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The question “Does money grow on trees?” is complex. While the notion of money literally sprouting from a tree may seem far-fetched, certain principles and strategies can be applied to make one’s wealth grow similarly!
One key aspect is understanding the concept of monetary growth and how it can be achieved through various financial practices such as savings and investing.
In this article, I will delve into whether money can grow on trees and examine the various strategies and principles that can be applied to make one’s wealth flourish. By understanding the concept of monetary growth and the role of the individual, you can take control of your future finances and make your money grow like a tree!
Table of Contents
How To Create Your Own Money Tree
To understand how this is possible, we need a quick lesson on how a tree grows.
First of all, seeds need to be planted. These seeds take root, and with sunlight and water, they slowly grow into a sapling. From there, the roots grow deeper into the ground and become stronger, and the tree responds by growing to its full potential.
When discussing how to grow a money tree, we need the same resources:
When planting flowers, vegetables, or trees, the seeds are what you need. But is there such a thing as a money seed? Well, the money seed, in this case, is you! You are the engine that makes everything run.
Everything you do or don’t do will determine if and when you build wealth in your lifetime. As you will see, other factors also come into play, but at the end of the day, you will ultimately determine your wealth.
The soil for your money tree is the basic building block of personal finance. If you want to build wealth, you can’t have poor money habits.
You need to have a strong foundation. Otherwise, even if you build a tree and become wealthy, you will most likely lose it all without foundation.
There is an old proverb that says family wealth typically lasts three generations. The first generation builds it, the second generation enjoys the wealth, and the third generation wastes it. This happens because the third generation doesn’t see the hard work and discipline it took to build that wealth.
In other words, they don’t have a strong financial foundation and thus destroy the wealth.
The soil is also your mindset about money. You need a positive belief about money and a wealth mindset. If you have a poor mindset, never thinking it is possible to grow your wealth, chances are you will never see success.
In this example, the water is the stream of income you have. The more income streams, the more water you can give your tree, and the more water it has, the more it grows.
Of course, too much water will ruin the tree and will ruin you too. Hence, it is ideal to have 2-3 streams of income.
Assuming you are single, this would end up being your career and possibly two side hustles. If you are married, you could have two careers and one or two side hustles. The benefit of having more than one source of income is to protect yourself and rapidly grow your wealth since you will be earning more than you are spending.
The sunshine is the knowledge you gain throughout life.
You not only learn by reading and listening to experts and mentors but also by watching the mistakes you and others have made. You will make a dumb mistake with your money; however, the key is not letting it determine your future but learning from it and moving on.
It takes many years for a small tree to grow into a fully mature one. Similarly, money also takes time to grow. In this case, it uses compound interest to grow.
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Over time, your money earns interest, which earns additional interest.
As the cycle repeats itself, the snowball effect takes over, and your money grows faster and faster. You just need to be patient and let the power of time work its magic for you!
Grow Your Savings Like Trees: 6 Effective Steps
Now that you know the resources to grow a money tree, let’s dig deeper into what you should be doing to grow a healthy and long-lasting tree.
#1. Create a Budget
The most important thing is the most dreaded B-word – budget! A budget is your key to wealth. Most people ignore it because they look at it as something painful that will restrict their spending.
However, this is not the case at all! Look at a budget as your tool to grow your wealth.
- Read now: Click here to learn how to start your first budget
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It isn’t stopping you from spending, rather it is helping you to spend smarter to save and grow your wealth. The most important part of it is understanding who you are. I say this because it will determine the best budget for you.
If you like a hands-on, manual approach, an excel based budget is for you. While this budget system takes more work, it is fully customizable, which people love.
YNAB is a favorite of many, but it has a learning curve to it. The alternative I prefer is Tiller. It is an automated spreadsheet budget that gives you control to customize it.
The key to making a budget work is having fun today while still working to reach your goals. You can’t be successful at budgeting if you can’t live for today and have fun. So find a balance between living for today and saving for tomorrow!
#2. Start an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a savings cushion to help cover unexpected expenses. All that matters is that you are adding to it each month to get it fully funded.
When is it fully funded? When you have between 8-12 months’ worth of living expenses.
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To figure this amount out, look at your monthly bills, total them, and multiply that number by 8 or 12. This will be a lot of money, but you will be thankful you have it on hand should you ever need it.
As for where to keep your savings, I like to use an online bank account. They are safe and pay a decent amount of interest. You can read a detailed savings account comparison I created for ideas.
However, if you are short on time, I highly recommend Capital One 360 and CIT Bank.
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Both are super easy to work with, and I haven’t had any issues in the years I’ve been with them. You can open an account with CIT Bank through the link below and start earning a great yield on your savings.
#3. Pay Off Your Debt
Debt is a wealth killer, and when it comes to a money tree, it is a deadly disease.
You will never reach your financial goals or be wealthy if you are in debt. Once you learn to live within your means, you can take steps to start to slash your debt.
What is the best way to accomplish this? There are a few options, and like budgeting, the tool you use depends on the type of person you are.
For most people, using the debt snowball method works best. You can use it for all your debts and it will motivate you to achieve your goals.
#4. Save Money
A simple fact of life – if you save nothing, you will never build wealth.
