More than likely there is something that you can look back on in your life, and you regret doing it. Maybe it’s that tattoo you got during spring break, or maybe it’s never taking a Spanish class in college (or not going to college at all), but everyone has something they regret not doing. As you get older, there can be even more things you’ll look back on and regret. There are a few things that you should do now that your future self will thank you for doing.
Start Insurance Shopping
Have you thought about life insurance? If you’re a young adult, you probably haven’t. But your future self will thank you if you go ahead and purchase a life insurance policy. The main reason is money.
The majority of Americans don’t start looking at life insurance policies until they have children or when they are older and their health starts declining. Purchasing a term life insurance policy when you are younger will save you money down the road. In most cases, life insurance is much more affordable than you think. You can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that life insurance will give you.
Get to the Gym
Speaking of declining health, if you start hitting the gym now, you won’t regret it. Exercising regularly can have amazing benefits for your physical and even mental health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise every week of moderate exercise, which translates to 30 minutes of exercise every day, that doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
Creating an exercise or gym routine and sticking to it is one of the most important things you can do for your health and your future you. Regardless of what you do, getting exercise is important. Besides, you might as well use that gym membership you’ve been paying for every month.
Learn to Cook Healthy
Speaking of being healthy, learning to cook healthy and delicious meals is an excellent skill to learn. Your future self’s waistline will thank you if you learn a few quick, healthy meals that you can cook for a delicious dinner.
The most important part of learning to cook healthy is learning what NOT to cook with, i.e. tons of salt, sugar, or meals that come in a box that you can microwave and eat. Learning to cook healthy meals is easy, you can either watch one of the millions of cooking videos on YouTube, or you can take a formal cooking class at a community center or local college.
Do you know where your money is coming from or going to? Probably not. If you don’t have a monthly plan, that’s like trying to build a house with no blue prints. You can do it, but it’s not the best way to do it.
Creating a budget doesn’t have to be painful. Thanks to an influx of different apps, making an effective budget has never been easier. Apps like Mint and Personal Capital do all the hard work for you, all you have to do is sync your bank accounts. The apps will then track your spending and separate each transaction into categories like food, gas, entertainment, etc. You can set monthly limits for each category, and the apps will send your alerts when you get close to those limits.
You probably don’t want to work for the rest of your life, right? In that case, you should start a retirement investment account. If you didn’t know, many Americans are working longer than they used to.Why? Because most of them didn’t have enough savings to retire when they wanted to. Do your future self a huge favor and start saving for retirementnow. Even if you can’t put a lot towards your retirement accounts, it’s important that you start.
You NEVER know what life is going to throw at you. Life has a funny way of giving us curve balls that are never expected, and when it rains, it pours. If you can’t know what is going to happen to you tomorrow, the best way to plan for it is to have an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is a separate account that you have for… you guessed it, emergencies. Situations like your car breaking down, an unexpected hospital visit, or having to replace a water heater. The emergency fund isn’t for new shoes, a new boat, or a shiny new gadget.
The size of your emergency fund will depend on your monthly expenses, but a good rule of thumb is to have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund for any unexpected bills.
Create Long-Term Goals
What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? What about 10? If you don’t have any long-term goals, now is the time to make them. Don’t wake up 15 years later and wonder how you got there.
Spend some time thinking about your long-term goals, financially, professionally and personal goals. Do you want to own a home or hold a supervisor potion? Write those down and put them somewhere you will see them. Writing them down is going to increase your chance of actually achieving your goals.
Start Investing ASAP
Your finances can be one of your best friends or your worst enemies. Not managing your money wisely can cost you thousands of dollars, but if done correctly, your money can work for you to make you thousands of dollars. There is no better time to start investing than right now.
Plenty of websites can help you start investing, even if you have no experience in the investing world. Sites like Betterment make it incredibly simple to start your investment portfolio. In fact, you can actually have your money invested for you, the only thing you’ll have to do is set your risk preference. Just make sure you include your investments in the budget your created earlier.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? Build a computer or learn a new language? It’s never too late (or too early) to learn something new or go back to school. One of the most common regrets is not learning a skill they’ve always wanted to know how to do. If it’s just for fun or to help you in the professional world, your future self will be grateful for your continued education.
Learn to Write Well
Thanks to technology, the majority of communication is done through writing. Emails, text messages, blogs, memos, etc. and this has drastically changed the skills you’ll need to succeed. To your future self a huge favor and learn to communicate effectively through your writing. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway to write a clear email. There are dozens of books and websites that can quickly improve your writing, and unlike your high school English class, you won’t have to read any Shakespeare.
Dear Future Self
Most of these things people tend to put off until “tomorrow” but don’t’ fall into that trap. Most of these things won’t take you long, do them before your future self is left regretting your decision. We promise, unlike that dreaded spring break tattoo, you won’t regret it.