5 Investments In You That Can Better Your Finances For Life

Financial security in life can feel like an impossible dream. No job is 100% safe, and every entrepreneur knows that sometimes businesses can fail. When you’re trying to teach your kids to make every penny count and plan for the future, it might be a good idea to consider your own investments as well. Some of the investments you should think about aren’t necessarily financial. But they will stand you in good stead for a healthy financial outlook.

Education

Education and qualifications are still considered highly by employers. Beyond this, studying can broaden your horizons. It can deepen your knowledge, and offer insights into other possibilities. Understanding the world around us gives us the toolkit to make smarter decisions in life. This can include your finances, your career, and even your business choices. Of course, those pieces of paper can also offer you a higher salary. An advanced degree still offers the best salary opportunities in employment. And those letters after your name could earn you a few more contracts if you were to go into business for yourself.

Too many people are put off continuing their studies believing it could save them money. Sometimes this kind of investment can reap far more rewards than just a fatter pay packet or position of prestige. For a start, there are many types of online master’s degrees so you might choose one to take your career in a whole new direction. Beyond this, you will gain the latest thinking and research on the topics that could most benefit you in your working life.

It is possible and proven that many high school leavers have financially done very well for themselves. However, it seems to be the exception, not the rule. If you didn’t continue your studies when you entered your career, why not pick up the reins again now? It’s a good example for the kids too. You’re never too old to improve your knowledge and understanding. And continuing professional development is often the only way to keep on track in your career.

Experience

When was the last time you wrote down all of the experiences you’ve ever had? Never? Now could be a very good time to start! Each experience can be considered valuable to an employer. It’s all about how you reacted and responded to each challenge as it arose. And why you chose to take on that challenge is just as important. Gaining valuable life and work experience can offer you more opportunities for your career. You can use it to stand head and shoulders above any other candidate for that job you always wanted.

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Don’t forget – you can continue to gain valuable experience right now. You might choose to take a month or two out of work to volunteer for a project that personally inspires you. Or maybe, there is something exciting developing at work that you could get involved with? There are plenty of reasons to gain as much experience as you possibly can. Perhaps the most important one is the opportunity to network.

The more people you work within different situations, the more people will potentially sing your praises. They might do this publicly through social media or references. Or they might casually name drop to the people that can influence your career. Beyond networking, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities, your skills, and your working practices or methods. You’ll learn more, and you’ll be able to detail your contribution.

Your contribution might be measured in numbers or currency. It’s important you record these details and maintain a detailed portfolio. Chances are someone who can influence your career or your business bottom line might see it. Make every experience count, and be sure to continue adding to it.

Economical

You might already practice frugality and teach your kids the value of it. Investing in your finances today might reap good returns in the future. Perhaps you’ve been looking at your pension pot lately? This is one of the most important savings or investment accounts you have. You can start your kids with a private pension fund now. How is yours going, though? If you don’t think it can fund the lifestyle you were hoping for, then it’s time to invest a little more into it.

To free up more cash for the future, you need to be frugal today. What big plans do you have before you retire? Which of these would you be willing to sacrifice so you can squirrel a little more away for retirement? These can be really tough decisions to make. Some of them might need to be discussed with the rest of the family. Of course, there are other ways to fund your retirement. Have you considered any of them?

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Your home might be the center of the universe for your young kids right now. But by the time you want to retire, they’ll be grown up, moved out, and have families of their own. Downsizing at retirement can sometimes free up a good sum of cash to make life easier at that time of life.

Some people prefer to use high-interest savings accounts to secure their future. There are pros and cons to doing this. The first benefit is that there are rarely any annual fees to pay to keep the account open. Your pension attracts annual fees that can turn into thousands of dollars every year. But your savings pot might be considered an asset, restricting your access to certain benefits and privileges. A pension is rarely considered in this way.

