We often think of finances as something that is external — paying bills, making ends meet to make necessary purchases and more — rather than internal.
However, our financial behavior, like other behaviors, can help (or hurt) us. Reframing finances as another outlet for well-being can be helpful, especially when it comes to setting up healthy habits.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- What it means to invest in yourself
- How to invest in yourself
- How understanding credit is important for self-investment
- How success can be achievable no matter where you are yet
What does it mean to invest in yourself?
Investing in yourself isn’t always just about having money, but what we do with it. Investments can be in the form of saving, or investing in something long term, such as a retirement account or a purchase that will benefit you over time. Remember, not all debt is bad. Sometimes to self-invest, you need to take out loans to achieve what you want in life. Maybe that’s taking out student loans to achieve a degree you’re passionate about, or taking out an auto loan so that you can drive to your new job.
Investing in yourself means tailoring your habits to fit your lifestyle and achieving the life goals you want. You don’t have to be an expert on the market or trading to make your money work for you in the ways you’d like. In fact, self-investment doesn’t have to be in the form of just money. Effectively using your time, building healthy habits and consistency are all ways of investing more into yourself to meet your goals.
How to invest in yourself
Anything good takes time. When starting your self-investment journey, begin with small steps. Look at where you are now and where you would like to be. Then, pick and choose your priorities — think about the future and not just today. Where do you want to be financially and what lifestyle would you like to have in the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years? What factors may impact these goals?
It can be hard to decide what these things look like for yourself when you’re bombarded with messages from the outside world. Dave Fusco, VP of Credit Card Acquisitions at JP Morgan Chase, describes his experience with self-investment in an episode of Credit Talk, a podcast that aims to educate and spread awareness about financial well-being: “It’s the financial decisions that I want to calibrate, rethink and reconsider as I'm building out budgets...I think just overall, keeping up with the Joneses is not the best thing. Also, social media – I hate to say it, but people show you what they want to show you. They don't show you the behind the scenes.”
It’s easy to forget, but progress and investments aren’t always an upward movement. It may feel like a rollercoaster ride before you see a return on your investments. You may also need to make some sacrifices to prioritize the things you really want in life. ”Take a step back to go forward,” says Fusco. ”And that's the difference between maybe getting that fancy car versus just some getting something that gets you from point A to point B.”
When investing in yourself, try to steer clear from the constant messages you might be receiving from social media. Create a budget that works within your means and find ways to let it grow and work for you, rather than feeling added pressure to keep up with the latest financial trends.
Use resources to guide you
Self-investment can also be in the form of empowering yourself with resources and information to take that next financial step. For example, getting educated in financial wellness can make a massive difference in how you approach your finances, which in turn may improve your outlook.
Taking just a little time out of your day to make small changes can add up to a massive shift over time. When you enroll in Chase Credit Journey®, you can receive a free personalized action plan provided by Experian™ with steps for how to improve your credit score. Taking these steps can put you on the path towards an improved financial outlook and help you find structure and consistency, no matter who you are and where you’re starting.
Why is understanding your credit important for self-investment?
Your credit score can help unlock future opportunities, so it's an important part of investing in yourself. Your credit can be the reason why you can (or cannot) receive approvals for loans, mortgages and more. Additionally, having good credit may mean you get approved for a credit card or mortgage loan with lower interest.
Even if your credit score is not where you’d like it to be, there are always steps you can take to improve it over time. With Credit Journey®, you can review your free credit score at any time with no impact to your score.
Success is achievable no matter where you start
You don’t have to be rich or have the best credit score to get where you want to go in life. People can define success for themselves and it's not always a dollar amount in the bank or a certain salary.
In the Credit Talk you can hear a diverse array of perspectives about matters pertaining to financial wellness. Hosts from all walks of life, like artists and successful athletes, share their journeys. Whether you’re an NFL start like DeAndre Hopkins using their talents as an asset, or someone who is just starting to understand their credit now, you can always set achievable goals for yourself.
Like your credit score, your life will come with ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean your overall balance in life and your well-being has to be at risk. Success can be achievable when you do the appropriate research, make adjustments that work for you and your lifestyle and keep an open mind. Being willing to learn and make mistakes is all a part of the larger financial journey.