Growing My Personal Finances Like I’ve Got a Green Thumb

If you’ve ever done any gardening, you know that thinning plants is a part of the process. Thinning amounts to cutting off the tops of the plants that you don’t want to continue growing.

This can be hard to do, especially if you’re someone like me that uh…once did a science experiment to try and prove that plants have feelings. It can seem so sad to cut off those poor little plants that you just spent time faithfully watering, but it’s important.


When you thin out plants, you choose the weakest, straggliest little plants to cut off. This leaves room for the ones that have the best chance for survival to grow big and strong. They don’t have to compete for nutrients with the ones that probably won’t make it anyway.

So what does this have to do with personal finance?

Chances are, many of us dabble in a lot of different areas of personal finance. I’m probably one of the worst at this, as I tend try out all kinds of things. I do a little bit here, and a little bit there. When I do too many things, I end up not doing any of them all that well. And I have a few financial habits that I could do without.

So why not thin out the ones that aren’t working for me, or that I’m not receiving a good return on investment on? Spending my time keeping up with the paperwork from 3 different investment accounts isn’t a good use of my time. It’s taking energy away that I could be using to say, research stocks instead, or any number of things. I need to put my energy into the things that are likeliest to provide the best results.


  • Ken

    Another take is our money is like tending to a garden. If I lose discipline the weeds (bad habits) can take root and leave quite a mess. Been there done that.

  • I’ve been following your site since back when it was bluntmoney, and this post is one of your best ever IMO. I have trouble focusing on important (productive) things and letting the less productive things go too. As an aside, what font are you using with the new site? It doesn’t render well on my home PC (WIndows XP SP3) no matter what browser I use. Looks fine on my kids PC though so I think maybe I just need to install a font… Anyway, hope you do well with the new site.


  • @Ken, good point about the weeds. Financial weeds can be sneaky things too.

    @Ken Deboy, thanks! Glad you like the post, and I’m glad you followed me here :) The fonts should be either Helvetica, Arial, or just any sans-serif available. I wonder if something is up with that.