If you are in your teens or early twenties, it’s a good time to start investing in your future. Your choices in this period will lay down the foundation for the rest of your life. That might seem a bit daunting but there is no need to worry. This time is for self-discovery and getting to know yourself to ensure that you are satisfied with the path you are taking.
Realise that you are the best asset you’ve got. It is your responsibility to grow that asset to the best of your ability. The best way to ensure your personal development is by educating yourself. I’m not referring merely to formal education, but also to self-education. A university qualification will go a long way but there are many things essential to your well-being that won’t necessarily be taught in school. There are many online resources and books to refer to. A good place to start is to educate yourself about money.
Money is essential to survival as well as progress. Realise that your financial education is crucial to gaining wealth. Too many people enter adulthood without a clue on how to manage their finances and spending. This results in an excess of debt and limited financial freedom. If you learn to spend wisely, you will be ahead of most people and can enjoy your life more. Purchasing goods just to be fashionable is not worth the headaches of debt. Be smart about buying property and vehicles. Buy only what you know you can afford, not what the banks and others say you can afford.
In terms of financial investment, invest in self-development resources such as courses on financial management. Get into the habit of saving. Entrepreneurs such as Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki advise that you save at least 10% of your earnings. Some have gone as far as recommending that we live on only half of what we earn and dedicate the rest to savings and investments. The safest investment of your savings is earning interest from the bank. Further your education about other investments before risking anything.
There is a trend of young entrepreneurs venturing into business. It does seem like a viable option because you cannot depend on others, your job or the economy to provide financial security indefinitely. Most people will change careers a few times in their lives. Diversifying your education and areas of expertise also allow you the freedom and flexibility to adapt in our ever-changing and expanding economy. Becoming self-employed may appear ideal but it is a brave step and requires had work and dedication.
Invest in travel. Travelling need not be expensive. Too many people think that it’s far more exciting to leave their hometown or country and only that can offer the experience of something new. The truth is that most communities usually have a wide range of activities to offer. Do something. Don’t be a homebody. Read the local paper for upcoming events. This will help you gain priceless experience, get to know the world around you and meet new people. This way you will find out what you enjoy and get to know people who share your values and goals in life.
Invest in your body. I know that eating fast food is very tempting, especially when you are young and have a busy schedule. A young healthy body may fool you into believing that this food does not have an effect on you. It does. It is detrimental to your health. Create healthy eating habits now in order to prevent disease rather than having to rehabilitate yourself later. Take a little extra time to learn about healthy foods, buy them and cook them at home. If your body is healthy, you will feel good and enthusiastic about the other aspects of your life.
Youth is about learning. You can try new things and gain from those experiences. If this knowledge is applied with the bigger picture of your future in mind then you are off to a good start. Time is your greatest resource so be wise about how you spend it and learn from mistakes early rather than suffer as a result of bad decisions in the future. The best investment you can make is in yourself.