Ethics and Good Health

A good working ethic can be transferred to every part of your life. If you know how to maximize your time and energy, then you might already have a great work ethic in place. This can be applied to your finances and your health too. Working hard is supposed to reap rewards in the end. Indeed, working hard now might boost your career and better your wage packet in the future. This, in turn, could lead to a better pension pot too.

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As for your health? Investing in your health will help you to save money on medical bills in the future. It will also reduce the number of sick days you need to take, making you a preferred candidate for workplace promotion. If you work for yourself, you will suffer fewer losses from days off if you rarely succumb to poor health. Good health takes sacrifice, hard work, and investment. You need to avoid unhealthy foods, exercise regularly, and invest in good quality meals.

It’s not always easy to maintain a good work ethic. After all, we can’t choose our colleagues, and we definitely can’t choose our bosses! But no matter how unpleasant these people might be, it is still as much your responsibility to make the working relationship cohesive. Maintain your work ethics, and you’re less likely to encounter friction with colleagues.

Enterprise

Exploring other avenues can lead to financial gains. It’s important to have a backup plan, even if it is only treated as a hobby. Many people have blogs or sell things they make in their workshop. This is rarely a full-time pastime but instead is something they enjoy doing during their leisure time. However, if things went wrong at work, there is scope to fully monetize these projects and scrape by some income from it.

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It’s not easy to work two jobs at once, and it shouldn’t be necessary. However, it’s worth exploring other avenues to bring in a few pennies. Any enterprise that can become fruitful is worth developing. It’s good to show your kids different ways to generate an income aside from work too. It helps them become more creative with their skills, talents, experience, and abilities. Sometimes all it takes is an idea. Of course, investing heavily in something like this should be carefully considered.

You might not mind making a small loss for something you enjoy doing. After all, leisure pastimes are important for us all. They are worth investing in as well. But if you need to turn it into something profitable, it’s worth using some simple business tools. A simple break-even diagram might be all you need to see if an investment could help reap more rewards. Remember, your time should have a monetary value too.

Don’t forget – you should always be selling yourself as well. You have education, skills, and experience that are valuable to potential employers or clients. Don’t sell yourself short. Instead, detail these achievements on your personal profile. Social media websites like LinkedIn are ideal for this. It gives you a chance to network with other like-minded people and colleagues too. This small investment of time can lead to new jobs and better wages.

Investing in yourself is as important as any business or financial investment you might make. You are the most important asset you and your family have. It’s worth spending the time and a little money in developing that further!

 

Uncovering The Links Between Poor Health & Debt

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The vast majority of people out there have some form of debt. It might be a home loan, for example, a credit card, or maybe just a monthly prescription you pay for services received. But, whereas debt seems to be entirely normal these days, bad debts are a huge issue – not just to people’s finances, but also to their health and wellbeing. And if you are looking for reasons to teach your kids about the importance of sound financial knowledge, the fact that bad debts will harm them in the future should be all you need to start educating them right now. Let’s take a look at some of the links between bad debts and poor health – and see how we can all make sure our children never suffer from either.

High blood pressure levels

Having bad debts means that your lenders will, to all intents and purposes, be after you. Phone calls, letters, emails – your creditors will be trying their damnedest to get their money back by almost any means necessary. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to stressful health issues such as high blood pressure. A study in Norway found that adults with high debt-to-asset ratios suffered from higher blood pressure than others, and also suffered from poor health in many other areas. And it’s also important to note that those adults studied were in their prime, too; between the ages of 24-32. It’s important to bear this in mind for your children, as it could only be a decade or so before bad debts could start impacting their lives – and blood pressure. Don’t’ forget, developing a higher blood pressure means people will be more at risk of heart attack or stroke – it’s that serious.

Lowers immunity

Chronic stress doesn’t just affect your blood pressure – most researchers and scientists understand that stress can also suppress your immune system. So, the more down the dangerous debt spiral you go, the more your blood pressure rises, and more at risk your body will be to general illnesses. Being in debt also has a tendency to keep you awake at night with worry so you won’t be sleeping well. And, as every doctor will tell you, sleep is vital for giving your body a chance to recover and recuperate, as well as fighting off any infections.

