You have dreams, goals, and ambitions like everyone else. Those dreams, whatever they may be, are within reach! But the only way to accomplish those goals is to learn how to invest in yourself repeatedly. You’re smart, talented, and above all else, worthwhile. But it can be hard to see or feel that truth if you don’t regularly invest in yourself and do what’s right for your physical, financial, mental, and emotional well-being. Even worse, many Millennials and others find it hard to invest in themselves without breaking the bank. Good news: there are ways to invest in yourself and be budget-friendly simultaneously. Let’s take a look at how you can do just that now.
What Is the Importance of Investing in Yourself?
Investing in yourself is important, but why? Put simply, because you are the most valuable asset you have. Forget money or possessions: if you have the right skills and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to.
In addition, your skills, overall knowledge, and physical and mental health impact everything you pursue. It won’t matter if you have all the money in the world if you aren’t mentally healthy enough to enjoy it. Similarly, it doesn’t matter if you have a good profession if your skills are lackluster or you don’t have the motivation to do a great job.
In a broader sense, investing in yourself is an investment in your future. Sure, buying something for short-term pleasure or enjoyment can be fun and even healthy from time to time. But in many cases, taking the longer but more worthwhile road of investing in yourself may result in more impactful, long-term gains.
For instance, when you go to school, you learn skills you can apply for the rest of your professional career. You might also make important social connections, such as friends or professional contacts.
While investing in yourself is critical for enjoying your life and achieving your dreams, there’s no denying it can be expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Indeed, there are many ways to invest in yourself while staying budget-friendly; here are some examples.
How Can You Invest in Yourself?
Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success in the future. Here are a few approaches you can take.
Go Back to School
We know school is more expensive than ever, and many Millennials and Gen Z’ers have crippling educational debt. Education doesn’t have to be expensive if you take advantage of a few innovative strategies, and it’s one of the best investments to make.
Taking some extra classes at community colleges, trade schools, or even online courses can go a long way toward bolstering your resume and giving you marketable skills to improve your professional prospects. In addition, you can pursue financial aid opportunities like scholarships, loans, or grants from the federal government or other organizations.
Taking classes or going back to school for a full degree are great ways to invest in yourself for future success. It’s measurable and attainable if you set goals for yourself and pursue the right new career certifications or classes.
The right program can even change your life, leading to significant personal development.
Attend Interesting Seminars
That said, school isn’t the only place you can invest in yourself professionally. If you’re interested in your professional field or want to switch fields entirely, seminars might have the contacts and information you need to thrive.
Said seminars are opportunities to:
- Meet interesting people
- Sign up for financial aid
- Get new job opportunities
- Learn more about job fields
Seminars are educational, social, and beneficial to your life in more ways than one, provided you pay attention and use them as opportunities for personal growth.
Plus, some seminars are downright entertaining! There are few ways better to spend some time on the weekend or in the evening that attending an entertaining seminar where you learn a new skill or learn about a niche/esoteric topic you never imagined enjoying before.
Start a Savings Account
Investing in yourself means more than just investing in education. It also means investing in yourself literally (i.e., financially) and taking charge of your personal finances.
The best way to do that? Start a savings account and contribute cash to it every time you get paid. Many people don’t even have a few thousand dollars to rely on in the event of an emergency, medical or otherwise.
Savings accounts are very important because they:
- Can get you out of a major financial pinch if necessary
- Can act as secondary retirement accounts if you are fortunate
- Earn money for you through interest; the exact amount depends on your bank or credit union
- Can help you save money to achieve long-term financial goals
Starting a savings account early on is better than later, of course. But each day is a new opportunity to start saving money and do something helpful for your future self. You’ll thank your past self if you ever need some cash to handle an emergency medical treatment, like surgery
It may even be a good idea to start an investment account. Put some extra money in an account from a day job or side hustle, and you’ll set yourself up for success in the future.
Reduce Credit Card Debt
You can similarly financially invest in yourself by reducing — and hopefully eventually eliminating — your credit card debt. Our society has tricked lots of people into thinking credit card debt is a necessity. But it’s often not.
Credit card debt can be avoided by saving up for nonessential purchases, for example. If you’re forced to take out credit card debt in an emergency, it’s still a good idea to pay off that debt ASAP. The longer credit card debt remains under your name, the lower your credit score goes, and the more money you pay through interest — not to mention the psychological impact of debt.
Reducing credit card debt frees up more money to put in your savings account or put toward serious bills. It also raises your credit score, opening up new financial avenues like high-quality loans and mortgages.
Practice Self-Care Strategies
Want to invest in yourself in a more personal way? Start practicing self-care strategies like:
- Taking some time for recreation every day, if possible. Recreation can mean taking a refreshing walk, exercising, watching a movie with friends, or reading a favorite book.
- Eating healthily, even if you start slow. You are what you eat, and eating healthily will improve your mood and energy levels over time.
- Exercising regularly. Even 30 minutes of light cardio exercise does wonders for your mental and physical health.
- Spending time with people who love you and appreciate you, even if it’s just a phone call or Facetime session.
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance to ensure you still have time to do the things you enjoy.
Self-care is absolutely vital for mental health, especially in times of stress or strife. Don’t relegate self-care to the back burner, even if you have other obligations or responsibilities. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of other people.
Reduce or Eliminate Social Media Use
While it has its technological benefits, social media is very toxic to mental health for lots of people. Do yourself a favor and drastically reduce how much time you spend on social media. If you feel up to it, try to eliminate its use entirely, except perhaps to get in contact with family members or friends across the country.
Listen to Audiobooks and Podcasts
Want to enjoy some entertainment that isn’t watching TV or playing a videogame? Try audiobooks and podcasts! These novel forms of entertainment come in all types and lengths. You can find audiobooks and podcasts on true crime, fiction novels, and political topics.
Regardless, audiobooks and podcasts are beneficial and great for investing in yourself since they:
- Allow you to learn skills on the go, or improve your current skill set.
- Expose you to new ideas that can contribute to a better life.
- Entertain you while working or exercising.
Many people find that listening to audiobooks and podcasts improves their knowledge, self-confidence, and more.
Invest in Yourself Today
At the end of the day, investing in yourself is the best personal and professional decision you can make. No matter what form your investment takes, be it financial, recreational, or health-focused, investing in yourself will yield positive dividends in the future and help you enjoy life to the fullest.
That’s one of the main philosophies behind 1AND1 Life. Our wellness guides, tips and tricks, and premium supplements are designed to help you maximize your wellness in more ways than one.
Why Do Households Lack Emergency Savings? The Role of Financial Capability | PMC
Reducing debt improves psychological functioning and changes decision-making in the poor | PMC
What is Self-Care and Why is it Important For You? | Southern New Hampshire University