How to Invest in Yourself

Prioritize your mental health

According to a 2018 study, at least 44% of Canadians believe their financial state impacts their mental health in a negative way. Are you one of them? This year make your mental health a priority by checking in with yourself regularly to manage stress levels and prevent burnout. Give yourself permission to take a break, make a mistake and set boundaries. Understand that you might not be where you thought you’d be right now (who is?) but that you’ll get there one day.

Build Relationships

I’ve said this to many people and believe th

I’ve said this to many people and believe the sentiment will resonate with Money Under 30 readers as well: it’s hard to make friends as an adult!

While building relationships may not necessarily be financially productive means of investing in yourself, studies show that strong social ties can be extremely important for your health and can even help you live longer! In addition, it can also help you network professionally, leading to a more fulfilling work life.

One way to connect with new friends in your community is through Bumble BFF. Although Bumble is known as a popular dating app, Bumble BFF is a feature designed specifically for those seeking friendship. Another popular resource is MeetUp, which connects individuals with groups of people, by highlighting local events—including online gatherings. Browse through categories such as “Health & Wellness,” “Career & Business,” “Sports & Fitness,” and more!

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Find a Budget that Works for You

For many of us, the word “budget” may have some stressful ties. In fact, when Steve and I review our budget, I make sure to get some dark chocolate or a glass of wine (or both) before we start.

Fortunately, your budget doesn’t have to look like mine—or your parent’s or your mentor’s or even Dave Ramsey’s. Once your fixed expenses like rent/mortgage are accounted for, your budget can look however you want.

For example, Steve and I are able to live off of one full-time income, but that is because we’ve chosen to spend less in other areas—such as shopping and eating out.

Related: How to Make a Budget: Our Step by Step Guide

7. Invest in your mental physical health

Another great way to invest in yourself is physically. You only get one body, make the most of it! We’ve all read the countless health studies that promote exercise and good nutrition. It just makes sense to invest in yourself with the best healthy habits you can.

Exercise

Exercise is a must for good health – we already know that! But, it might surprise you to know that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get great health benefits from exercise.

According to the Mayo Clinic, even 30 minutes of exercise a day helps improve health. So even if you don’t have an hour for spin class, get out and walk for 30 minutes – you’ll still benefit.

Yoga and meditation

I’m a yogi and I love it! Yoga has done as much for me mentally as it has physically. And that’s the point. Yoga is a lifestyle and a mindset, not just a class.

To get the most out of yoga find the right studio! I’d suggest taking a class at multiple studios until you find “the one”! You’ll know it when you find it. Most studios offer an intro special so you can take a class or two without having to formally sign up, to see if it’s right for you.

Nature

There is definitely something to be said for getting away from it all. Unplug yourself from all your electronics and get outside! There’s a reason that most of the relaxation apps on your phone are nature-related! Forget that fake nature and actually go outside! T

ake in the sights and sounds of this beautiful planet. Feel the wind in your face. Hear the birds sing. Really listen. You’ll feel so calm after spending quality time in the great outdoors.

9. Try new things

Growth happens most often when we do new things and have new experiences. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new! Some overachievers try something new every day! That might be a little aggressive, but I think everyone can try something new at least weekly.

Now it doesn’t have to be a monumental thing like learning a foreign language or giving a speech to a packed room, but little things count too.

So consider trying a new recipe, tackling the crossword puzzle in the Times, or hitting up the new coffee shop – anything new is good!

Experience new places

For epic newness, you really can’t beat travel! There is so much to see in this grand world that opportunities are pretty limitless. I’ve got trips planned to NYC and Napa later this year already!

And don’t let money hold you back because there’s plenty of travel that can be done on a budget. Think of things like renting a cabin at a nearby state park (where you can get out in nature!!) or glamping for a fun new take on camping!

The Ultimate List of Ways to Invest in Yourself

So where do we start? In the sections below, I get into the steps I learned that’ve been helpful for me. I also break down common resistance points, but to get you started, here’s a non-exhaustive list of ideas categorized by my investment framework above.

The Most Important Meta Skills (What Makes Everything Easier)

Invest in Yourself to Make More Money

These are ideas on how to make more money over the long-term. All of these have worked for me at one time or another.

  • Learn to invest
  • Go back to school
  • Take a risk management course
  • Learn to budget
  • Get a raise
  • Get a certification
  • Understand compounding and compound interest
  • Upgrade your resume to get a better job
  • Launch a product
  • Learn to build an online course
  • Start a freelance side hustle and charge for your time
  • Learn to flip on eBay
  • Sell stuff you don’t need

Invest in Yourself to Create Peace

We all need more peace in our lives. Here are ideas on how to use your time and money to cultivate more peace and happiness in your life. Ironically, studies have shown that being at peace can help you make better decisions. Better decisions always drop straight to the bottom line.

  • Get healthy
  • Use your PTO
  • Change your career
  • Take a sabbatical
  • Travel
  • Learn to meditate
  • Use HRV training
  • Buy experiences, not things
  • Get organized and declutter your space
  • Insure yourself (health insurance, life insurance, etc.)
  • Keep a journal
  • Optimize your sleep
  • Start saying “no” more

Declutter

What’s one of the best tips for starting a new year fresh? Cut out the clutter in your life. No, we’re not talking about your paperwork or filing in this section. We’re talking about all the things in your life that no longer serve you or that bring you down. Go through all the social media accounts you follow and pare them down to only the ones that inspire you, make you laugh, educate you, etc. “Doom-scrolling” and “passive likes” are so 2021―fill your feeds with positivity and authenticity from now on! Do the same with the people, items, food, habits, etc. in your life to brighten and lighten your New Year.

Final Thoughts

Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, but it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

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2. Explore Your Creative Side

There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth and hone our individual creativity by learning a new skill or spending time on something that brings us joy.

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Creativity in any form helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways, and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped[1]. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.

  • Learn a new language:  Take a class or use language training software.
  • Try gourmet cooking: Enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
  • Write something: A book, short stories, poetry, anything.
  • Explore the outside world: Try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
  • Enjoy music: Play an instrument, learn a new one, or join a music group of some kind.
  • Create something tangible: Paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry, or design your own clothes.

Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

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The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

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