Investing in yourself can help you stay on long-term savings track

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Retirement. College. Emergency fund. Home repairs. Check, check, check and check. If you’ve been saving faithfully each month for some or all of these things, you might feel as though you’re on a never-ending financial treadmill. It takes discipline, perseverance, and sacrifice to maintain a robust savings effort year after year, while meeting your current financial obligations.

With such focus, it’s possible to get into a rut — always saving for the future with nothing left for today. If so, it might be time to take a step back and focus on the present.

Imagine you find yourself with a small windfall, maybe $500 to $2,500 from a tax refund, work bonus, reimbursement from a health or dependent care flexible spending account. Below are some ideas on how to invest it in yourself.

Focus on your health and wellbeing
Staying active is critical to maintaining good physical and mental health. Regular exercise can help control your weight, prevent disease, improve your mood, boost your energy, and help you sleep better.

Consider using the funds to join a gym, work with a personal trainer or nutritionist, or buy some home exercise equipment.

If you find yourself frequently eating on the run and relying too much on processed foods, it might be time to invest in some new kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, or even a cooking class.

Expand your horizons
Doing something outside your normal routine can shake out the cobwebs and give you fresh inspiration. Take a weekend trip to a new destination, enroll in an adult continuing-education class, or get involved in a new project or hobby.

Consider sweat equity as well. Tackle a home improvement project or help out on a local volunteer effort.

Get up-to-date
Maybe it’s time to update your wardrobe, laptop and/or phone. New clothes and the latest technology can help rejuvenate and motivate.

When you have many financial obligations and family commitments, it’s easy to put yourself last. But occasionally, it’s important to do something for yourself. In addition to the immediate benefits, investing in yourself, your health, and your interests might pay off in the future in the form of lower health-care costs, a wider social network of friends, and a potential way to earn some extra money in retirement. 

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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