9 Ways to Start Investing in Yourself
Women in their twenties often focus so much on pleasing their employers, significant others, family, or coworkers that they forget to invest much-needed time and resources in themselves. But focusing on yourself is the least risky investment you can make because it’s guaranteed to pay off — and often in ways more valuable than money. Going beyond the traditional definition of financial investing, these nine to start investing in yourself are worth the costs.
Get a personal trainer.
Exercise helps reduce stress, improve self-confidence, sharpen memory, and boost overall health. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise) per week, supplemented with strength training. If you struggle with consistency, a personal trainer can provide motivation and support, while tailoring your exercise routines to meet your personal health goals.
Replace your old mattress.
When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to make risky financial decisions, experience higher levels of anxiety, and even gain weight. A good mattress is key for getting a good night’s sleep and, as a result, feeling happier and more rested. If you haven’t replaced your mattress in the last eight years, it’s time for a new one. Before you buy, though, test out a few different mattresses to find one that feels best for your body.
Improve your home’s security.
While you probably think of your home as a safe place, it’s important to maximize that security as much as possible. Along with installing a home security system, sweep your home for any potential weak spots, like rusted door locks or old windows. If you’re technologically savvy, home automation makes it easy to secure and monitor your home. Avoid cutting corners here — your peace of mind is worth the expenses.
Update your wardrobe to reflect your career.
In the business world, the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t always hold true. While your specific dress code will depend on your industry, the way you dress should reflect your professionalism and dedication to your position. Leave the jeans and t-shirts for the weekend, and invest in a few tailored pieces for work, such as blazers, pencil skirts, slacks, blouses, and conservative heels.
Work with a career coach.
Are you uncertain about what you want from your career, feeling dissatisfied with your industry, or struggling to define your dream job? A career coach can help you gain confidence, inspiration, and insight into your current or desired career. Even if you’re satisfied with your job, your coach can provide guidance on when to move for a promotion, how to negotiate salary increases, and where to find opportunities for growth.
Meet with a nutritionist.
What you eat and drink affects both your mind and body. While most people understand the value of maintaining a healthy diet, a nutritionist takes things one step further by evaluating what foods and types of exercise work best for your body specifically. A nutritionist can help you establish a meal plan and set long-term health goals. By understanding what nutrients your body needs, you can feel more energetic and productive.
Attend a professional conference.
Whether you work in marketing or are passionate about starting your own business, there are professional conferences geared toward a variety of industries. While conference entrance fees and travel costs can be expensive, the experience will pay dividends. You’ll have the chance to network with fellow professionals in your line of work, learn from the experts, improve your skills, and connect with potential future employers and coworkers.
Experience the world through travel.
Don’t look at travel as a nonessential expense — think of it as a necessary life investment. There’s no substitute for real experience. Exploring the world allows you to learn about new cultures, meet people with different worldviews, discover your passions in life, and develop respect and love for the places you visit.
Transition from renting to owning.
Don’t assume homeownership isn’t achievable if you aren’t making a three-figure paycheck yet. Recent studies show that it’s 23 percent cheaper to buy a home than to rent one, and millennials are currently dominating the housing market, constituting nearly 70 percent of first-time homebuyers. Allocate some extra resources to build your credit and savings so you can secure a competitive mortgage loan interest rate and afford a 20 percent down payment — and do it sooner rather than later.
As you navigate your career path, balance your financial investments with personal ones. From improving your well-being to learning new professional skills, commit yourself to making a few self-investments this year and see how they impact your life.