last updated 12/06/2022

Best way to invest $20k (For the Best Return)

Why invest in yourself?

Investing is not just about locking in your money and waiting for wealth to grow.

That’s just one side of the story. If you are already established and have quite a bit of wealth at hand, then the conventional investment approach is a good idea.

But if you are young and inexperienced with little finances, you got to look at other out-of-the-box ways of investing your money.

What do you do if you have $20k at hand? It’s a decent amount of money but not good enough for the lock-in investment approach. It’s best to use this money to grow your knowledge, and skill set and possibly start a business.

There is no investment as good as the one you make in yourself! It can change your entire life trajectory for good. There is no quality as chase worthy as financial independence. Most people slog at a job for years and still struggle with finances.

Their dreams get withered with time. You don’t want that you be your story. So if you have a skill worth developing further, a story worth telling, or an idea worthy of becoming a business, start the journey today. Invest in yourself first.

5 ways to invest $20k

If you have the opportunity to invest $20 k in something, do not rush to a financial advisor and start thinking about shares, stocks, etc. All those investments can come into the picture later.

But first, you need to establish yourself and fulfill your dreams. Once substantial wealth is generated, you can go for those other investments as well.

Remember that all tangible investment assets have limits and associated risks. But your skills and abilities have no limits. They can generate huge returns with limited investment.

Here are 5 ways to invest $ 20k in yourself and generate maximum wealth with little capital.

1.Educate yourself

 Knowledge is an evergreen resource. It sharpens your analytical and intellectual abilities. Knowledge can give you new ideas to generate income if you ever get into a financial crunch.

Consider investing $20k in an education.

There are colleges where the yearly fees are even less than $10k. So with a little bit of good money management and some work on the side, you can manage.

If you’d rather spend just a small part of this money on your education, you could enroll yourself in online degree programs, diplomas, or distance-learning courses.

You could also go for specific professional courses that provide hands-on skills and experience. Whatever your life goals are, a good education would never go waste.

If you are working for a company, a relevant degree or diploma could get you that much desired pay rise you had been craving for. If you want to start your own business, education would give you immense value.

2.Develop a skill-set

Use $20k to develop a skill-set that could help you start a side-hustle, become a freelancer, or be useful in your current job or business.

You could take the best of courses in digital marketing.  No matter what your line of work is, digital marketing is a great asset.

Once you master the right skills, you can start your own digital marketing agency or freelance as an expert, offering your services to clients.

You could invest your money in learning new languages. If you develop an advanced level of skill in a different language, you could start a side gig as a freelance translator or an interpreter.

You can develop multiple skills with just a little bit of investment. Coding, Audio Production & Editing, Video Production & Editing, Freelance Writing, Graphic Design, Animation, Accounting, Media Management, Media Planning, and Business Development are some skills that you could invest in.

Then, there are soft skills like communication that are worth investing in. If you want to start a business in the future, you must know all about entrepreneurship. Spend the $20k on developing a skill set relevant to your business idea. Learn all about finance and marketing.

The best part is that you don’t have to spend the entire $20k for developing a skill set.  

You can probably achieve this in less than $10k. But the payoff would be enormous.

 3.Pursue your hobbies and passions

Your hobbies and passions can become future wealth generation opportunities. You just got to tap into their potential. Use that $20k to turn your hobbies into professional assets.

Maybe you like singing and are passionate about it. Consider investing in regular singing lessons. Set up a small home recording studio.  

You can set up a basic studio at a cost as affordable as $1,000. Or perhaps your hobby is painting. Go for a professional course in visual arts.

Learn all about different mediums and techniques. Maybe, invest in a small home art studio. That will get you into the habit of painting regularly. If you think your artworks are worth it, consider putting them up for sale digitally.

 Some people like to travel. Many of us think that spending our savings on travel is just a waste of money. How could it be an investment? But it can be an investment if you love traveling and can create an entrepreneurial venture out of it.

You could start a travel channel on Youtube, become a travel blogger, or photographer, or do travel-based write-ups.

The idea is to use that $20k to create some tangible earning opportunities out of your hobbies and interests. Even if you don’t see any income immediately, you eventually will.

4.Start freelancing

Freelancing is great. It helps generate extra income and can be used as a testing ground for your business ideas. Most people would be hesitant to launch a business straightaway. But they would be willing to freelance and see how it goes.