Feelings of anxiety

It’s not much of a surprise to hear that the more debt you are in, the more anxious you will become. Anxiety is a symptom of stress, and owing a lot of money is obviously an incredibly stressful experience. Feelings of anxiety can seep into all kinds of different areas in your life. You might struggle to be sociable, for example, and withdraw from your friends and family networks. It can impact on your productivity at work, too – meaning you are more likely to have to take time off or maybe even lose your job. And anxiety is also an indicator of high blood pressure, which, as we mentioned above, can lead to heart problems and stroke.

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Depression

When you owe a lot of money and can’t afford to pay it back, you tend to feel helpless. And the impact of those feelings can be dramatic on your psychological makeup. Unhappiness can quickly lead to depression, and the feeling for many people in debt is that they are underwater and incapable of helping themselves, which exacerbates those depressive feelings even further. And while many people discount depression as not a serious issue, the simple fact is that it has a terrible impact on people and those that love them. Families can break up, people can lose their jobs and find themselves unable to work, which increases the debt spiral further. As a parent, one of the worst things you can face is your beloved child developing depression, and feeling like there is nothing you can do to help them.

Doctor’s visits

When you owe a lot of money, some things in life that you deem unnecessary will often take a hit. That might mean paying fewer visits to your doctor, even when you are sick. There is a direct link between those who have high levels of credit card and medical debt and those who are less likely to visit their doctor for regular checkups. And the simple truth is that when you tie in the many health problems debt can cause and fail to see a doctor, there is more chance of serious issues arising.

Severe injuries

You can be leading a perfectly sensible lifestyle one minute. But a serious injury or accident can change everything in a single moment. Not only will you have to consider quitting your job, but you might also have to find tens of thousands – possibly hundreds – to pay for medical care. Health insurance can help, of course, as can finding a personal injury lawyer to claim for compensation. But there are no guarantees that your insurance company will pay out, or that you will win your case. The reality for many people who suffer serious injuries is that their finances will take a hit, their lifestyle opportunities will dramatically reduce, while their debt levels will increase. You can’t teach your child to avoid accidents, of course. But you can teach them how to prepare for the worst.

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Aches and pains

Nasty letters from debt collectors and angry lenders can even lead to you developing physical symptoms such as headaches, pains, and muscular tensions. In fact, researchers have found almost one in every two of those who were in bad debt also reported frequent migraines, headaches, and digestive problems. So, if you want your child to grow up physically healthy, it’s worth teaching them the benefits of financial security.

Eating habits

When you are in the midst of a severe debt problem, it’s not unusual to stop being mindful of what you are eating. Stress levels can keep your hunger at bay, and when you eventually crash, you will often reach out for quick fixes such as sugary snacks and fast food. And make no mistake about it, when you are eating too much garbage, it is going to have a grave impact on your body’s ability to fight other issues. Your stress levels will rise, too, as you aren’t getting enough nutrients, and feelings of depression are also likely to follow because you end up not taking care of yourself. Again, it’s being in debt that can lock you into a vicious cycle of ailments that can lead to others – and increases the damage they cause.

Exercise

As surprising as it might be to hear, research suggests that more than sixty percent of people with bad debts don’t take enough exercise every week. While the reasons for the link are not clear, it is an alarming statistic, given that exercise is part of the key to a healthy and long-lasting life. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which can protect you against depression and stress, both of which can arise due to having bad debts. For parents with growing children, it’s important to realise the positive impacts of exercise on their futures. And it’s also vital to understand that if they do have bad debts, it might even protect them against some of the many health issues that being in debt can cause.

As you can see, there is a broad range of links between poor health and bad debts. The pressures and strains of being in debt can take a toll on anyone’ s mind and body – and it’s something you need to prepare your children for in the future.