FILE – In this May 14, 2018 file photo, a couple walk a path in Fairmount Park as they pass under the bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Maintaining your garden also offers lessons to grow your money. Start by defining what you want to bring to life. Think about the different aspects of your finances – income, expenses, debt – and imagine what you want them to be in a year or five.
By SEAN PYLES of NerdWallet
Soil, sun, water and seeds: the ingredients of a garden are simple, but the end product is never guaranteed. Bringing a property to a living state takes intent, know-how and not a little trial and error.
Like many people who stayed at home, I spent much of the last year tending the soil in my garden and creating a garden oasis of my own imagination. The work was not easy, and I am sure that many now dead plants wish that I was a little more practiced.
But when my vision became a reality – and I realized the care this new hobby requires – I saw parallels between caring for a garden and being conscious of finances. Here’s what my garden taught me about money management.
Before you stick a spade in the ground – or sign up for a new financial instrument – define what you want to achieve. Like a garden, your financial future can reflect your passions and priorities.
“There are no rules – it’s your garden,” says Brooke Edmunds, associate professor of community horticulture at Oregon State University Extension. “Don’t be afraid to try new things. You will have so much joy from the pride in growing things yourself. “
The way in which you manage your money is also an individual task. “When you envision your goals, a good starting point is to define your needs, wants and what is important to you,” said Lacey Langford, a North Carolina finance coach. “Not everyone values the same thing. Some people appreciate a nice home, a nice car or a pension plan more. “