Food for Thought: Financial Planning Explained as Pizza


May 22, 2020

Describing the principles and benefits of financial planning is often perceived as complex and even dull. A bubbling hot pizza fresh from the oven, however, has never failed to grab our attention and our appetites. With this in mind, we decided to try and capture the basics of financial planning by using everyone’s favorite Italian delicacy as a backdrop—Buon Appetito!

An Ingredient List for Success

Like any good venture—whether it is “I am going to make a pizza” or “I am going to build out a comprehensive financial plan”— you need to first define where you are going. Both previous examples clearly define a goal based on what you are looking to accomplish.

The more specific your goal becomes, the easier it is to create an “ingredient list” for success. If you are looking to make a Hawaiian pizza, but do not currently have pineapple and Canadian bacon nearby, it might be time to head to the grocery store.

Become One with Your Kitchen Cabinets

Sometimes we treat our finances the same way we treat our kitchen cabinets—we have a rough understanding of their contents but push off the task of taking inventory, wrongfully trusting our memory to be a precise ledger.

A fervent home cook and a financial planner both recognize the importance of tracking the ins and outs of their respective domains. This allows them to make sure that they are getting the most out of each ingredient. You might have attempted a pizza night in the past only to realize “Oh darn, I used up all that shredded cheese to make nachos last week,” being on top of your inventory can help stop these moments from happening.

Patience is Delicious

At their core, both financial planners and the best pizza makers in the world share an adoration for the same value: patience. A novice in the kitchen might be intimidated by the effort required to make a mouthwatering pizza. Whether it’s kneading the dough, simmering the sauce, or cooking it all perfectly in a scorching hot oven—the process can go from a delicious goal to a dauting journey. The same can be said for people looking to save for college or prepare for retirement!

A gourmet pizza maker understands that the most delectable results take time to bring to life. Like any project, there will be unexpected moments—perhaps a fussy dough that refuses to rise or a topping that needs to be more evenly dispersed—but once you start seeing the outcome (or tasting it), you will know why you put in all that effort.

Personal Pizza or Pizza Party?

The time has come—after putting in the work, you have pulled your cheesy, melty masterpiece from the oven and you’re ready to feast. Since digging in haphazardly right now will probably result in a molten mozzarella burn on the roof of your mouth, perhaps it is time to think about how you will slice up this pie.

How are you planning on distributing what you have created? Just like your personal finances, having an idea of who you are sharing your pie with will affect how you slice it up. Maybe the pizza is a treat for just you and your spouse, so you chop the pie into 4 mega pieces. Perhaps your kids need to be factored into the equation too and cutting the pie into squares can help you feed more people!

Financial planning and pizza share another dogma as well—you always want leftovers! Taking down your entire culinary masterpiece in one sitting may seem like the perfect idea at the time, but remember that you will also be hungry tomorrow and the day after that. Both activities we have covered today require mindsets for the future, whether you are strategizing for your financial health or enjoying a piece of cold pizza straight out of the fridge the next day.

Thanks for reading!

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