Invest in yourself

I come from a household where no-one liked to talk about money. I worked from the age of 15 and I did not know how to save. Most of life in my early 20s consisted of using credit cards to buy what I wanted when I wanted and I didn’t mind living paycheck to paycheck because sadly, it was normal. If I could give advice to my younger self, it would definitely be, learn how to budget and save!

As I grew older, I got more savvy with my money and I started to save for a rainy day. Starting to save as a habit when everyone around you is having fun like buying cars, purchasing new clothes and travelling is hard work! It truly requires discipline and patience.

Saving money is important, as a matter of fact it is crucial because you need to have an emergency fund available to reduce the likelihood of you entertaining debt, now and in the future. However, did you know that lifetime savings only constitute a small fraction of total wealth? The fact is, although crucial, having savings alone does not make you wealthy. 

In an article by Thurow (1999) Building Wealth it speaks about investments as a core factor for building wealth. Reading this made me think… How many of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s, feel comfortable investing?

When I think of investing as a platform for building wealth, I think of your usual stocks and shares Apple, Tesla etc. However, let me challenge you to think about the practice of investing in yourself. In an article by Royale Scuderi (2020) she mentions three simple ways to start investing in yourself. Step (1) Develop your skills, (2) Explore your creative side and (3) Nurture your mind and body.

Steps (1) and (3) to investing in yourself is quite normal. Typically, we are encouraged from a young age to get an education in order to develop our skills. We are also taught to eat right and meditate to nurture our mind and body. However, exploring our creative side? This is something that challenged me to really think about how much I invest in this part of myself. 

Generally, I have always thought of exploring your creative side as something that was predominately for those who were super talented in drawing, writing, singing or dancing and it can definitely include all of those things. However, creativity can also be learning a new language or travelling to a new location. Importantly, no matter the form, creativity helps us assess problems and solutions differently.

From a financial standpoint, why don’t you spare a few minutes to start brainstorming new ways to tackle an existing debt that you may have. Or you can start thinking of new creative ways to generate a second income and invest in a passion you have inside of your heart. 

I challenge you today, to start getting creative! Think of ways you can invest in yourself and ring up a friend or family member and talk about your ideas with them. Get excited about where this can take you both personally and financially.

For many people, this can be a scary thought but send me an email if you need encouragement to get you started. I always like to applaud people for taking positive steps in the right direction. This journey to investing in yourself can be challenging but it can also be an exciting ride with a financial coach walking with you, by your side. 

Written by Shadie Banton-John
Financial Coach