It’s been a while since I came up with a new Fortune Fable so I thought I would create a short one to start the year off.
This fable covers some of the most important money topics we should all be teaching our kids. I’ll cover the money lessons at the end.
Fortune Fable: The Geese of Fortune
Once upon a time there were three brothers (but you can change this to three sisters, or name the characters so they are easily recognisable if you'd prefer!). The brothers all worked hard on a farm to earn a little bit of money to pay for food and shelter. They weren’t the happiest of brothers. In fact, most people didn’t like talking to them as they were always grumpy and complaining about things.
After a rather long day working on the farm, they were walking home through the woods. In the distance they heard a strange sound. When they went to look where it was coming from, they discovered 3 small yellow geese.
They couldn’t believe their luck. It appeared the geese didn’t belong to anyone so they each decided to take one of the geese home.
The first brother woke up early the next day and took his goose to the market. As it was yellow, he managed to get a good price, even though it was small. He was so happy as he’d never had so much money before.
He went around the market and bought some new clothes and food for a nice meal. For the rest of the week he decided to take a holiday from working on the farm. He ate like a king and was never happier. However, the money soon ran out and he was back to working on the farm for a little bit of money and was really upset he couldn't keep having the nice meals he'd been having.
As he returned to the farm, he saw his brothers and assumed they had done the same thing as him. However, they both seemed happier than him.
He asked the second brother why he was now happier than before. The second brother explained that he decided to build a small pen for his goose.
He loved eating eggs so wanted to keep the goose at home so that he could have an egg with his breakfast and dinner each day. It really felt like a luxury to him given how basic his usual meals were. Whilst he still had to work on the farm it did make him happier than he was before. He also had a few spare eggs which he would sell at the market to buy himself something nice.
The first and second brother assumed the third brother also used his goose so he could eat eggs, hence why he was happier than before.
He told them “I didn’t sell my goose and I haven’t eaten any of its eggs!”.
He explained that he decided to build a really big pen for his goose. Instead of eating the eggs, he looked after the eggs and allowed them to hatch.
He now has a whole pen full of baby geese. Whilst he hasn’t received any money or eaten any eggs yet, he is happy knowing that in the future, the baby geese will grow and lay more eggs. He can then eat some of those eggs and still have plenty of geese laying more eggs for him to hatch or sell at the market.
Sure enough, over time, his geese were producing so many eggs he had to build an even bigger pen. He sold many at the market and was getting enough money so he no longer had to work on the farm.
Teaching your kids about this story
The key question to ask your kids is:
“Which brother do you want to be like?”
Hopefully they say the third / last brother.
You can use this short fable help your kids appreciate the 3 Rules of Wealth
RULE ONE: Save before you spend
If the geese were money, then the first brother spent all his money quickly. Whilst he was very happy in the short term, it didn’t last long until he was back to where he started.
The second and third brothers saved their money (geese) before spending. They both had long lasting benefits to their lives as a result.
RULE TWO: Invest what you save
This is where the third brother excelled.
Whilst the second brother kept his goose (money) and benefited from doing so, he didn’t see the benefits grow over time as he ate the eggs (income).
The third brother saw his benefits grow as he let the eggs hatch. Just like investing your savings. The eggs are like the payouts from your investments (dividends) and the increasing flock of geese is the value of the investments growing over time.
Take the time to help your kids invest (build the geese pen) by setting up an investment account for them. If you don't know where to start in terms of investing, please check out our updated investment guide which teaches you all about what investing is and how to start.
RULE THREE: Be Patient
This third brother showed incredible patience. In the short term he didn’t have any extra money or get to eat any eggs, despite seeing his brothers enjoy those luxuries. He took the time to build a big pen and waited for the eggs to hatch and for his geese to grow. He was handsomely rewarded for this over time.
This is so important for kids to learn and we need to train kids to see the benefits of being patient. Whilst a lot of people show off what they have spent (Rich), those who are financially healthy (Wealthy) are the ones who look after their money (geese). You can read more about Rich Kids vs Wealthy Kids here.
Thanks for reading and I hope your kids enjoyed this story!
P.s.If you enjoyed this story then you'll know doubt enjoy my book, Grandpa's Fortune Fables.
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