What do Sourdough Bread and Financial Planning Have in Common?

Using Sourdough Baking to showcase the benefits of financial planning

Here’s a real life example of the benefits of financial planning. It’s been a long time goal of mine to bake my own sourdough bread. After spending a year in France during college, and eating my way through European bakeries, bread and baking are big passions of mine.

Last October I took my first sourdough baking course and our teacher sent us all home with sourdough starter that we made ourselves in class. 

A few weeks later, as I made my first batch of sourdough pancakes, it occurred to me that maintaining a sourdough starter (the living, bubbling fermented miracle that lives in a jar in your fridge) is a lot like creating and maintaining a solid financial plan.

Financial planning and baking are both activities that require a delicate balance of art and science. The artistic aspect of baking bread or ‘baking’ a financial freedom plan demands creativity and vision. The scientific aspect is the careful measurement of ingredients and enough time ‘in the oven’ to achieve the best possible outcome.

You get quick ‘wins’

The learning curve for the starter was doable.There’s some fear involved at first (what if I kill it by doing it wrong!) but after a few weeks I’ve got the basics down. Following specific steps to get the right result has proven to work out quite well. I’ve now made 5 loaves of bread, each one better than the first. When it comes to managing your finances, we all make mistakes from time to time. With practice, we get more comfortable and adept and the outcome gets better over time.

You have to stay committed

People who ‘own’ sourdough starter know that it’s a long term commitment. As we say in the financial coaching world…It’s a process, not an event. Some sourdough starter owners take their starter with them on vacation so it doesn’t die, or they leave it with a babysitter. Seriously. It needs weekly feeding and care or it will die. (Don’t worry, your financial plan requires a long term commitment and regular attention, but please, do not take it on vacation!)

Your outcome is determined by your vision 

A meaningful and sustainable financial plan for whatever outcome you desire–early retirement, debt reduction, or saving to buy a house—requires a vision for your life. Your best life possible…for today and tomorrow. 

Consider the sourdough starter to be your vision…it’s the foundation of everything. When you add in a healthy dose of passion (water) and grit (flour), those two ingredients that on their own are inert benefit from the starter (vision) to activate growth! Because the starter is the vital essence of bread; we must tune in to it and focus intently on it to ensure its needs are met, or the bread simply doesn’t rise. 

Goals act as heat (energy) to inspire the baking process

Tired of walking through the world with a half-baked plan? Our financial and life goals are what inspire us to apply a step by step approach to achieving them. Let’s say you set a goal or dream of one day living in a home that feels and looks like the sacred sanctuary of your dreams. You won’t get there if your plan is half-baked. 

Sustained energy produces results

As a financial coach, a significant part of my role is setting goals and deadlines with my clients. We all need accountability for some of the sustained commitments in our lives. Like a nice hot oven that churns out bodacious loaves of bread, accountability keeps our goals active, achievable, and effective. Financial planning has many benefits, and like eating healthy food, when we do it consistently, we simply live better.

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Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell is a financial coach who helps women take charge of their money and create a path to financial freedom…on their terms. Elizabeth’s approach to feminine money mastery includes a step by step, holistic approach that helps her clients discover a capacity to learn the language of money, create financial and life goals, and make smart financial decisions today for a worry-free, beautiful future.

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