Investing In Yourself

Side Hustle

I’m going to graduate next year and, with luck, head straight on to law school. I have a very clear idea of what I want to do for a living and how I’m going to save and invest once I graduate from law school, but I’m concerned about making the most of my early 20s. While I’m in law school, I won’t necessarily be earning any money, and I know that it’s important to save for retirement starting as soon as possible. My plan for making up for this disadvantage is to take on a “side hustle” or two to earn some money while I’m in law school (and perhaps starting earlier--I still have a year left here). I know I won’t earn big bucks, but I can invest the money I do earn and begin building a nest egg, and I know that every little bit helps. What sorts of independent projects, part-time jobs, and other types of “side hustles” are most lucrative? Passion is secondary here--I need to make some cash!

You’re quite right to point out the importance of investing, and investing early. But in your zeal to invest in the stock market and save for retirement, you seem to be neglecting something else: investing in yourself.

Of course, you haven’t neglected it entirely: you’re investing in your career future with training by going to law school. That’s a proven and smart way to invest in one side of yourself--the financial side. The trainers at Ram Training Services, a Melbourne, Australia-based training and assessment course provider, point out that seeking further training and education is a form of investing in oneself. The benefits of this are reflected in the higher salaries received by more educated professionals.

But what about the entire rest of your life: all the parts that aren’t focused exclusively on work and money? That part of your life matters, too, and studies conclusively show that working too much can burn us out and make us less productive (to say nothing of less happy!). Your plan to make use of every minute of your time could make you miserable without making your richer, as it could easily hurt your performance in law school--which could make a much larger impact on your future finances than saving money from a “side hustle” likely would.

So take it from Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, personal injury lawyers who work in your future profession and who frequently see the results of accidents that disrupt people’s lives and work. Personal injury attorneys weigh everything from lost income to changes in quality of life, and it’s hard to take a close look at any one case without seeing the importance of both financial security and living life to the fullest.

You were looking for financial advice, but no less a financial guru than Warren Buffett has gone on record saying that the most important investment you can make is in yourself. You’ll be investing in your future financial wellbeing every time you pick up a book in law school. When you’re not doing that, try to find time for your other passions. If one of them becomes a side hustle, so be it--but seek your passions, not your money, while you’re still in law school. Use your limited free time to invest in yourself and recharge.

“Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.” -- Warren Buffett

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