Gardening is one of my favorite ways to spend a summer Sunday afternoon. There is something truly exciting about planting and tending towards a fabulous harvest. Growing up, I spent many summers learning from the best- my grandparents. For them, gardening was a retirement hobby, but for my siblings and me, it was a wonderful family experience. Rain or shine, the tradition grew each summer continuously adding more into the mix. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, watermelon, and five hundred pounds of potatoes later we soon realized a donation trip to the food bank was necessary.  While my current backyard garden isn’t as big as the many plots we had growing up, I still get cheerful once the warmer weather hits.

Gardening and financial planning are similar, have you considered what’s growing in your financial garden? When developing a financial plan, it is essential to lay the groundwork, build a strong foundation, and carefully tend along the way. Starting with seedlings, these are not as robust as established plants, so there is more at stake with neglecting them. Likewise, new financial habits require care and attention before they can become routine. The takeaway is, don’t delay in planting your seeds. Just as with good money habits, the sooner you start the better.

Once you plant your seeds, you have to nurture them to eventually enjoy the fruits, vegetables, or flowers they produce. This includes plenty of sunshine, water, and soil. Similarly, you also need the same mentality pertaining to your financial garden. When it comes to finances, you invest money and manage it to grow over time, aiming for financial returns. Just as a garden requires regular care like watering, weeding, and pruning, a financial portfolio needs constant attention, such as monitoring investments, adjusting strategies, and managing risks. A healthy garden benefits from a variety of plants, just as a robust financial portfolio benefits from diversification across different asset classes to spread risk.

Success in both areas requires knowledge and skills. When gardening you consider plant care, soil types, and even climate conditions. In financial focus, this is what your advisor is here for. Understanding financial instruments, market trends, and economic indicators. But don’t forget, both require careful planning and a long-term outlook. In gardening, you need to decide where to plant and what conditions are best, while in finance, you must strategize your investments and savings. Patience is essential in both to see the results of your efforts. If mistakes are made, or things get neglected, there are ways to bring things around. Remember, financial gardening is a long-term endeavor. Develop your financial well-being with care, and watch your financial garden flourish!