We left Chicago just before Christmas … it was one of the coldest winters that most could remember, certainly the coldest that I have experienced. The last day of school was canceled due to the cold, so my children didn’t even get a chance to say a final goodbye to their friends.
When we packed the house, we moved into a hotel down the road for a week – for the life of me, I don’t understand why suburban-Chicago hotels don’t have underground parking lots:
In the morning, ice built up on the inside of the windshield …
… I remember, when the temperature ‘warmed up’ for a day or so back to mere freezing (circa 32 degrees) that it felt quite comfortable: no heavy coats, hats or gloves required.
When living inside a refrigerator feels ‘comfortable’ you just know that something’s screwy with the weather!
So, we arrived in Melbourne on Christmas Day to one of the hottest summers on record. Our children’s first day of school was also canceled just a few weeks later, as the hot spell continued, due to the extremely hot weather … that’s the definition of ‘irony’.
And, I got around to contemplating the various ways to water the garden in our rental house, as Melbourne has been plagued by a drought with strict water restrictions:
The house has a rainwater tank – it fills up from rainwater that lands on the roof and is funneled via the gutters – with a fancy automatic pump that starts up as soon as you squeeze the spray-fixture attached to the hose … I used up the whole tank in just one watering of the garden and it hasn’t refilled itself since (well, it is finally full again now). Needless to say, I wasted my time … without another watering, the garden looked as bad as before.
Then, I noticed that I didn’t really need to water the back garden and most of the grass, because there is a very efficient ‘water dripping system’ in the back (but, not in the front of the house … that part of the garden that now looks, well, dead) that just drips the smallest amounts of water under a timer that is only allowed to run 2 hours twice a week … that seems just enough to keep the plants and much of the grass alive.
Finally – and, this is what filled the water tanks – it rained!
In fact, we had a whole series of rainy days (surprising, since it’s summer) that finally put out all of those horrible bush-fires that you may have heard about …
… not only did it douse the fires, but the whole garden has sprung up, and in the space of just a week or so even the weeds look like something from The Day Of The Triffids … seriously!
So, what I learned it that there are two ways to water your garden that work and one that doesn’t:
– You can drip, drip, drip feed your lawn water in the most efficient way, or
– You can water more deeply, less often, but it must be done a number of times, but
– BUT, you cannot simply dump your entire water supply on the garden once and expect miracles.
And, this story actually has something to do with money …
… you see, I think that there’s only two ways to make keep your ‘financial garden’ healthy, and at least one way to guarantee failure:
1. You can follow the Making Money 101 steps of drip, drip, dripping money into your savings account – being very careful not to soak up too much with excess spending – and gradually find your veggie patch bearing small fruit; enough to live on, if you have spartan needs,
2. You can regularly ‘deep soak’ your financial future by large – but, not too large (such that you are left with nothing in reserve) – and regular applications of finances into various Making Money 201 ‘income acceleration techniques – such as small businesses and/or ‘buy/hold, income-producing’ investments – some of which may actually take root and bear an abundance of fruit on their own,
3. You must not be foolish enough dump all of your financial resources into the One Big Thing [Insert Speculation of Choice: Lottery; Business Deal; Sports Contract; Stock Market Holding; etc.; etc.] and hope that it solves all of your financial problems in one fell swoop …
… it rarely does, and it’s no fun going back to ‘drip, drip, drip’ once you have tried and failed 🙁
Great analogy Adrian and well-taken. 😉
Seth Godin posted something on “fell swoops” a while back that is applicable here. He suggests that it isn’t just one fell swoop that does the trick, but many fell swoops. Deep soaking our financial garden is not a one time thing, but is continuous. (Similar to what you outlined in your perpetual money machine posts.) If we remember this, we should be alright.
Here is Seth Godin’s Post: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/06/one-swell-foop.html
> suburban-Chicago hotels don’t have underground parking lots
I think land for the parking lot is cheaper than building an underground garage! That’s why the downtown building have underground parking, the land is so expensive!! 😉
@ Michael – Seth said the EXACTLY the same thing as me .. only MUCH better!
@ Brad – I think you’re right! Still sux, but … 🙂
Multiple sources of income. I believe this is what your referring to, in part 3 when your saying (You must not be foolish enough dump all of your financial resources into the One Big Thing [Insert Speculation of Choice: Lottery; Business Deal; Sports Contract; Stock Market Holding; etc.; etc.] and hope that it solves all of your financial problems in one fell swoop …)
Actually, I am a firm believer in many streams(not too many) but more than 2 or 3 anyway, of income.
@ Steve – Actually, not quite the same thing; I simply mean: “don’t sink all of your money into one big adventure” … try something a little smaller, in case it doesn’t work out.