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BONUS ROUND: Invest in yourself!

Yahoo Finance Broke Millennial Club's BONUS Challenge: Invest in yourself. (Source: Getty)
Yahoo Finance Broke Millennial Club's BONUS Challenge: Invest in yourself. (Source: Getty)

The best investment you can make is in yourself.Warren Buffett

Congratulations on completing Yahoo Finance’s six week bootcamp challenge!

  • Did you miss the first six challenges? Catch up on all of them here.

Being honest with yourself about your financial situation and making a change isn’t easy, so you should definitely be proud of any progress you made on your money journey.

But while the financial challenges are over, we’ve got one last surprise in store for you.

You’ve learned the value of your superannuation, your savings, climbing the property ladder and investing.

But one of the most valuable financial tools of all is yourself.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett says the best investment he ever made was not in any particular asset or stock, but in himself.

And it’s true.

Self-improvement is never a negative thing. If you upskill, you’ll be more valuable to an employer. If you invest in apps or courses that help you learn and take care of your mental and physical health, you’ll be able to live a longer, better quality life.

It can also lead to more financial opportunities. If you develop a knack for video editing, you can monetise your skills on the side via freelancing platforms. Or, you can leverage your skills to start your own side hustle.

Fun fact: most millionaires have around seven streams of income.

While it sounds fairly daunting, it’s actually pretty achievable.

Those tend to be:

  1. Earned income (your salary)

  2. Profit income (a business or side hustle)

  3. Interest income (interest on a savings account or bonds)

  4. Dividend income (income earned as a shareholder of a company)

  5. Rental income (income earned from an investment property you’re renting out)

  6. Capital gains (the increase in value of an asset you own)

  7. Royalty income (money you get for letting someone else use your products, ideas or processes).

Even having a few of these income streams can drastically increase your wealth.

But there are a few things to do before you focus on increasing your income streams, and they’re relatively simple to implement.

ACTION: Get more sleep

An extra 29 minutes of sleep per day is scientifically proven to help you be more mindful, which in turn leads to a better daily well-being and better performance at work.

But if sleep is something you struggle with, then you need to listen up.

Arianna Huffington suggests you introduce a “social media cut-off time”. And, you can even take it one step further by introducing a phone cut-off time.

After dinner, leave your phone in the kitchen on charge - and do not take it to your bedroom.

This leaves some distance between you and the world around you. In particular, it puts some distance between you and your work.

“Create a transition time to sleep, so we can unwind, and recharge while we sleep.”

It’s also a good idea to limit screen time. So hit the paperbacks when you get into bed, and don’t turn the TV on.

ACTION: Get a millionaire’s morning routine

Fake it ‘till you make it, right?

According to success coach and author of The Miracle Morning Hal Elrod, most high performers have a few morning rituals they consistently perform, and they can be grouped into a simple acronym: SAVERS.

It involves Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing.

  • The silence is for meditation, which allows you to spend time thinking about your day, and getting into a positive, purposeful mindset.

  • Next, affirmations allow you to tell your brain you’re going to commit to an act, and when you’re going to do it.

  • Visualisation helps you with motivation. Picturing yourself achieving your goals and living the life you want to live will make you want to achieve them.

  • Exercise - even as little as a few minutes of it - has huge benefits. It can wake you up, trigger your brain and boost your energy levels.

  • Reading can transform your life. There are hundreds of self-help books - many on becoming a millionaire in fact - that can help you and guide you, and setting aside some time to learn how to achieve your goals is a game changer.

The last part of the routine, scribing, is for journaling, goal-setting and writing down what you’re grateful for. This is a powerful reflection tool, and helps successful people recalibrate their journeys to success.

Once you’ve developed a millionaire’s habits, then it’s time to become one.

ACTION: Start your side hustle

The average side hustler in 2019 earned an additional $7,300 over the course of the year. That can be the cost of a holiday overseas, a car or even just an extra chunk of cash in your savings.

And, after the year that was, it’s a good idea to try and diversify your income stream away from just your 9 to 5.

To begin with, you should assess the kinds of skills you have. Are you a writer? A coder? Are you good with technology? Are you really organised? Do you just love pets?

All of these skills can be monetised on marketplaces like Fiverr, and Upwork. If you’re a handyman or good with a trade, you can take it to AirTasker.

Your only job is to “release your inner entrepreneur”, CEO of The Remarkable Woman, Shivani Gopal says.

“Once you’ve identified your area of expertise, the opportunities are endless,” she says.

“In addition to selling your services, you could, for example, create an online course in an area you are a subject matter expert in, like excel spreadsheets or design.”

If you’re really lacking inspiration, here are the best side hustles for your star sign.

ACTION: Sell your trash

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

If you’re not into the side hustle idea just yet but you do want to make a bit of cash on the side, you need to clean out your closet and get on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.

You can make around $6,000 from selling your unwanted junk, like phones, kitchen and dining items, home décor or even old gardening tools.

But there are some tricks to the trade.

When posting your items online, you’ll need to:

  1. Be descriptive: The more information you provide, the better. Include your product’s features, a brief history and your reasons for selling the item.

  2. Interact with your buyers: Customer service is still important in the secondhand economy. That means ensuring you’re responsive to messages and offering personality.

  3. Trade safely: Make sure you meet in a neutral place, or have a family member or friend with you when you exchange your item.

  4. Think ahead: When you buy a new item, think about its second life - protect the item, and keep original packaging and even receipts.

  5. List what’s in demand: Think about items that are in the most demand, which are dictated by seasons or trends. For example, with people working from home as a result of the pandemic, think about selling home gym or office equipment.

If what we've discussed above sounds good, this week's challenge includes some additional things you may want to try.

Remember, you should always seek professional advice in relation to your personal financial circumstances before you commit to any financial strategy.

THE CHALLENGE: Increase your financial knowledge

Length of time: ~20 minutes

  1. Log on to Instagram

  2. Follow TheFinancialDiet, YahooFinanceAustralia, CNBCMakeIt, MrsDowJones.

  3. Listen to these 5 podcasts.

  4. Sign up to finance and money newsletters such as the Yahoo Finance Morning Brief. If you see tips and advice every day in your inbox - even subconsciously some of it will stick!

BONUS CHALLENGE: Try a morning routine

The guidance and suggestions provided in Yahoo Finance's 6-Week Financial Bootcamp are of an informational nature only, and are not intended to constitute financial advice. You should make your own enquiries as to whether the 6-Week Financial Bootcamp is suitable for your own personal circumstances. Yahoo Finance does not guarantee any particular outcome arising out of your participation in the 6-Week Financial Bootcamp.

By Yahoo Finance contributor Anastasia Santoreneos.

Make your money work: Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.