Invest in Yourself

in First Person: Our Blog

We’ve all heard the biggest investment you can make is in yourself, but we often forget to do so. Consider these tips for getting the biggest return for your future.

Save money

We’re a bank, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you to save for the future. With the average life expectancy increasing every year, it’s a solid bet that you will need a retirement fund that will last decades. If you aren’t already participating in your work’s 401K plan, make this a priority. Many employers offer a match for an investment you make — which is free money for your future. If your work doesn’t offer a plan, or if you’d like to supplement your retirement savings, we’re happy to help you with an IRA CD – https://www.firstib.com/personal-banking-overview/iras/.

Don’t forget about your emergency savings fund, either. Building an emergency savings will prevent future financial stress when the car breaks down, the water heater busts or something else unexpected pops up. If you need a savings account, we have three different accounts to fit your lifestyle — https://www.firstib.com/personal-banking-overview/online-savings-accounts/.

Continuing education

You don’t have to go back to school to keep learning. Read. A lot. Pick classic or educational books that will build your expertise and stretch your brain. Instead of filling commutes with morning radio host chatter, download audio books or listen to news or educational podcasts. Take seminars, workshops and classes that interest you and will develop you professionally and/or personally. There are options for free or low-cost resources at your local library and online.

Be creative

Thinking creatively uses your brain in a different way. If you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language, go back to childhood dance classes or learn woodworking, do it! Some creative skills can turn into opportunities professionally (such as a side business) or personally (gifts for friends or family). If you can’t commit to a regular class, consider online options that you can complete at your own pace. Or commit to exploring new cultural opportunities — visiting a museum or going to a concert or play — once a month.

Enjoy work

It may be easier said than done, but if you dread going to work every day, it might be time to consider other professional options. While some days will be better than others, you need to feel good and enjoy most aspects of your job. You spend too much time at work to be miserable every day. Plus, you aren’t fulfilling your potential if you are unhappy at work.

Take time for your health

We’re not telling you anything new, but you need to prioritize getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising. If you are struggling with a consistent bedtime, set an alarm at night that tells you it’s time to go to bed. Make goals to eat healthy as a family or with friends, have a lunch buddy at work, or prepare healthy meals and snacks for the week ahead. For exercise, try different fitness classes and activities so you know what you enjoy and will stick to it. Sign up for a race as a training goal. Again, the buddy system helps keep you on track. Don’t forget to keep up with your dental hygiene and annual physicals, either. Most insurance plans provide for two preventive dental visits a year and an annual check-up with your physician. Use them!

Look forward to something

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun (within financial reason). Take time to socialize and keep in touch with people who matter to you. Save for the trip you’ve always wanted to take. See your favorite band. Make a fun must-do list, add to it and check it from time-to-time to remember all the fun things you did and what you still want to do!

To get the biggest return on your life, you need to invest in yourself!