Tending to Your Financial Garden

Claire the Afena Mom Blog

Tending to Your Financial Garden

Jun 06, 2016
I’ve spent the last few weeks working on the small garden beside our deck. At the beginning of May, this piece of land was the resting place of old fencing, a couple of tires, and some concrete blocks. So despite the fact that it’s currently a square piece of dirt, I feel like I’ve come a long way.

At the end of May, the kids and I planted seeds. First, we weeded the garden, then we used a pole to punch tiny holes in lines. Finally, the girls dropped seeds in each hole, and little man followed behind, covering the seeds with dirt. The fun part, of course, is watering the garden, which quickly turns into water wars, with all of us soaked and jockeying for the water hose.

According to the packages of seeds, we have about three weeks of waiting before that effort results in any flowers, but that doesn’t stop the kiddos from checking once a day. They talk about what colors the flowers will be, how tall they’ll grow, and which ones will bloom first. After the cold and rainy beginning to spring last month, it’s refreshing to find activities to get all of us outside and enjoying nature. 

Planting the garden and waiting for those seeds to grow really has a lot in common with the financial situations so many of us encounter as we navigate our adult lives. 
Clearing out the weeds and debris brings to mind those first few months when I realized that as an adult and needed to be the Chief Financial Officer of my own life and household. It was a lot of work, and it wasn’t pretty, but what a relief to finally tackle those obstacles in the way of financial health: overspending, living on credit, and hiding my head in the sand about my ever growing debt.

Weeding the garden, of course, is an ongoing chore. Weeds are stubborn-kind of like bad financial habits. Even after that initial clean up my financial life, certain behaviors still pop up every once in a while, such as impulse buys or justifying only a partial payment on credit card debt. I like to call that being human, and I think we should all be vigilant for those behaviors, but still show ourselves a little grace and forgive minor transgressions. As long as you don’t let too many of those “weeds” pop up, your garden, and your finances, won’t get away from you.

Of course, planting the seeds has its own financial reference. We all do this when we invest in our financial future, whether that be through a savings certificate, a retirement plan, or an emergency fund. Investing in your education or your home is also planting seeds for a successful financial tomorrow. 

Finally, every day we water those seeds and we talk about what they’re going to grow into. We dream about tomorrow. We make plans. Once you’ve done all the hard work of getting  your financial garden cleaned, weeded, and planted, watching beautiful things grow from your efforts is definitely the best reward. Here’s to planting the seeds for your financial success. I’m Claire,the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.