Getting your finances in order is an important aspect of achieving a balanced life. At Citywide we also understand the importance of non-financial investments and how they can form the basis of a fulfilled life.
I have put together this list of 5 non-financial investments I personally believe are essential to achieve this balance. Moreover, investing in the things that really matter will inevitably have a domino effect on the way you utilise and perceive your finances. From your children to your health, there is something in this list for everyone, no matter what stage you are at in either your financial or personal journey – it’s important to recognise and live by your values.
My top 5 non-financial investments
1. Your partner:
It is essential to create the time to make memories with your partner, above all else. Taking regular time off – for me, one day off every 6 weeks works – to do the things you love and to be reminded of what you have achieved together. This could be as simple as a lunch out or just a country walk. It is a sad fact that many say they simply “don’t have the time”; but in reality – it’s a matter of prioritisation. As life evolves, so will your relationship and therefore, it is essential you are both on the same page – working towards similar goals and forming the foundations of one another’s support network. This is especially true once you become parents, since a thriving support network creates an environment for children to flourish.
2. Time with the kids:
As a father to four children, I regularly have ‘dad-days’ – one day with one child, completely focused on them. The key is to always let your child decide what to do (within good reason, of course!). So far, we’ve ticked pottery, painting, ice-skating and even taken a trip to Paris off the list. Finding the time and even the energy to keep up can be difficult, but it’s inherently worth it; because inevitably, I find comfort in the knowledge that my children will always treasure their ‘dad-days’.
I’m not talking about fad diets or excessive exercise; but more about implementing forms of fitness into your weekly routine for both mental and physical wellbeing. Not only does engaging in sport make you look and feel great, it is also an excellent way to form friendships and feel a part of something mutually inclusive and enriching. It was a member of my cycling club who shared with me his story of cancer and advised me to get checked. Had it not have been for him shocking me into action, I would not be here today. My advice to anyone reading is to protect your health at all costs; because, whether we like it or not, we only have one lot of it. Have regular check-ups and consult your GP when needs be – if I hadn’t, it could’ve been a very different story. Make sure you get a regular health check up.
4. Giving back to the local community:
I consider my local community to be an extension of my family. Regardless of whether you’ve lived in the community your whole life, or are new to your local area, giving back and contributing helps the development of both yourself and those around you. I became a scout leader, a fantastic experience I would recommend to all of you. Seeing the scouts develop over time is an experience I will cherish for a lifetime.
5. Feeding your mind:
This one is entirely open to your own interpretation; what’s vital is that you keep yourself engaged and your brain ticking. Your mind, just like the rest of the body, needs nourishing and what you put into your brain is just as important as what you put in your stomach. Whether it be art, culture or music, it’s paramount to have a view of the world. For me, I enjoy nothing more than diving into a good book. Some of my favourites include ‘Outliers’ and ‘Fooled by Randomness’ – so much so I pick them up on a regular basis.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and I would invite you to consider what non-financial investments you would like to spend more time on.