Water Your Money Tree Regularly

01Jul10

In the Asian culture, money trees are symbols of wealth.  “The money tree plant is particularly associated with China, and is often given out at Chinese New Year complete with red banners and other lucky decorations (WiseGeek.com, 2010).  Borrowing this epic from the Chinese, to understand how to “grow” our money, we must learn timing and planning.  

For Americans, our money trees are sick and dying.  We rely on credit cards to buy things and are wasteful.  We drive big cars and live in big houses.  This is the perception from those in other countries…and it shows according to our savings rate.   America has one of the lowest savings rate compared to other nations.

When I was employed in the mortgage/banking industry, I learned the entire process involving funding loans from qualification and application submission to appraisal process and closing.  Needless to say, I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of applications within almost a decade of employment.  It quickly became apparent to me that potential and existing homeowners had very little savings (a 401k or other retirement plans, what’s that??) 

In addition, I was involved in customer resolution, which required that we assist our customers in regard to teaching them how their loans work, options available to them to meet their financial needs, and other ways to improve their current financial situation.  At one point, I recall feeling hypocritical.  Why?  Well, I was making fairly good money yet did not have much to show for.  I spent money on anything I wanted with no boundaries or care.  This revelation was the beginning of a long process (which is still happening today) towards “caring” for my money tree. 

What ways have you cared for your money tree?

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