There are three main websites I use in this world of micro sharing. Twitter is where I share the least. I only use it to share work updates, react to people or the very occasional random thought. Instagram stories I use more freely. I am likely even to share midnight thoughts on Ig although I am more likely to share a random video of myself listening to music. Whatsapp is the one I use most freely, so it’s where I asked people for investment advice.
Specifically, I asked people what is the easiest, smallest investment someone who doesn't make a lot of money can make? I had some money in my account. This is a new sensation to me. I think this might actually be the first time in my life that I am in this place. This is the first time in my adult life that my bank account is not at risk of going to zero. I don’t necessarily have to worry that my money will run out if I take one too many cabs this week. This of course doesn’t mean that I suddenly have money — I don’t. I still very much struggle financially. I am still unable to draw a line from where I am to where I want to be. The place I want to be is in my own one-bedroom apartment. I am not there. I can’t buy groceries for my house month after month, I am not there. I can’t send money to my sisters in school, I am not there. I can’t buy all the things on my wish list, I am not there. But I am not at risk of going to zero.
In this new place, I thought maybe I should put some of this money away, somewhere, in some kind of investment. It’s like you have money in the bank that you don’t want to spend — put it away. I could put it in cowrywise or piggybank, (both of which I have accounts on) but I didn’t want to do that. I guess I wanted to feel like the money was doing more. I wanted to catch up with all the people who have been earning salaries for 3/4 years. My mates. Although I am totally not there. I guess I just wanted to invest. I wanted to start that phase too. Put money in crypto and watch it do the things. Stocks? What do people invest in these days?
The people that did respond to me did not give me the answer I was looking for but they did make me think about something. It’s ironic but it feels like the answer I got most was ‘invest in yourself.’
I will be honest, I had an initial reflex rejection of this idea. ‘Invest in yourself.’ I just don’t like things that sound like they came from an inspirational post. But cliches are cliches because they are true right? After a couple of days of thinking about it, it just made sense. I don’t have enough money to invest in any large way. I don’t make enough money to save in any consistent frequency but I have some money. The best thing I could possibly do is spend it on myself. The idea is so foreign to me. Spending money on myself. I don’t know where to buy clothes because I don't buy clothes for myself. The last time I bought new shoes was in 2019. The last significant thing I bought for myself was a second-hand laptop.
I haven’t gone on a shopping spree but I did spend some money on myself. I ordered a microphone. It’s not top of the range but it’s a starting point. I also paid to join an audio production community.
It’s not like I am new to the idea of investing in myself. For the past two years, most of the money I have made has gone into some form of investment in self. I guess this was just a reminder. I think it was a useful revelation for me to have. The first investment you make is in yourself.
Maybe I will buy a new shoe.