I am a Pollinator Gardener and a Money Coach. Is there a connection between the two? Yes, there is.
Money is one of the biggest stressors in relationships and in life. When you have Financial Freedom, it creates space, choice, and yes, freedom to live life more energized and at the same time more relaxed.
Being a pollinator gardener, I observe nature daily, right outside my door. Nature is creation in action- energized for sure, but also so peaceful and relaxing. For any of us that have spent time in nature, we know the feeling of renewal and resetting that nature brings into our lives.
Nature as a Money Teacher
Nature demonstrates many core money principles. Below are a few:
- 🦋 You have to plant seeds to have growth. (Start investing young. You are planting the seeds of wealth.)
- 🦋 There are stages in life, the egg, the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and finally, the butterfly. (Creating wealth is also a journey, with stages. You do not need to rush the process, but you must stay the course to see the transformation.)
- 🦋 Know what you are feeding yourself. Butterflies must lay their eggs on a specific host plant because that is the plant the caterpillars will eat to survive and thrive. (What money thoughts and practices are you “feeding” yourself daily? Are they helping you or harming you?)
- 🦋 Be aware. If you observe birds, you will see that they are acutely aware of their surroundings- it is a survival mechanism. (Be aware of your money situation. Have your eyes wide open, do not bury your head in the sand or look away.)
- 🦋 Take flight. Watching birds, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and ladybugs take flight in my garden is a joy to behold. (Take flight in your life. First comes the thought, the dream, and then the practices, the actions, to make your dream a reality.)
- 🦋 Everything is connected. The pesticide-free, nutrient rich soil nourishes the plants, which feeds the caterpillars, who transform to chrysalises and ultimately butterflies, that then pollinate the plants to start the cycle again. (Money is interconnected with almost everything in life. Healthy money practices build upon and complement each other.)
Healthy Money Practices
Creating Financial Freedom in your life is a combination of positive mindset, knowledge, and healthy money practices. There are multiple core money practices that when followed begin to build your financial house and improve your relationship with money.
Having an emergency fund and maintaining a high credit score are two of these core money practices. They both deserve more in-depth coverage but today my focus is on the essential money practice of a monthly budget.
In order to have control of your money, to make it work for you, and to get on the path to Financial Freedom, you must know how much money you have coming in and going out. Additionally, you need to know where you are spending your money.
This may sound simple and most people will say something like, “I generally know where my money goes each month.” Yet, if then asked how much money have you spent on groceries this month, the answer is usually, “I do not know.”
There is power in the knowing.
The Magic of Compound Interest
How can you choose where to allocate your money if you are not tracking (in real time) where it is going? Here’s a simple example:
A person is not investing any money because, “I can barely meet my monthly living expenses.” Then after tracking expenses for one month, the person realized they spend a substantial amount of money on take out food. This person makes a shift in money habits, to cook at home more. The persons takes $100 of the $200 spent monthly on take out and starts automatically sending $100 a month to an investment account that gives a 5% annual return.
In 10 years that $100 a month investment will be $15,848.14. That is $3,848.14 in free money. Also, do not forget, that if you did not create the healthy money practice of budgeting $100 a month for investing, it is likely there would be zero dollars at the end of 10 years.
So, let’s play a little. What if that monthly budgeted investment amount was $200 a month, for 10 years at a 5% return. In 10 years the amount will be $31,696.29. That is $7,696.29 in free money! Experiment with the compound interest calculator below and get excited about budgeting and investing!
There is so much more to talk about regarding budgeting and how everything in money is interconnected. For now, I will close with:
A monthly budget is a core building block of creating financial stability and ultimately, Financial Freedom, in your life. Remember to automate those monthly investments. You can feel energized and relaxed, knowing you are creating solid, healthy money practices. When you need inspiration, observe nature and be in awe of all that is possible.
Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra