What do Sourdough Bread and Financial Planning Have in Common?

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.

In October 2019 I took my first sourdough baking course, came home with starter, and have been hooked ever since.

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.

Practice and weekly attention

The learning curve for the starter was doable. Following specific steps to get the desired results has proven to work out quite well, but weekly vigilance is needed (feeding the starter so it doesn’t die). When it comes to managing our finances, a weekly check-in and update of some numbers is really all you need. 

Sourdough bakers know that we are nurturing something precious. Some 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. While your financial plan requires a long term commitment and regular attention, please do not take it on vacation!

Meaning is derived from our heart’s desire 

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. Vision starts with an emotional connection—what does your heart want?

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. 

A fully baked plan is easier to visualize

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. 

Accountability is key to success

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.

If you’d like to read future blogs, get updates on events (online or in your area), and download the Top 10 Habits of Financially Savvy Women, join my list right now!

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.

View all posts by Elizabeth Powell