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Want to Make Your First Million? Don’t Save Every Penny! You Should Spend Money Wisely Instead

Want to Make Your First Million? Don’t Save Every Penny! You Should Spend Money Wisely Instead

Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make it?” I have. In fact, I’ve given that cliche statement as advice half a dozen times. While I tell entrepreneurs to spend money on the right team, I never use that advice myself. After all, I’m in my twenties still! I don’t have the luxury of spending money as if I’m made of it!

But these excuses are detrimental. In fact, the idea of spending money to make money is not as dangerous or risky as it may sound. Sure, it seems counterintuitive, but bear with me. I promise it will make more sense soon.

Saving Every Penny You Earn Can’t Bring You to Your Desired Destination

So many people think the only way to save money is to give up their social lives in order to minimize all those “unnecessary” expenses.

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What’s problematic with this approach, aside from how miserable you will be ignoring your friends’ invitations, is that it’s only a short-term way to save money. Think about it: are you really going to stay at home and never come out forever? The goal is to be future-focused; saving every penny and dollar you can is not exactly effective. What’s more important is spending on the investments that can bring returns.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Heather, I don’t know how to invest in general! How will I know how to invest in order to double my dividends? That’s for business-savvy people and those really good at math!”

Not true.

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While knowledge of those things can be helpful, anyone can be an expert investor and spender. You just need a little insight. Plus, we aren’t talking about becoming an investment banker. We’re talking about knowing when to invest your money into something and when to withhold. And it’s easier than you think.

Spending Money in the Right Way Can Help You Generate More Money

Enrich your mind through lifelong learning

This is one of those long-term money-making methods. While some people may find it unfair, the more educated you are via school system, the more desirable you are to companies who are hiring. This comes in handy when discussing salary, because the more experience college or university gave you (even in the form of unpaid internships) the better chance you have at requesting more than you might otherwise feel comfortable.

Even if you’ve left the formal education system, taking classes after work to expand your skill set can make you more popular and competent in the job market in the long-term.

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Prevention is better than cure

Listen, as an American, I know how frustrating health insurance can be. Even now with more access to it than ever, if you are paying out of pocket for insurance it’s a big sum of money! But here’s the thing: if you don’t get insurance because of the price tag, when you find yourself needing to go to the emergency room or even to a doctor’s appointment, you will be paying much more. And that expense will leave you with nothing left over to invest and grow.

When you feel more attractive, you can attract more opportunities

This one is so important, no matter how old-fashioned it may seem. Invest in your appearance. I make a lot of jokes about how much money I spend on quality makeup, complexion/skin products and getting my hair and nails done, but at the end of the day, it’s an investment I feel good about. When I look healthy and feel attractive, I approach people with more outer confidence.

As a disclaimer, this is not me telling you that in order to make money you have to be attractive. No way. What I am saying is that you should feel attractive – whatever that word means to you. If you come off as insecure and weak, it can be difficult to ask for that raise you absolutely deserve, or even get a loan you know you’re capable of paying off. There are (semi-depressing) studies out there that prove this, but if you don’t want to get wrapped up in them, just take my word on this one.

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As a quick example to help put it into perspective, I work for a very casual company (I’m talking yoga pants and blue jeans on the daily!) but when I first interviewed, I wore a suit. I knew the atmosphere was super casual, but I wanted to ensure they knew I was serious and professional. The way you look is the way you brand yourself as an individual. So who are you marketing to, and what is your message?

Set up a website to promote your expertise

Sites like LinkedIn, or even websites boasting your personal domain, can be a great way to up your income. Having a professional image and resume helps people see you as a trustworthy, knowledgable individual they would gladly hire. So if you’re a photographer, make your own website! If you’re a Freelancer, do it too! If you’re passionate enough to make it your career, then prove that to the world through a portfolio they can access 24/7. Learn how to maintain mailing lists, become an expert marketer. We live in a technology age; anything you could need to know is at your fingertips!

When you can’t do everything yourself, spend money to get help

When it comes to investing, and to your life in general, it’s essential to know what you need.[1] For instance, if you are trying to start your own company, your numbers will be in the red within a month if you don’t have the right team. Invest in a brilliant accountant. Invest in the perfect assistant. Have the right marketing team and IT guru. Yes, at first you will feel like you’re bleeding money, but when that team starts working with you and you see the spike in clients and income, you won’t remember any of that initial stress. The same is true when it comes to investing your money. What is it you need? A retirement fund, or a mansion? What is your goal? Once you have the intention set, you can begin to achieve it.

Reference

More by this author

Heather Poole

Technical writer

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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