If you’re flying solo on February 14, it might feel less like a day for a romantic visit from cupid, and more like Single Awareness Day. With candy hearts and pink-and-red decor on display everywhere from the grocery store to your Instagram feed, Valentine’s Day may feel like another reminder that you haven’t yet found your one-and-only. With that said,, some of us are thrilled with our unpartnered lives, and have always preferred celebrating Galentine’s Day, anyway. No matter your situation, if you’re single this February, it means you have endless opportunities to invest in the most important relationship of your life — the one you have with yourself.
Here’s a look at a few of our favorite ways to invest in yourself this year, and show yourself the love you so richly deserve.
Invest in your community
Though much of the last two years has been spent digitally and virtually, there is much of the world to experience beyond the computer screen. It’s time to push yourself to invest in the community around you, particularly to meet new friends and expand your network, says Neale Godfrey, president of Children’s Financial Network, Inc. “Do something that you may never have done before: go to a museum, see an opera or volunteer in a homeless shelter,” she suggests.
Also, think about what skills or hobbies you’ve always wanted to learn, like taking a course to understand what cryptocurrency really is, taking a singing class or learning how to throw a pot in a pottery class. “By getting out of your comfort zone, you are not only learning new skills but gaining confidence that you can function in a new and changing world,” she continues. “You are learning to expand your universe of thoughts and action. You may have an innovative, creative side of yourself you never knew existed. Suddenly, your life will become more enriched with knowledge and memories.”
Invest in your retirement plan
Decades ago, there was a common narrative that women just needed to wait for a “Prince Charming” who could sweep us off our feet, earn all the income for the family, and ensure that we lived happily ever after. Now we can laugh at that notion on so many levels, but the truth is that some of us have been “waiting” to start our retirement plans. Not because we’ve been waiting for Prince or Princess Charming, rather, we’ve just been hoping for the “right time,” or looking for a bigger salary before we made the move. But guess what? The time is now, says Jessica Weaver, CFP, CDFA, CFS, the author of ‘Confessions of a Money Queen.’
Even if you’re only able to contribute a few dollars, it’s time to set up a retirement plan just for your future, and consistently (and ideally automatically) put money into it every month to build your nest egg. “If you are currently setting aside money into your retirement account, then see if you can increase it by 1 percent for 2022 and take responsibility to increase your savings rate every few months or at least once a year,” she says.
Invest in feedback
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Maybe your dating life is stagnant. Your career feels unfulfilling and, well, blah. Rather than maintaining the status quo that isn’t making you happy, turn to a professional for advice, recommends Susan Trombetti, CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. It could be a life coach, a career coach, a dating coach, a financial investor — you name it. The goal is to seek outside feedback to improve our state of being.
“Sometimes we lack self-awareness and need to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes to work out our goals, hopes, dreams and just to clear the muck,” she continues. “It can make us a better person and less stressed. A life coach can help us not sell ourselves short. Maximizing your potential is always a great thing.”
Invest in decluttering
We all feel better with less clutter in our lives — physical and emotional clutter. As Weaver says, one of the best ways to embrace new relationships, new work opportunities, more money, or a new house is to clear out the old — everything from home goods to relationships. “Take some time to see how every aspect of your world is benefiting you or taking away from your quality of life,” she continues.
Ask yourself these questions to go through a meaningful “cleanse” practice:
- Are there people in your life that suck your energy, put a dark cloud over you for the entire day after a phone call, or take advantage of your kindness?
- Are there work projects or clients who do the same, and you feel your power being taken from you every time?
- Do you have money and investments at multiple locations, and you feel scattered?
This soul-searching could open your eyes and perspective.
Invest in your health
As Godfrey puts it, nothing else matters if you don’t have your health. We all go through periods where we’re less active or less critical of our diets. However, if this continues for a long time, it could have a lasting impact. That’s why she recommends joining the gym, making sure you get more sleep, and skipping the junk food in favor of getting to know kale.
“You know what to do — so do it,” she continues. “You will have more energy, maybe shed some of those extra pounds and most importantly, know that your investment in your own health is your best investment to create true wealth.”
Invest in your self-care
Confidence will serve you in every area of your life — from your ability to hold your own in a big meeting, to knowing what you’re worth in a romantic partnership. So if you’ve been feeling down on yourself lately, use Valentine’s Day as a way to invest in the self-care habits that build you up.
“You begin to have this new confidence, a light that surrounds you, and people can’t help but be drawn into your energy,” she continues. “When you feel good, you are more likely to charge higher prices, get educated about money, and invest more into yourself. It becomes a cycle of the wealthy woman, investing in herself to grow and expand beyond her comfort zone only to continue to invest in herself.”
And remember, you don’t have to spend a ton to do this — even a monthly blowout or a trip to the nail salon can do wonders for your overall sense of beauty. “Begin small, but make it consistent and a part of your routine,” she adds.
Invest in your emergency fund
When you’re on your own, it’s essential to have savings accessible in case of an emergency like a job loss, medical issue or urgent car repair, says Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, personal finance expert. While three to six months of living expenses are typically recommended as an emergency savings benchmark, singles may want to consider boosting their emergency savings goal to cover six to nine months’ worth of living expenses as an added buffer, she adds.
Invest in the future you envision for yourself
There’s no time like when you’re single to build a solid financial foundation for the future you want. There’s absolutely no reason to wait until you’ve met your match to start preparing for the dreams you want, says Lauren Bringle, accredited financial counselor at Self Financial.
“If you want a family someday, start saving now. If you want to buy your dream home in a few years, start saving and getting your credit in shape now so you’ll be financially ready when the time comes,” she continues. “If you want to retire early, start adding extra to your retirement savings every chance you get. Having a ‘why’ in place helps remind you and hold you accountable when you’re tempted to stray from your financial plan. It can be a powerful motivator.”
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