No matter how tight money is for you, you can still save money. You just have to make it a priority. Most people try to save what is left at the month’s end after paying all their bills, which is why they save nothing.
You need to save first before you pay for anythign. But how do you do this? There are two steps.
If you are covered by a 401k plan at work, you need to invest in it. Not only will you save money first, but you will lower your taxes too. Find out how much you need to contribute to get your employer match.
- Read now: Learn the pros and cons of a 401k plan
This is free money they give you for simply saving. In most cases, it is 5% of your paycheck.
If you earn $40,000 a year and are paid bi-weekly, you save roughly $77 from each paycheck. In other words, your paycheck will be $77 less than it is now (in reality, though, because your taxes will be lower, your paycheck might only be $70 less than it is now).
After you contribute to your 401k plan, you now need to actively save money into your emergency fund or just for long-term savings. Luckily, you can easily do this by setting up automatic transfers.
Log onto your bank and set up a transfer for every two weeks or however often you are paid. Your goal is to save 20% of your income. So if you make $40,000 annually, this comes to $8,000 in savings. You already save 5% in your 401k, so you only need 15%.
This means you have to save $230 every time you are paid. If you can’t do this, don’t give up. Just save as much as you can, even if that means $20, go ahead!
Then as you earn more money, work on saving more until you are at a 20% savings rate. Lastly, if you need help with saving, check out Qapital. It’s a free app that will round up your purchases and transfer the difference to your savings account.
So, if you spend $10.59, Qapital will round it up to $11.00 and transfer $0.41 to your savings account. I’ve been using it for a few months and have already saved over $250!
You can learn more by clicking the link below.
#5. Invest Your Money
If you understand investing and stick with it over the long term, you can earn, on average, 8% annually.
This doesn’t mean you will earn 8% each year, but over time, you will average 8%.
Some years you will earn more; some years, you will earn less or even lose money. But over the long-term, if you stick with it, you can see 8%.
One simple formula will help you see how quickly you will create wealth in the stock market. It is called the rule of 72. Simply take the interest rate you expect to earn and divide that by 72. So in our case, we would take 72 divided by 8.
The answer is 9, which means we can expect our money to double in roughly nine years.
If you have $100,000 invested, you can estimate it will be worth $200,000 in 9 years.
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Want more than $200,000? Simply save and invest more money. While it will still take roughly nine years to double, if you have saved $200,000, this means you will have $400,000 in 9 years. Don’t fall for the trap of trying to earn a higher return.
You add too much risk to the equation; instead of creating wealth, you will be destroying it.
Now comes the question of where do you invest. There are a lot of options out there.
If you are a seasoned investor, you can check out my online broker chart. It’ll help you pick the right broker for your needs. If you are new to investing, the key for you is to keep things simple. You can read my post on creating your portfolios if you want to do it yourself.
If you want some hand-holding, I recommend Betterment. They are a robo-advisor, which is a fancy way of saying they do the work for you. You simply take ten minutes to set up an account and a monthly transfer. They will invest your money in a portfolio that is right for you.
I wrote many topics on investing and keeping it simple for you to be successful. Here is a short list of the basics you need to understand to be successful.
- Read now: Learn the basics of investing
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- Read now: Click here to understand your risk tolerance
To find all my posts, I encourage you to check out my investing category.
By investing in the stock market, you will grow your wealth and money tree faster than you otherwise would.
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#6. Create Additional Streams of Income
To grow your money tree to its greatest potential, you need to work on the side. No, this isn’t some boring part-time job that pays virtually nothing. You need to find a side hustle you enjoy doing and do it on the side. Doing so would increase your earnings greatly.
How do you start?
Make a list of the things you enjoy doing and see if there is a way to earn an income from them. This will take some time and research, but if you put in the effort, you should be able to find a thing or two.
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I’ll use myself as an example here.
I enjoy personal finance, and here I am! I ended up writing about that here on this blog. The funny thing is that in high school and college, I never enjoyed English class. But I now love writing because I get to write about a topic I am passionate about.
My point is, don’t be too quick to dismiss something because you don’t like a part of it.
If I had done that, I would never have started this blog, and when I got laid off in 2013, I probably would have found another full-time job. Instead, I turned my side income into my main income.
While there are all sorts of options out there, the internet is a good place to turn for ideas.
You can find sites like Side Hustling Money that offer endless ideas of side gigs you can start. While it isn’t for everyone, it is a good place to get the wheels turning, as they say.
Here is the real benefit of side hustles. If you can make $10,000 a year on the side and not budget that money for living expenses, you can save 100% (after taxes).
In five short years, you have $50,000 before compounding works its magic!
There you have the steps you need to take to make money grow using your money tree!
Remember, you cannot skip the initial steps and keep moving forward. While you may succeed in the short term at growing it, your tree and wealth will never last. This is because you ignored the key first steps of budgeting and living within your means.
The bottom line is if you want the biggest and strongest tree and the greatest wealth and chance of keeping that wealth over time, you have to start at the beginning. It will take time to grow your wealth, but it will be worth it!
Don’t fall for the con artists that sell you on getting rich tomorrow. If it were that easy, we all would be billionaires!
It takes time, work, and patience.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.