Over the last year, I was part of a really cool group of women. It was a group of 35 or so ladies from the Junior League of Dallas, and we spent one Friday a month focusing on our strengths and learning about our community. Without this group, I'm not sure I would have made the decision to start my own company(ies). For "graduation" in May, we each received a succulent, and were encouraged to nurture the succulent, and use it as a reminder to also nurture ourselves. Most laughed, joking these would be dead in a month. I took two.
I walked by both of my succulents today, and thought, taking care of your plants isn't so different from taking care of your money. You can buy the most expensive and over the top garden to impress your block for the block party, but what about one, three, nine months from now? You can buy the most expensive car, house, clothes, <insert object of your choosing here>, but how will that "thing" impact you thirty years from now?
Financial planning is a slow process. You can do everything right, set everything up, and leave it alone. Problem is, you don't see the impact of compounding until years, even decades down the road. If you try to invest in the most popular stock of the day, trade too much, or go all-in on the company you work for, you ignore the importance of diversification, which could set you up for a big loss down the road. In the succulent world, if you water your succulent everyday, there's a good chance you'll lose it. I water mine once every 1-2 weeks, and they are thriving. I guess my few takeaways from this succulent analogy are:
1. try to avoid spending to buy happiness.
2. save your money now and buy yourself a comfortable financial future.
3. let your savings breathe - don't overthink or overdo it. they need time to grow!
4. as you build your financial future, don't expect an overnight success.
My husband Clay recently built me a wood structure for an herb garden. I planted tomatoes, sage, tarragon, mint, parsley, and cilantro. I migrated some basil, thyme, and chives from other pots I had around the house. I'm not a master gardener, so this was all an exercise in "wouldn't it be cool if..." All the plants were so tiny when I bought them - the whole presentation looked really dinky. In a little over a month, the whole garden is overflowing the planter. Plants have shorter lives than savings (or we) do, but don't you want your savings overflowing with abundance?