Investing has never been an easy subject for me to understand. It took me one time to go on the E*Trade website, and I was so lost, I just closed the browser window. I knew that investing money was important, but I had no idea where to begin, and no real interest in doing so. Even with me being surrounded by people who knew their stuff in personal finance, I just figured investing would have to come at another time.
However, there are other ways to invest in my future besides trying to become the next Wolf of Wall Street. Here are 4 ways I'm investing in my future without getting caught up in the stock market:
I Read Regularly
Readers are leaders, or haven't you heard? I am always reading a book, and some of my favorite genres include business and self-help. I've read biographies of leaders, company profiles, memoirs of regular people, and personal development books. I attribute reading to my growth as a person, because I'm always learning something from the books I read. I have over 300 books on my Kindle, over 100 audiobooks on Audible, and who knows how many "real books" at home. Every book I buy expands my view on a subject, and allows me to be a better me for the future.
I Attend Conferences
Have you ever been a conference? For one, it's a great place to learn information on different topics, depending on the field or niche it's in. It's also a great way to network and meet new people with similar interests. My first blogging conference was the first annual Financial Bloggers Conference in Illinois, and it was so much fun. I'm going to 2 more conferences in the next two weeks, but they're not free. In many cases, some of the bigger, well known conferences can cost you a pretty penny. But it's an investment in your future because of the people you meet and the content you learn. Setting up a conference fund is on my to-do list, so I can always ensure I have the money to cover my ticket, airfare, and accommodations.
I Contribute to my 401(k)
One of the first things I learned in the personal finance world is that I need a retirement plan. While I'm still not 100% confident that I know the intricate details of a 401(k) vs. an IRA, I do contribute to my job's plan. 3% of my income goes to my 401(k) account, and the balance goes up or down depending on how my "shares" do in my mutual fund. Again, stuff I don't fully understand, but there is an adviser who makes those investment decisions for me. The money comes out automatically, so it's set it and forget it. This is a literal investment in my future, as I'll be living off that money when I retire.
I'm Finishing School
I went to college immediately after high school, and dropped out two years later. I was burned out and was conflicted about just how much a college degree would help me. Now, though, I know a BA is about equivalent to what a high school diploma was, so I have one more year until I get my undergraduate degree. This investment is hefty, with a 5 figure price tag. I do regret not finishing school straight through, because I wouldn't have gone into debt. However, these are the breaks, and an investment I still think will pay off in the end.
So while the stock market isn't a big deal to me, I do still make investments that will end up paying off in my future. I'm excited about reaping the benefits of all of these, and I hope you consider doing them too.
What ways do you invest in your future?