Spend the $20k to kick start your freelancing career! All you got to do is invest in a basic office set up and you are good to go.

The next major investment is marketing yourself. As a freelancer, you are the brand. So you must invest in a decent website, the cost would depend on your line of work, goals, and priorities.

You can create a website yourself with minimal cost or rope in a professional web designer. A decent website would cost you at least $2k-$3k.

You might have to invest in offline marketing channels like print promotional material. The costs depend on the kind of services you offer.

If you want to freelance as a makeup artist, you would have to spend on models, shoots, and photography to establish your brand.

If you are working as a freelance writer, the expenditure is minimal. You just need a solid portfolio and some digital marketing, and you are good to go.

 5.Start a business

The best way to utilize $20k is by starting a new business. If lack of funds was keeping you away from setting up your dream business, then this is the time to get going.

$20k is not money enough to set up a big enterprise but you can certainly start a small business. As your business grows with time, you can use the wealth generated to further expand your enterprise.

The idea is to invest this money in something that creates a life-long cycle of capital generation. Once your business is up and running, you can even enjoy the benefits of a passive income.

The best way to start a business with $20k is by developing a business idea around a skill you already have. With digital marketing becoming popular, the expenses of promoting your new business have come down considerably.  

Before you start a new business, you must follow the steps logically. Think of the niche in which you want to launch a business, finalize your business idea, define your target market, create a business plan, and start marketing your business. You must create a strict budget, spending only on necessary things. Since you don’t have access to unlimited funds, it’s important to prioritize and keep yourself away from unnecessary expenditures.

5 business ideas under $20k

1.Freelance writer

Freelance writing is a very lucrative business to start under $20k.

If writing is your skill, just go for it! The investment is minimal, and the returns can be huge if you are highly skilled. You can write creative and communication copy for businesses. ‘

You could specialize in website content writing and blog posts. The options are many. You just need to invest in a great website highlighting your specialization and services. You can also create a profile on freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, etc.

Once you become a successful freelance writer, you can set up your own agency, hire other writers, and provide services to multiple clients. When income starts pouring in, there is no limit to the expansion of your business. But the initial investment for starting this business is pretty low.

2.Digital Marketing Specialist

Digital marketing is the buzzword these days.

The demand for digital marketing has increased manifold. So a digital marketing specialist is one of the most promising career options today.

If you have the right skill set, consider starting as a freelance digital marketing expert. You could set up a full-fledged agency once you have worked with a reasonable number of clients and set up a good market reputation. Again, the initial investment is minimal.

You don’t have to invest in an office space as well. You just got to invest in digital assets important for your work.


Dropshipping is a great low-investment business idea.

It is a retail strategy in which brands don’t directly keep an inventory and distribute the products. The storage and shipping of the inventory are outsourced to third-party suppliers who supply the products to customers on your behalf.

Since you are not directly managing and stocking the inventory, the investment costs go down considerably.

You still have to spend on marketing and search engine optimization though. But you don’t have to invest in setting up a brick-and-mortar store.

So dropshipping is a great business idea for testing the waters before you start manufacturing and selling your own products in an offline store. It can be a profitable business with minimal investment as it allows you to widen your product range, thus giving customers many options.

4.Handmade products business

If you have a skill in making handcrafted products, be it DIY candles, soaps, wall art, or pottery, you could start a handmade product business with the $20k.

With e-commerce sites giving tough competition to brick and mortar stores, now is the time to utilize your skill and sell those handmade products online.

The investment required depends on the kind of products you’ll be making and the material required. But you can be assured that it would be well under $20k.

You would also need to invest in setting up your website and other digital marketing measures. But you won’t have to invest in a physical store.

That would reduce your initial investment significantly. Once your products become a hit in the market and you start making money, you could expand your business and start a local store as well.

5.Mobile food service

 Anything related to food is an evergreen business idea. Mobile food service has become quite a popular and profitable business over the last few years. So if you are a foodie and have an eye for good recipes, this could be your thing.

This business can be easily managed within $20k.

You can go for an old vehicle and with a bit of renovation and repair, you are good to go.

The labor costs are optional, and marketing costs are minimal since you can do most of your promotion and advertising on social media. The great thing about a food business is that there is no end to the amount of profit it can generate.

You just got to catch the taste buds of your target audience and roll out goodies accordingly!

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