Grit Blogs > Close the Gate

Brownies for a New Year

A photo of Nancy KraayenhofI cannot believe the year 2010 will begin in a few short days. I accept as truth that I have some resolutions to make; some changes that could definitely make me a better person if I take them to heart and make them a reality.

Seems everyone promises to spend their hard earned dollars more wisely in the future. I would like you to consider the following scene:

Imagine it is Wednesday. A day I have come to know and love as “homemade brownie day.” I want brownies; I love brownies and, doggone it, I work hard and I deserve to eat brownies one day a week.

Brownies ready to eat.I stop at the store and pick up the ingredients necessary to bake my brownies from scratch. But before I get home, I begin eating because I am so hungry for brownies and simply cannot help myself. I knock back a couple of eggs; chew up some butter and sugar and wolf down a load of flour and cocoa.


I pull into the driveway completely disgusted with myself. I try to hide the evidence, but it’s all over my face and the front of my coat. And the worst part: Eating the brownies was not nearly as satisfying as I had dreamed. It was, in fact, anything but enjoyable. The ingredients for my scratch brownies are gone, and now I feel ashamed and embarrassed.

It’s an absurd analogy, but it illustrates the foolishness of eating food that has not yet been prepared. The very same components that made me sick could have, with timing and work, become a culinary masterpiece. They were not for eating; they were for preparing first and then for consuming.

It is equally foolish and unsatisfying to spend money that has not first been managed. To manage money simply means to take full possession of it, to subject it to a specific plan and then direct it accordingly. It is a matter of creating a season of ownership between receiving and dispersing. Managing money is a learned discipline, a personally gratifying process.

When money flows into your life, you are responsible for what it does, where it goes and how it performs. You are the boss, and you have power over it. You can watch your cash drift away and out of your control, or you can administer it according to a recipe that you have developed.

There are a lot of things that can be beyond your control in this life, but your money does not have to be one of them.

With the New Year soon upon us, a lot of people will target you with schemes to help you keep those resolutions that you should or should not have made. Soon we will be bombarded with advertisements for fitness equipment, gym memberships, weight loss associated groups and many others. These companies will all be vying for, not our health and well being as they would like us to think, but our almighty dollars. They are in business, you know, and their purpose for being in business is to make money. Approach with caution. Do your homework and follow your plan.

Close the gate, reign in your spending, be patient and brownies you’ll bake,

And always remember to gift away a slice of all the cash you make.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, I’m Nancy Kraayenhof.