What gardening can teach us about handling our finances

Soil, sun, water and seed: The ingredients of a garden are simple, but the final

Soil, sun, water and seed: The ingredients of a garden are simple, but the final product is never guaranteed. Willing a plot of land into a vibrant state of bloom takes intention, know-how and no small amount of trial and error.

Like many people staying at home, I spent much of the past year tending to the soil of my yard and crafting a garden oasis of my own imagination. The work wasn’t easy, and I’m sure many now-dead plants wish that I’d been a little more proficient.

But as my vision came to life — and I realized the care that this new hobby requires – I saw parallels between tending to a garden and handling finances with intentionality. Here’s what my garden taught me about managing money.

Have a vision

Before you put a spade into the ground — or sign up for a new financial instrument — define what you want to accomplish. Like a garden, your financial future can be a reflection of your passions and priorities.

“There are no rules – it’s your garden,” says Brooke Edmunds , associate professor of community horticulture with Oregon State University Extension. “Don’t be afraid to try new things. You’ll get so much joy out of the pride of growing things yourself.”