72 after 40 years
This means, if you were to invest $20,000 into your retirement at age 25, and never touch it again nor add more money, you would have $434,400 when you are age 65. That's fantastic!
A great way to invest regularly is to automate your finances. Check out this post to learn more about how to automate your finances.
13. Make Friends and Keep In Touch With Them
Investing in relationships helps us remain happy and social. Spending time with friends better helps you feel a sense of belonging as well as helps reduce your stress overall. Hanging out with friends can boost your self-confidence and help you cope with troublesome events such as loss.
According to Everyday Health, studies show that spending time with friends makes aging more enjoyable, lessens grief, and provides a sense of camaraderie.
14. Save Money Each Month
When you save money each month, you're investing in yourself for the long term. Saving each month can lead you to big purchases such as a dream home or a fantastic vacation.
Saving money can also cushion you from life's curveballs, and the more you save, the faster you can get out of and stay out of debt.
The best way to save money each month is to start with a weekly savings goal. To reach your savings goals, check your budget and add your goal there so that you're essentially paying yourself as an expense. Take this payment and put it into your savings account. You can do this weekly or with each paycheck – whichever is easier!
Wrapping It Up
Investing in yourself comes down to just more than money. It is by far making every aspect of your life as best as you can. Finding ways to improve your life across the spectrum will help you live a happier, healthier, and more free life overall.
What are some of the top ways you invest in yourself?