I found this rustic rabbit coin bank here, on etsy. I was looking for some vintage bunny bank as my image for today's post and I found this. I am not even sure if it is cute. But something about it is exactly why it's here.
It's here because it's simple and hand-made and practical and those are the exact words that could describe our financial plan.
At some point, I was elected CFO of this corporation of 3. Maybe it was because I had the most to learn about money, in both spending and saving it, or maybe it was because I had the most to heal around money. I have fought and cried my way through Quicken and tax preparation, I have ground my teeth through retirement planning and self-employed IRA's and I triumphed over private mortgage insurance, reappraisals and loan repayment. And so when I read a short essay about money and finances in the year of the Rabbit in early January, I paid attention. I paid attention because I finally feel like I am orchestrating our financial life instead of being orchestrated by it.
Katy Song is a CFP who works for Vita Vie Financial Planning, a resource for new families. She writes a column in the newsletter that I receive and to be honest, its the only feature that I really read. This one, titled "Three Cheers for the Year of the Rabbit" stayed with me, and here is why:
Chinese Rabbit wisdom: Money can be made without too much labor. Life should be leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuries which we have been craving.
Katy's suggestion: Pick the one thing that means the most to you and is financially feasible and commit to doing it in 2011.
Chinese Rabbit wisdom: However, do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort, and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty.
Katy's suggestion: Look at your list of wants to to-do's for 2011 - if you try to do everything on your list, you may end up lessening the value of each individual item.
Chinese Rabbit wisdom: Use diplomacy to get what you want, not force. By using persuasion, acting with discretion and making reasonable concessions, you will get your desired outcome without too much difficulty.
Katy's suggestion: Are you thinking of buying a new home or asking for a raise? Use reason and persuasion instead of issuing ultimatums to get what you want.
Chinese Rabbit wisdom: Law and order will be lax. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities.
Katy's suggestion: Do not let the calmness of the Rabbit cause another year to go by. Look at your Financial To Do list and commit to tackling the goals that have been there for years.
So, take a deep breath and then exhale. Exhale all the stuff that doesn't feel important and start to think about that which is important but has been too scary or overwhelming to tackle. Because there is room to sort it all out, one hand-made piggy or rabbit bank at a time.