Most Singaporeans have always expressed interest in investing, and most already have some kind of investment portfolio for the management and preservation of their wealth. Less discussed, however, is the idea of investing in oneself.
The fact of the matter is that investing in yourself provides some of the best returns, no matter if they’re in financial terms or not. Self-investment can improve your confidence, your mental and physical health, as well as your ability to earn a bigger income. It could also help you break free of hurdles that are hindering your greater success.
Here are just nine personal investment ideas that are certainly well worth the money:
1.Updating Your Professional Skills
Keeping your professional skills up-to-date will improve your chances of being promoted or transitioning to a better-paying field. It may even become key to launching your own business.
Fortunately, Singaporeans have access to a variety of public and private continuing education opportunities. Courses under the SkillsFuture certification programme, for example, are highly popular among veteran employees looking to keep their skills relevant in a volatile job market.
2. Learning a New Language
Everyone knows that learning a new language can be personally fulfilling. But it could also be a good way to increase your income.
Individuals who are proficient in multiple languages will often find more opportunities for professional advancement at home and overseas. Being able to draw information from a wider variety of sources, they also have more access to knowledge and professional insights. Thus, multilinguals can usually find more situations to earn a better income.
3. Updating Your Wardrobe with Quality Pieces
The clothes we wear can affect our mental well-being in a variety of ways. Clothes can carry a symbolic meaning for a wearer and can have a measurable effect on their self-esteem and even their job performance. Uncomfortable or fragile clothes can cause a person to experience higher levels of anxiety, which can potentially put them out of sorts if they’re having a bad day.
Rather than owning several low-quality pieces of clothing that wear out after just a few washes, it might be a better idea to invest in higher-quality pieces. Not only are better quality clothes generally more comfortable, but they also tend to last longer as well. Make sure to choose pieces that make you feel great and are appropriate for your line of work as well.
Moreover, consider throwing out or giving away clothes that are uncomfortable or you have not worn in a while. Your overall mental wellbeing and comfort levels should improve when everything in your wardrobe is a joy to wear.
4. Taking Self-Care Seriously
Singaporeans are among the busiest people in the world, so it’s no wonder that poor mental health is especially prevalent among working-age individuals. For this reason, more of us need to take self-care seriously.
Self-care will be different for everyone. For some people, it could be spa sessions and beauty treatments, and for others, it could be collecting toys or vinyl records. Whatever it is, we all have to take some time to do the things we like. While self-care alone cannot fix a fundamentally flawed work-life balance, it can help keep individuals centred and productive during trying times.
5. Reading a Book Each Month
Most of us can probably find thirty minutes to an hour a day to read. Reading long-form books rather than online content can help widen your worldview and deepen your knowledge about specific subject matters. Additionally, reading books can provide you with a good way to increase your concentration, reduce your stress levels, and help your long-term memory, boosting your productive and creative potential in the process.
6. Writing Poetry
As far as self-investment pursuits go, poetry also provides immense value because it’s free. Engaging in poetry can be a good way to improve your vocabulary, language mastery, introspection, and observational skills. These skills can come in handy for everything from writing concise emails to managing a team of co-workers.
But while writing poetry is technically free, you can get a lot more out of it by dedicating your time to it. Consider joining one of Singapore’s regular poetry meetups to have your poems workshopped and to learn from other local poetry enthusiasts.
7. Exercising Regularly
Living with poor health can be expensive and often make it difficult to earn a good income. The cash you spend on a gym membership and healthy living will almost certainly pale in comparison to the toll of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Fortunately, by investing just 20 minutes to an hour a day on exercise, you could reap significant returns on your physical and mental well-being.
Regular exercise can bring down the cost of healthcare while making life more enjoyable for individuals and their families. Apart from its benefits to physical health, it also has proven benefits for people’s mental health, making regular physical exercise one of the best things for anyone to spend their time on.
8. Creating Art
Consistently coming up with novel solutions can be key to professional and personal advancement. Unlike many other skills however, creativity and imagination often requires you to use it or lose it. If your job requires creative or lateral thinking, cultivating your creativity can be one of the best ways you can invest your spare time and money.
Fortunately, art classes and other programs that can help stimulate creativity are readily available in Singapore. All art forms, whether it’s drawing, making music, decorating cakes, or what have you, will help stimulate the imagination, improve problem-solving skills, reduce stress levels, and increase self-esteem. Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, these benefits will prime you for better productivity and decision-making, both of which will help you boost your income.
9. Paying Off All Your Debts
Perhaps the best investment you can make for yourself is to ensure that you are debt free. Unfortunately, If you’ve made borrowing a habit, it can be extremely difficult to stop.
A joint study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) found that heavy credit card debt is often down to an inflated sense of control. Virtually all heavy debtors in the study rated themselves highly in terms of self-control, even when they had debts up to 12 times their monthly income.
This goes to show that building real self-control to avoid debt can be extremely tough. However, it is possible. Start by making a switch to cash and debit cards for all your spending. You can also consider taking behavioural therapy to help control any destructive spending habits.
Now that you have an idea of what to spend your free time on, you can start seriously investing in yourself.
It will be a difficult journey and you may very well suffer a few setbacks. However, like with any investment, consistency is the key to great rewards. Small improvements to yourself can lead to substantial long-term change that, in turn, may help you become richer, happier, healthier, and more centered.