Funding your house plant obsession with a dedicated bank account

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I’m a pandemic houseplant hoarder. I never invested my time in houseplants until I related to them on a personal level - stays in all day, withers if it doesn’t get a little sun and water regularly. But since 2021 I’ve begun collecting houseplants, and thanks to my multiple Pinterest boards, I’m officially obsessed with how they make any room look great. In my first sweep, I bought four snake plants and three jades, all low maintenance and all pretty. I had a few more sweeps before I realised that plants, in fact, are actually more expensive than they seem. It’s easy to not notice it on face value but once you dive deeper you’ll see that the cost of a plant, a pot, soil, add ons like fertilisers, soil nourishers, adds up to quite a bit. Especially when you know you won’t stop at just one plant. 

Obviously, it’s not rational to ask anyone to reduce their plant obsession or just stop doing one of the few things that make them happy.  If you’re a plant hoarder, look into how much you’re spending on plants. There’s multiple ways you have a thriving garden without draining your bank account.

1. Keep it simple 

It’s easy to get swayed with buying many plants and building a diverse garden once you’ve successfully kept one plant alive. But it’s important to keep it simple. Go with plants that will take less of your time, effort, and money, to live. Succulents are known to be just this. While it might seem totally possible for you to take care of high maintenance plants, know that it isn’t just about the care you can give. Think of plants as investments and try to break them down into high risk and low risk investments. With plants, it’s best to start with low risk ones and invest in more expensive plants only when you can financially maintain them. 

2. Start a rotation

The one thing I’ve observed about plant parents is that they always want to try growing new plants. It’s all fun and games here, until you’ve spent all your savings on buying and maintaining these new plants. The one smart way to go about this is to keep your plants in rotation. Make some friends who are also Plant Parents (and live around you) and once every few months, swap a few plants. Apart from feeding your urge to buy new plants, what this can also do is give you a trial period of growing certain plants before you go all out and spend on them. 

Alternatively, you can also swap a few plants with a Nursery if they’re up for it. But this would be more of a permanent exchange because the chances of you getting your original plants back is minimal. 

3. Make it an income source 

This one’s for the more energetic ones. I have around fifteen plants at home and I sound terrible saying this but sometimes I’m just not able to give all of them attention and care. Now I know that people keep more than a hundred houseplants, which obviously isn’t easy on their wallets. There are multiple websites, nurseries and social media pages which can become easy platforms for you to sell a few of your plants regularly. It might be difficult to sell your plants but think of this way - if you aren’t able to tend after all your plants, you might as well sell them to someone who can. Plus, it’s a great side income to have, and can only add a bit more fuel to your plant parent journey.  

4. Smart Deposit your way up

Be it with Fi or otherwise, find a way to create a smart deposit dedicated to your plants. Each time you have surplus savings, put them in a dedicated jar and watch them grow with great return rates. Smart deposits are usually seamless to work with, offer safe options with great returns, and give you the flexibility of withdrawing your money when you need it. In addition, with FIT rules you can choose how much you want to save each time you spend on something in that jar. If you’ve spent Rs 600 to buy a new plant, create a FIT rule where you’ll put Rs 100 in savings. Having a dedicated savings jar for your hobbies gives you an exact idea of how much you spend/save on it and also keeps your budget in line. 

 5. Focus on what you have 

Keeping in line with 1) and 2), plant hoarders can get a bit too quick to jump to new plants. This is obviously a stressful habit for your savings, (apart from being stressful on your existing plants). Instead of focusing on getting new plants, create goals where you decide to focus on growing the ones you have currently. Eg - Don’t buy a new plant until you haven’t grown your recent one successfully for eight months. Gardening is a great hobby to have, but it needs consistency on your end. Each time you buy a plan, try to have a mindset where you decide on how long you want to grow it consistently. 

To dig it all up…

There are definitely more expensive hobbies out there, and gardening gives you the flexibility of being as expensive as you want it to be. It’s better to stay on the lower end of this, at least in your initial years of working. With how much you might have to travel, move, or just go on trips, having plants can be a huge responsibility. Think about how committed you can really get before hoarding a bunch of plants.

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