One of the best investments you can make in life is to invest in yourself.
Being physically and mentally in good shape makes you happier and improves your chances of financial success. Think of the personal attributes of the most financially successful people you know. There is a correlation between financial success and personal qualities such as being smart, optimistic, mentally alert, active and sociable.
Spending money on yourself is a good idea if you are likely to get a return on your investment through increased income or opportunities. Education is the most obvious form of investment in yourself, but there are others, such as:
Improving your physical fitness, for example by joining a gym or sports club or hiring a personal trainer. Physical fitness is known to aid mental alertness, a "can do" attitude and increased stamina, resulting in improved performance at work and greater prospects for promotion.
Creating the right mindset by increasing motivation and overcoming negative influences such as stress and depression. Spending money on a meditation course, motivational books and seminars, or psychological counselling, are examples of how to invest in your mindset. Being positive means you are more likely to spot opportunities and follow them up.
Building networks of friends and contacts; for example, by joining clubs, networking groups or community organisations. Having a wide circle of influence can pay off through increased business referrals or new business and employment opportunities.
Becoming a happier person by doing things you love. Spending money on hobbies, interests and your passions has a much stronger and longer lasting effect on happiness than spending money on possessions. Giving to others can also be a source of happiness. Happiness goes along with a positive, optimistic mindset that leads to success.
Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and doesn't constitute specific advice to any person. A free disclosure statement can be obtained by calling 0800 273 847.