Managing Money in These 6 Piggy Ways Could Transform Your Financial Life | Happy New Year of the Pig
The Chinese New Year begins February 5 and, as always, is named for one of the Chinese Zodiac’s 12 creatures. In 2019, it is a pig.
In Asian cultures, pigs are the symbol of wealth, fortune and prosperity because of their large ears and chubby faces. That’s why pig-shaped banks remain a popular option for saving and managing money. This year you can put more money in your piggy bank and thrive financially by learning from pigs.
In this article, I share six ways behaving like a pig can help you have a more abundant and prosperous year.
1. Clean Up Your Financial House
Contrary to popular misconception, pigs are very clean. They do their toileting away from their food and water and they never sleep next to manure.
We need that cleanliness in our financial life. It’s essential to get rid of old clutter and make room for the new. For this New Year of the Pig, how about cleaning up your financial house and systematizing it?
One way is to start budgeting. Statistics illustrate that the majority of Americans never plan their finances. Budgeting simply means to chart in advance where the money comes in and where the money goes. For millions of people, the first three months of the New Year are the most expensive as they struggle to pay off their Christmas debt. Many people will have already fallen into debt or are about to. When you prioritize your spending and stop overspending you will save cash and your sanity. Unclutter your financial life by living below your means and being frugal.
2. Build a Solid Financial Fence for Your Future
Do you know why pig farmers create strong pens and fences? Apparently, pigs can easily escape from even a good fence—or even a truck moving at 70 m.p.h. You might remember the story of Wally, a 250-pound pig that jumped off a truck as he was being driven to the slaughterhouse.
Clearly, Wally didn’t feel protected in that truck and his experience is a perfect example of why we need to provide a more secure environment for pigs and ourselves. If you want to put more money in your bank, investment or retirement account this year, you first need to build a solid fence to protect it by creating a strong financial plan.
Even in the midst of dealing with the rent or mortgage, utilities, property taxes, groceries or kids’ education expenses, you can still look at the big financial picture and create a fiscal plan that best suits you.
Think about where you want to be financially 5, 10, 20, and 30 years from now. Based on your clear goals and objectives, create a roadmap for getting there. If your financial “house” needs retirement plans, insurance protections, long-term care or disability policies, estate planning tools, or tax sheltering options, consult the right professionals.
Without a secure financial plan in place, your hard-earned money might easily slip through your fingers through insensible spending, unexpected situations, hefty income taxes, or other expenses. By building a solid financial plan, you can save more money now and in the long run.
3. Try New Things
Researchers have learned that pigs can swiftly learn new behaviors and adapt to new environments. They can even play video games and enjoy them.
Some scientists believe pigs are smarter than three-year-old children because they can remember their names and respond quickly. A toddler might not understand you and may ignore you when you call them, but not a pig.
We are much smarter than pigs, aren’t we? That means we can learn anything. To put more money in your piggy bank, what can you learn that you haven’t done before? For example, if you pay a lot of income taxes, find out if you are eligible to make a contribution to a traditional IRA or a SEP-IRA. Or set up a corporation instead of doing business as an individual. If set up properly, incorporating generally provides more tax write-offs that can save you money.
The possibilities are endless and there are many ways to put more money in your piggy bank this year if you simply learn new things within your reach.
4. Work as a Team
Did you know that pigs are great communicators? Believe it or not, they constantly chatter with one another through their oinks, grunts, and squeals. By nature, pigs are independent, but they also like to work together as a team. Sometimes they even help other pigs escape!
If you want to add more money to your piggy bank this year, consider working with a group of professionals to escape from an economically chaotic situation you can’t combat on your own.
For example, if you are in debt, work with a debt consolidation expert. If you owe lots of taxes, work with a tax advisor. If you are stressed over gift taxes or estate taxes, consult an estate attorney. If you need investment advice, talk to a financial advisor. And if you need insurance protection, meet with an insurance agent. They can suggest escape strategies and ultimately put more money in your piggy bank.
5. Cut Children’s Expenses
Kids are expensive. The cost of raising a child in the U.S. to age 18 soared to $233,610 in 2018 with no end in sight. Some couples can’t afford to have kids these days, but what if you already have a child or two? How can you augment your piggy bank and have an abundant year? Learn from pigs again. They have a solution.
Pigs don’t buy new toys for their piglets. They simply use whatever they have. They are cheap, but successful in entertaining their babies. Newborn piglets respond to their mothers’ voices because mother pigs sing to their young while nursing. Usually, mother pigs like to play with baby pigs in the mud or in their pen. They have a good time.
Similarly, what your children want most from you is not your money, or the coolest gadgets or the most expensive gifts but your time. Spending quality time with your children by drawing, playing ball or riding a bike in the park will not only save you money but also bring more joy to your heart and the heart of your child.
Try to be thrifty when entertaining your kids by doing something fun and creative without breaking your bank.
6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You’ve heard the expression to sweat like a pig. Pigs don’t actually sweat. Pigs like to wallow and bathe in water or mud to cool off. And while you may be anxious or frustrated because of all the financial burdens and obligations you have, pigs aren’t.
Pigs are social and fun. They like to explore their world and play. Apparently, they even like to play with soccer balls and get massages. Pigs can relax in the sun, even though tomorrow may be the last day of their lives. It’s in their DNA; they are laid-back and optimistic.
You may be going through some tough monetary situations right now, but it’s the beginning of a New Year. You can get through your rough patch and come out stronger on the other side! Don’t sweat the small stuff no matter how muddy your financial house is. Relax and keep cool like pigs.
When you are in a relaxed meditative state, more positive energy emerges that helps you think more creatively. You might just discover your next million-dollar business idea. If you put these six piggy ways into daily practice and emulate pigs’ best personality and behavioral traits, you can make this Year of the Pig the most prosperous year yet.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash