You hear it all of the time: money doesn’t grow on trees! Growing up, I heard my Mom use that phrase or a similar one to me multiple times. As an adult, after searching countless forests throughout the world, I did not find a money tree. Then one day last week as I was in my yard, I stumbled upon some change lying on the ground. I looked up and saw a large tree that has money for leaves!
OK, I didn’t find the physical money tree, but metaphorically speaking I did. For a complete understanding of this, I will need to provide you with a nature lesson. For a tree to grow, seeds are planted. Those seeds take root and with sunlight and water, they slowly grow into a sapling. From there, the roots grow bigger and stronger, and the tree responds by growing to its full potential. As the tree is growing, it drops acorns which, if they take root, allow for other trees to grow as well.
Here is how you apply this nature lesson to your finances:
Plant the Seeds
The seeds are the most important thing you need in order to grow your money tree. This is your foundation for all of the good things that will come. Your seeds are:
- Saving at least up to the match in your 401(k)
- Maxing out an IRA account, preferably a Roth
- Having 8-12 months’ worth of cash in an emergency fund
- Having no credit card debt/living within your means
- Saving 20% per month
Growing Your Tree
Once you identify your seeds and do things that reinforce them, those seeds will take root, or become habitual for you. You won’t even have to think about them, you’ll just do them, like breathing.
If though on the other hand, you don’t reinforce your seeds, the root system won’t grow as strong. While your money tree will continue to grow, it won’t be as strong as it could be. Make sure you work hard at making your seeds take root.
In time, your seeds will grow into a small money tree. Your money tree is still vulnerable at this time. But this stage is where lots of growth occurs. You will see your savings grow larger and you will see the results of your hard work. To help the growth along, you can take advantage of the following:
As time passes, your money tree will become an adult tree. At this point, you will have seen most of your growth. After all, a tree cannot grow in height forever. Eventually, the growth slows but the lasting results of the growth are incredible.
Creating Your Own Forest
Even though you have a mature money tree, it doesn’t mean it’s the end. No, your money tree has dropped acorns as it grew and if they land in the right spot, those acorns will take root and grow another money tree for you! These new money trees can be a new business idea or venture or other sources of income. BY creating that initial set of seeds and a strong root system, you are able to take advantage of new money trees that your money tree produces. In order to fully take advantage of these new money trees, you will need to identify what makes you happy so that you can live a life of wealth. This will ensure you get the most from your additional money trees.
Here are some ideas for creating additional income:
- Earning a side income through blogging
- Starting your own business
- Washing Cars
- Mowing Lawns
With hard work and a strong foundation, you can grow as many money trees as you like. Unfortunately, you cannot simply go out into your backyard and pick dollar bills off of a tree. While it does take time, the payoff that awaits you is priceless. So what are you waiting for? Go plant your seeds and start growing your money trees!