Are you a gardener? Are you good with your money? I have a wee theory going, and it is: gardeners should be good with their money. Perhaps I’m way off base on this, but let’s explore this idea of how personal finance is a heck of a lot like being an excellent gardener.
Sow the seeds
To have a garden at all, you must first plant one. Sure, you could just sling some seeds down onto some bare earth and hope for the best. Or you could prepare the soil and carefully place the seeds in the sort of location each plant desires.
With your money, you can just stack up cash around your house or have some random accounts scattered about. OR you can thoughtfully construct a plan to have the appropriate types of accounts for each savings goal you might have.
After the seeds are in the ground, you can’t just dust your hands off and go have a beer. Plants, and seeds in particular, need TLC to reach their full potential. Careful daily watering will help your plants thrive.
Your finances need regular TLC, too. Watching your accounts grow and adding funds to them regularly will result in money that blooms.
Pull the weeds
Regular watering and sun will help your seeds grow, but weeds will also pop up to join the party. Spending time to regularly clear out the weeds helps give your plants the room they need to grow big and strong.
What do you suppose are the weeds of your financial life? Yep, stupid stuff you spend money on. Regularly taking time to weed out the extraneous expenses from your budget is key. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, gets lax over time, especially when money is plentiful. As a result, everyone can benefit from an annual review of the household budget. Cut out those expenses that are meaningless or unneeded and give your savings a boost instead.
Have a plan
Just like gardens do better if you don’t chuck the seeds all over the place, crops you wish to grow will do better if you develop a good garden plan. Rotating your crops from year to year can provide more robust produce if you are a vegetable gardener. If you grow flowers, planning a design that will blend plants that flower in different seasons will increase your enjoyment of your beautiful garden.
When it comes to your finances, you can also benefit from a thoughtful plan. What are the goals you would like to achieve with your life? What sort of money is required to fund those goals? Where is the best place to save and invest for your future? These are all questions that will help you develop a plan. I cannot overstate the effectiveness of having concrete goals and a plan when it comes to your money.
Enjoy the harvest
When your plants are mature and produce for your consumption or enjoyment, stop for a moment and be grateful. The careful work you put in early and often on your garden will create a bountiful harvest later in the summer and fall.
Your finances can also create a harvest experience. This takes the form of finally using your savings to buy the car you need, retiring from work knowing you have saved enough to support your family for the remainder of your life, or other worthy financial goals. Just like with your garden, before you spend that long-saved money, take a moment to be grateful.
See? Growing your money IS a lot like growing a garden. If you are lazy and careless with your garden, you will likely notice a lack of produce or blooms. Consistent attention and labor in your garden will pay off in lush greenery, flowers, and produce. Similarly, consistent attention to your financial life will pay off in the form of an abundant life.
Now, stop reading and go tend your money garden!
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