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Life can be very intimidating in your 20s. The realisation that your childhood is over and you need to fend for yourself for the rest of your life can hit you like a brick, but thankfully there are things you can do today to make life a little bit easier for yourself in the future.
I’ve put together a list of my favourite ways to invest in yourself in your 20s, but all of these can be adopted by people of any age. As always, let me know in the comments if you try any of these out or if there’s anything you would add to your own list.
1. Read books
There’s something you hear over and over again about successful people from all fields: they read books. It doesn’t matter whether you read fiction or nonfiction – reading anything and everything is a brilliant way to invest in yourself during your 20s.
In my opinion, lifelong learning is the single best investment you can make in your lifetime and your 20s are a brilliant place to start. If you take some time out of every day to focus on expanding your knowledge, think about where you’ll be in 10, 20 or even 30 years?
2. Cut out toxic relationships and surround yourself with people who inspire you
They say you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and I think there’s some truth to that. If everyone in your life is toxic and manipulative then it can be easy to become preoccupied by the drama and lose sight of everything that actually matters to you.
It’s not always easy to identify a toxic relationship, but you’d be surprised how many people secretly want to see you fail out of jealousy. People like this will try and bring you down at any chance they have, and it’s a good idea to remove such negativity as soon as you identify it.
3. Start a blog
I genuinely believe that everyone should have a blog. Am I biased? Perhaps. But whether you start it as a passion project or you intend to monetise it one day, blogging provides you with three important skills which are brilliant for anyone to learn:
Writing is one of the best skills out there. It’s free to learn and anybody can become good at it with practice. But still, it always surprises me how inefficiently many people write, and I think it has something to do with the misconception from school that you need to be highly academic to be a great writer.
Becoming a persuasive and efficient writer is one of the best ways you can invest in your future. Imagine how many opportunities you’d have if you could put forward a stronger argument using words? Whether it’s nailing a cover letter for your dream job or selling a product you’ve created, becoming a great writer is a great way to invest in your future.
2. Habit forming and commitment
Blogging is huge commitment. It requires a lot of time and dedication and often it can be difficult to keep up momentum. The beginning is notoriously difficult, when nobody is reading your words and you feel like you’re screaming into the void.
It takes a lot of perseverance to keep putting out words every single week – the sort of perseverance that will help you in every other aspect of your life.
3. Building an online presence
We live in a strange era in which anybody can accumulate a little bit of internet fame given some hard work and commitment. Start building your online presence today. If in a few years you decide to undertake an exciting new project then you’ll already have somewhere to promote it.
4. Take online courses
You don’t have to stop learning when you leave school. Learning is FUN, and lifelong learning is one of the best ways you can invest in your future.
We’re lucky enough to be able to access vast amounts of information at the click of a button. Taking an online course – whether for career progression or just for fun – is one of my favourite ways to invest in myself.
5. Start saving money
There’s a famous article by Dave Ramsey: How Teens Can Become Millionaires, which I think is worth a read. It’s come under a fair amount of scrutiny, but I do think it’s a powerful article and the general premise is true: the earlier you start saving, the better.
If you don’t have an emergency fund then you’re already in a state of emergency. Your 20s can be difficult to navigate but knowing that you have 3-6 months of living fees put away can alleviate some of the stress of life.
6. Start aiming for financial independence
Financial independence is the state of being able to get by financially without working a job. And it’s not just for the super rich – anyone can reach financial independence through passive income.
The catch is that passive income streams can take a long time to build up, and so your 20s are a great time to start.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re still researching passive income strategies that appeal to you or whether you’re ready to release a product – taking any strides towards financial independence is a great way to invest in yourself in your 20s.
I truly believe that traveling is one of the best ways you can spend your money, especially when you’re young. Experiencing new cultures is one of the best ways to expand your horizons and grow as a person, and if you’re lucky enough to be in a position where traveling for a few months is an option, then I wouldn’t even think twice about it.
8. Learn a creative skill
Creativity is part of what makes us human. Being creative can help reduce stress and make you a happier person, making it a brilliant way spend your time.
With so many creative options out there it would be a shame to live a life without creativity. Take some time to try out something new and you might just fall in love with your new favourite hobby.
9. Learn to cook
It always surprises me how many people my age have no idea how to cook. Cooking your meals from scratch will save you a lot of money in the long run as well as being much healthier than ordering in.
10. Invest in your health
If you haven’t yet found a form of exercise that you actually enjoy, then experimenting with different types of exercise is a brilliant way to invest in yourself. There’s a form of exercise out there for everyone and as you get older you’ll begin to realise your body won’t be able to take everything you put it through forever.
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I hope this article provided you with some new ideas of how to invest in yourself. Let me know what you thought in the comments and consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter!