Where are you putting your money, your life investment? Where do you get the most returns?
For three months, here is where I put my money into: January: 38% Self-Investment / 16% Family / 8% Social February: 20% Self-Investment / 40% Family / 14% Social March: 10% Self-Investment / 24% Family / 36% Social
When it comes to money, you always want to know where it’s going. Specifically, when you’re not making tons of cash, your income isn’t huge. In general, you always want to know where you put it.
Say you’re like me. Right now, I’m not really working, I’ve backed away from most of my hustles for now. Just chilling and working on this blog. That means that I have a set budget every month. Several hundred dollars, which is good since my rent is cheap and it comes with all the utilities. I live in a nice place. It doesn’t take much food when it comes to me, as long as I get my meats. Food is part of my fixed expenses like rent and gas.
I did this little experiment. For the first three months of the year – January, February, and March – I would deliberately put my money in these different categories of my life:
January was my own month. Aside from my expenses, most my cash went to me. I call it self-investment. That could be travelling, that could be buying your own assets, buying tools, capital, even clothes. Clothes are a tool, people are going to see you and the way you present yourself. You want to invest yourself in that sense too. Self-Investment can be classes, seminars, how you dress, supplements, nootropics, anything.
I have to say, I spend a decent amount of money. I don’t regret any of it. Self-investment is one of the best things you can put your money in.
Self-investment is things you buy for you. If you don’t already know this about me, I don’t have a lot of stuff. What I do have is stuff I use on a consistent basis. I have my clothes, I have my own workout equipment, I own my car, I have my work stuff. Things that I use and I use everything. Truthfully, I have my own xbox, but I haven’t used it in months – most of my games aren’t even open yet.
If it improves your life, that’s self-investment. If it doesn’t improve your life, that is bad self-investment – you just got a sunk cost, maybe. Self-investment is specifically for you, to improve your life.
My opinion so far, the best places you can put your money is yourself, and if you have a business, I consider that self-investment also. If you want to make that its own thing, go ahead, do that. Self-investment is all about me. It’s what improves my life and my business.
Family / Relationship
Family or Relationship is another category. Right now, I have a live-in girlfriend. We have a dog. Sometimes I include my brothers or my mom. Family is that second category I have down and that includes trips with my girlfriend, dates, gifts for family or whatever the in-home situation is.
For February, we got a dog, we got a crate, and it makes my girlfriend so much happier. I give her shit about the dog all the time, but she loves the dog.
I feel like I’ve got good returns from investing in my relationship. She knows that I care about her and that I put in effort.
Skip the bad family relationships or bad roommates. Invest in the healthy relationships, it makes home a happier place.
Especially if you have a special lady. They like to give back because they love you (hopefully), and you can’t put a price on that. So yeah, there are great returns for investing in family.
The third category was Social. Social includes friends, going out with friends, having those nights out, having lunch with them, guys’ night, stuff like that. Or if you want to buy a gift one-on-one.
For one month, I put a lot of my money into that. Towards friends and acquaintances. I spent a good amount of money socially for March, but the returns were incredibly minimal. This isn’t me spending money only on guys or only on girls. I did both. And I admit, the returns were not that great.
They suck. I highly suggest that when you go hang out with friends, don’t spend that much money. Go buy a one dollar coffee or something. And the rest of the money you would’ve spent, put it towards yourself or towards your family. Or just save it. Saving it is fine too. But for the most part, it’s a waste to spend it on friends.
I would only say that it’s not a waste if you’re using money to pick up on someone’s tab. Specifically for one person. Don’t do the whole ‘buy everyone lunch’ thing, because nobody cares. No one cares.
If you’re not doing something to make one person feel special, that means you’re doing it for a lot of people. If you’re doing it for a lot of people, no one is going to feel special. There is no respect or feeling of obligation from them. They assume it is completely from the kindness of your heart.
And if it is, that’s great, that’s the way it should be. But if you’re looking for a return on your investment, that is not the way to go. You’re largely just throwing away cash.
Let them pay for themselves.
If you’re buying a person a present for their birthday, that’s good. Do it. Buy it, give it, forget it. It’s that simple. Gifting is important to strengthen relationships. It gains people’s favor.
Ever since I’ve bought people a birthday gift this year, they offer to buy me food. I still buy my meals myself, but they tend to bring in their own perks for being on their good side and I do the same for them when I can. Gifting cultivates relationships, and you always want people on your corner.
But my point is, spend more of your money on yourself, self-investment, or your family or whoever is in-home.
Socially, I really did spend a lot. I bought my guy friends a round of stuff. Bought a round of food for my girl friends. I even put my money in one-on-one general scenarios like buying a friend groceries. The returns aren’t worth it.
That’s not to say I’m feeling jipped or anything. Because I did have fun times. But I really didn’t have to spend money to have times as good as those. Even if I only bought for myself, and the good times weren’t as good, I wouldn’t feel any kind of loss.
My advice is to see where your money is going. See where you get most of your returns. If you must dedicate a month to explore these categories – self-investment, family, social, etc. Go ahead and try it out to see where you get the best returns for your investments. It might not be the same for you as it is for me.
I personally think that the order of life investment, from best to worst goes like this:
- Family / Relationship
That’s my advice:
- See where your money is going
- See where you’re getting most of your returns on investment