How Your Financial Life is Like a Recipe (FREE recipe follows).

Often, people tell me that they can’t save money, contribute more to their retirement or pay down their debt. Without a guide and some effort, that is true. However, a good financial plan for your life is a lot like a recipe. Think about how a recipe is a basic guideline that outlines the tools, ingredients, actions and time necessary to achieve an end result. A financial plan is very much the same.

Think about baking a cake. Do you know how to do this from memory? Most likely, you do not. You do know that you need certain tools like a bowl, mixer and measuring cups, and ingredients like flour, eggs, oil and that you need to take certain actions such as mixing together the right ratios of ingredients and that you need to bake your cake for a specific amount of time. Well, engaging with your financial life and improving your overall wealth and financial soundness is just like a recipe. You need tools and ingredients to make your plans come to fruition. Think of one ingredient as being a desire to change and one of the tools being the knowledge a financial planner can impart. The action on your part is to get started – hire the planner! Don’t forget the key element of your plan – time. Time is the one aspect of the planning process that cannot be recovered so starting sooner rather than later is crucial.  

Now, for that FREE recipe. This is a recipe that was shared with me by my niece in Washington. It is a recipe for harissa stewed butternut squash and it is delicious! To me, it isn’t really so much “stew” like, as it is a hearty, tasty squash dish that conjures up comfort and family time. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (I use red onion, you use what you like)
  • 5 - 7 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of rose petal harissa or 1 tablespoon of regular (I use 2, we like spicy)
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of fromage blanc, sheep's milk cheese or crème fraiche (optional)

First, cut the squash in half, peel, scoop out the seeds and dice into roughly half-inch pieces.  Next, heat a very large, heavy-duty sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. Just as the butter begins to brown a bit, add your squash and season with the salt and pepper. Cook the squash without moving until they start to brown. Once they brown on one side, stir to brown the other side. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, add the olive oil, bring to medium heat, and add the onion, once it starts to become cooked and translucent, add the garlic. Once cooked, add the onion and garlic mixture to the squash.  When you have combined the onion, garlic and squash you then need to add the heavy cream and harissa. Stir and cook until the mixture starts to thicken a bit and the squash are fork tender. They will start to break down a little.  Now, here’s the part where you can adjust the recipe for yourself, just as with your financial plan. Some people like to transfer the mixture to a baking dish and add small dollops of fromage blanc, crème fraiche or sheep’s milk cheese to the top and place the baking dish under the broiler for a short 3 to 4 minutes. If you like it this way, fantastic! Go for it! If not, skip this part and enjoy your butternut squash without the topping.

 The consistency of your squash should look somewhat like this. 

The consistency of your squash should look somewhat like this. 

As an independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I can help you make your “financial recipe” specific to your situation. Keep in mind that your recipe for financial success, is much like a cooking recipe in that you can adjust for your taste and preferences. Contact me and let’s get cooking! #talktometuesday #GetCooking #Hireaplanner #freerecipe #harissa