We are on Day 6 of our challenge with just one more day to go! Today, we will discuss how to invest in yourself while you are young! Or any age for that matter. #how to invest in yourself while you are young
Set a Budget
Every great financial plan starts with a sound budget. If you’re trying to pay off bills or save for a dream vacation, a budget is your first step toward making your financial goals a reality. Follow these steps for setting up a realistic budget that gets you where you want to go.
- Gather every financial statement you can
This includes bank statements, investment accounts, recent utility bills, and any information regarding a source of income or expense. One of the keys in the budget-making process is to create a monthly average, so the more information you can dig up the better.
- Record all of your sources of income
If you are self-employed or have any outside sources of income, be sure to record these as well. If your income is in the form of a regular paycheck where taxes are automatically deducted, then using the net income (or take-home pay) amount is fine. Record this total income as a monthly amount.
- Create a list of monthly expenses
Write down a list of all the expected expenses you plan on incurring over the course of a month. This includes a mortgage payment, car payments, auto insurance, groceries, utilities, entertainment, dry cleaning, student loans, retirement or college savings — essentially everything you spend money on.
- Break expenses into two categories: fixed and variable
Fixed expenses are those that stay relatively the same each month and are required parts of your way of living. They included expenses such as your mortgage or rent, car payments, cable and/or internet service, trash pickup, credit card payments and so on. These expenses, for the most part, are essential yet not likely to change in the budget.
Variable expenses are the type that will change from month to month and include items such as groceries, gasoline, entertainment, eating out, and gifts, to name a few. This category will be important when making adjustments.
- Total your monthly income and monthly expenses
If your end result shows more income than expenses, you are off to a good start. This means you can prioritize this excess to areas of your budget such as retirement savings or paying more on credit card balances to eliminate that debt faster. If you are showing a higher expense column than income, it means some changes will have to be made. #how to invest in yourself while you are young
- Make adjustments to expenses
If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses, the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal. This means all of your income is accounted for and budgeted for a specific expense or savings goal.
If you’re in a situation where expenses are higher than income, you should look at your variable expenses to find areas to cut. Since these expenses are typically non-essential, it should be easy to shave a few dollars in a few areas to bring you closer to your income.
For example, you might get rid of a gym membership or cut back on eating out as often.
With that being said, one thing to consider before even setting a budget is to live within your means or even below your means since it’s more realistic. Having goals and a timeline for accomplishing these goals go hand in hand with your budget. #how to invest in yourself while you are young
Your Task: Create a budget; go to google and type in budget templates and follow the steps above to make it work for you
Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself is one of the best returns on investments you can have. Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, tapping into your creativity or hiring a coach, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others. Here are a few ways you can invest in yourself. #how to invest in yourself while you are young
- Learn a new language – take a class or use language training software.
- Try gourmet cooking – enroll in a formal class, buy 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.
Another great thing to invest in is Travel. This will take some dedicated saving which was discussed when we spoke about setting a Budget. I believe everyone should go on a solo trip at least once in your lifetime as it’s a great way to learn about yourself.
- Traveling expands the soul, so set aside time and money to travel as often as possible. Instead of spending money on things, which will get old and wear out, save it in order to create new memories abroad – those will last for a lifetime. Traveling will also take you outside your everyday life, exposing you to new food, cultures and languages. Meeting new people and hearing their stories will serve to broaden your perspective on life, and you will begin to see travel as an investment, not an expense.
Finally, another way to invest in yourself is to Choose Your Friends Wisely!
They say that you are the average of the five people closest to you. While measuring the effect of your friends is not a science, the type of friends you choose to spend time with does have a dramatic impact on how you develop as a person. Whatever your goal in life is, whether it is to be rich, happy, powerful, positive or more productive, find people who share that passion and invest in their lives. On the other side of the equation, if you regularly spend time with people whose personalities and pursuits run counter to your goals, consciously and kindly reduce the amount of time you spend with them. #how to invest in yourself while you are young
If you have a busy lifestyle or a mind that wanders, meditation is a great self-care practice that is virtually free or inexpensive depending on the method you choose.
Mindfulness Meditation Practices
You can practice mindfulness meditation on your own anytime and anywhere. But listening to basic guided meditations can also be helpful, especially when getting started. Instructions from an experienced teacher can help remind us to come back to the present moment, let go of distracting thoughts and not be so hard on ourselves.
Here are four guided meditations you can listen to that will help you remain in the present moment. Choose the one that’s the right length for you: One minute is a great place to start but also good if you simply don’t have a lot of time. If you’re more experienced or ready for an extended mindfulness session, try the 10- or 15-minute sessions. You can download these tracks and listen to them when you’re ready to meditate.
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