Invest in yourself
We talk a lot about investing your money in financial products like stocks, bonds, retirement plans, etc., but we seldom emphasize the value or need to invest in yourself.
This can be looked at in two different ways:
Pay yourself first
This refers to the practice of having funds automatically routed from your paycheck to a savings account on a regular basis. This removes the temptation to spend the cash while ensuring that a savings fund is being built up to provide an emergency fund or additional savings where required.
This practice should be followed even if you can only afford to save a few dollars each paycheck. Funds can grow rapidly, especially if you invest in a savings product with a good return (savings account, money market, share certificate/CD). Once savings have reached a higher amount, they can be transferred to investments with a higher interest rate, such as stocks, bonds, or cash investments. Financial products that accumulate “compound” interest as opposed to “simple” interest are a greater benefit. Compound interest is where interest is earned on the principal (initial deposit) amount plus the interest on the principal. This provides a “snowball effect” where interest is earned on interest and so on.
Albert Einstein declared that “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”
Simple interest is where interest is earned purely on the initial deposit amount (principal), producing a lower return on investment.
Invest in your emotional, intellectual, educational, and physical growth
The above-mentioned growth areas are actual needs, as opposed to wants. Investing in these areas represents a wise use of money, as personal and professional growth is a necessity not just for individuals, but also for the benefit of the nation and beyond.
Joining a gym, taking cooking lessons, learning a different language (try Duolingo), and studying for a degree are just a few examples of how we can stimulate our minds and develop as people. Brain exercises, while being fun, may prevent dementia and improve memory loss (try Luminosity). Other activities can promote longevity and prevent diseases, with the benefit of making you a more interesting person!
Not all activities have to cost money; there are many free activities available that will not affect your pocket. Check out http://www.colorado-for-free.com/.
Look after yourself by practicing the art of self-care—if you don’t, who will? Because if you can’t look after yourself, how can you look after others?