The Best Way to Spend $1,000 in Your 20’s
You’ve probably seen this kind of article before. The best way to invest $1,000 is to put it in your CPF, drop it in a fixed deposit, blah blah blah. Here at MoneySmart, we say screw that. If Lex Luthor can turn a clock radio into a freeze gun, $1,000 ought to win you an entire continent. Here’s how you get started:
Are you in your 20’s, and have a $1,000? Brilliant.
If this were any other finance website, we’d be writing things like “save the cash and don’t spend it, and remember to live on roadkill as often as possible to save lunch money”.
Forget that. MoneySmart is for the people who want to enjoy life, get rich, and pay our way onto a reality show where we can act like asses with zero consequence (except maybe a growth in fan base).
In light of that, here’s what we say is the best way to invest $1,000:
1. Spend It on a Website That’s Also a Super Portfolio
Go register a domain at GoDaddy.com for like $20 a year. Then, hire a freelance web developer to create the most awesome website about you, and your accomplishments. For a $1,000, you can expect a pretty slick layout, graphics, maybe a bit of sound, etc.
Is it indulgent? Yes. Is it a waste of money? Hell no.
It’s an impressive thing to show when trying to close a deal, or get a job. When I did this back in ’02, employers who Googled me quickly realised that, by comparison, my website made theirs resemble a young child’s trousers after a bad accident with spoilt milk.
I was pretty much hired on the spot, when I explained digital marketing and image.
Also, if you put interesting stuff up on your site (e.g. your last base jumping holiday in Thailand), it tends to get shared on social media. That’s a good way to end up finding new contacts and job offers.
It also helps when your resume and portfolio are instantly accessible via your phone or tablet – you never know when you’ll run into a CEO, talent scout, or competitive cousin at a reunion dinner.
2. Spend It on a Personal Grooming Course
(The course itself probably won’t cost $1,000, but you’ll probably need to buy the wardrobe afterwards)
What did you think of when I said personal grooming? I bet it was someone suggesting a hairstyle, or picking out clothes for you. And that’s certainly a part of it, but a good course covers more than that. It includes things like:
- Speech patterns
- Body lnaguage
And more. If you think it’s just superficial, then you clearly haven’t met enough C-suite executives. You know that subtle confidence and charisma projected by CEOs, or rock directors? That’s the kind of aura you can develop, with some practice.
Of course, it won’t make a real, deep change to your character. But it’s enough to charm an audience for the hour your presentation takes, or wow an interviewer.
If you think the price for this is steep, look at it this way: what if that $1,000 lands you a job / contract that may pay several times that in a single month?
3. Take Real Estate Exams
You can either hook up with a company, or try to take the exams yourself. Either way, you shouldn’t have problems passing if you can handle basic maths.
If you pass the RES exam, you get two big advantages. First, you can start selling real estate if you ever need a job in a pinch. I’m not saying property agent is a job of last resort. All I’m saying is that, if you ever need a quick source of income, it helps that you can start selling right away.
The other advantage is that in 10 years, you’ll probably need to buy a place of your own; and by then I won’t be around at MoneySmart to help you out (at the rate I’m acquiring enemies in the Yahoo comments section, my assassination is already overdue).
You’ll have to guide yourself, and having done that exam makes you as prepped as possible.
4. Buy Some Blue Chip Stocks
You knew this was coming. Let’s talk about equities, in which fortunes are made, economies are built, and reasons are made up.
Blue chip stocks are shares in 30 companies, which have the highest market capitalisation. While it’s unlikely to make you a millionaire, blue chip companies offer a high margin of safety and (usually) good dividend payouts.
Blue chip companies like Comfort DelGro, for example, have tangible assets (the taxi fleet), potential for growth (everyone says we need more cabs), and are a highly innovative company (in explaining fare hikes).
With blue chip stocks, don’t worry too much about trading (buying and selling for profit). Just hold on to the stocks, and re-invest the collected dividends. Over the course of 10 or 15 years, your small initial investment can snowball into a fortune.
You can drop by POSB or OCBC to take part in their respective blue chip investment programmes.
5. Learn to Cook
(Most cooking courses don’t cost $1,000. But you will need money to experiment. And if you cook like me you will spend most of it on first aid.)
I’m not talking about highly specialised courses here, like the ones just for patisseries. You want to go for basic culinary stuff, which will be enough for your own meals. Apart from the “soft” reasons (it’s an accomplishment, mum will be so proud, etc.) I can point out a number of times it’s helped me financially:
- When you go abroad, you don’t need to eat out so often
- You know that budgeting tip about packing your own lunch? Yeah, you just try it if it means consuming 30 kilos of Nutella sandwiches by the end of the year.
- Save money on dates
- Save money during family gatherings
- There is an INSANE level of demand for competent local kitchen staff, if you’re ever out of a job.
And go do all this now, because by the time your crying kids arrive, it’ll be too late. There’s a good reason we put “in your 20s” in the title. This is the kind of thing 35 – 40 year olds wish they had the time to do.
How would you spend $1,000 as an investment? Comment and let us know!