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What lessons can we learn from bushmen about money? The Baboon Salt Trap

The other week, my family and I were watching nature videos on YouTube. One of the videos showed how local bushmen cross the wilds to find water when it’s scarce and the key to their survival. It was fascinating and so clever. Afterwards, my youngest daughter said “There has to be a money story from this” and the good news is that there is a really important one.


First, let me tell you about this video.


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How bushmen find water: The Baboon Salt Trap


When a local bushman finds himself without water, he sets what is called the ’Baboon Salt Trap’.


To set the trap, the bushman digs a narrow and long hole and places a lump of salt in it. Bushmen always carry some lumps of salt with them (which is much lighter than carrying a big pitcher of water).


They do this because they know that baboons love salt! (Don’t worry, no baboons are injured).


Baboons want the salt and put their hand in the hole to grab it. The hole is strategically made so that it’s wide enough so the baboon can fit its hand in but not wide enough for the baboon to get its hand out once it’s holding the lump of salt.


Now the baboon could just open its hand, release the salt and run off. However, baboons love salt and won’t let it go - so it’s trapped. This gives the bushman a chance to catch the baboon.


The bushman then keeps the baboon in a cage or tied up for a short period and gives it all the salt that it wants. The salt makes the baboon really thirsty. After a while, the bushman releases the baboon and it runs off.


Where is the first place the baboon runs to? It’s the secret place where they know there is water. The bushman follows the baboon and they both drink all the water they need.


CLEVER!!

Baboon Salt Trap. How to fool baboons into showing you where the water is
The Classic Monkey Trap

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What has this story got to do with kids and money?


The bushmen learn to set a ‘Salt Trap’ from a young age and as a result, they have all the water they need to survive and thrive in a challenging wilderness.


Now let’s replace the water with money.


We should all be teaching our kids about how to survive in the financial wilderness. We want our kids to be like the bushmen but find money so they can live a financially healthy life.


Instead of teaching them how to set a ‘Salt Trap’, we need to be teaching them about the 3 Rules of Wealth.


If you’ve not read about the 3 Rules of Wealth, then I recommend you read this blog here. Thousands of families have been using the book Grandpa’s Fortune Fables to teach their kids all about the 3 Rules of Wealth.


Let’s consider what could happen if they don’t learn about money using the bushman example.



Two alternative scenarios if the bushman were never taught about the salt trap


ONE: Carry on walking and hope to find water


In this scenario, as the bushmen don’t know about the ‘Salt Trap’, they don’t really have a plan. They essentially keep on walking into the wilderness and hope to find water. They survive on drops of rain or a small stream but never enough to really thrive.


Sadly this is the case for so many people when it comes to money. They are never taught how to look after it and therefore go through life simply earning and spending. They hope to find a lucky break (there’s a reason so many people play the lottery despite the impossibly low chances of winning), however, most of the time they are simply searching around for more money.


Helping kids learn about money can help them to avoid simply wandering in the financial wilderness.



TWO: The Juicy Fruit Trees

Juicy fruits can be dangerous, just like 'get rich quick schemes'.

In this scenario, the bushmen are extremely thirsty and stumble upon a big juicy fruit they’ve never seen before. There appear to be endless fruits. They get excited as life appears to have changed meaning they will never have to worry about finding water again.


Sadly, the fruits are not good to eat and actually make them feel sick. They are worse off than before, especially after they got so excited.


In the world of money, these fruits are the ‘get rich quick’ initiatives that appear all the time. It could be a special course, a new type of ‘investment’ or an email from a prince promising thousands of dollars. Like the new fruits, these appear as life-savers but actually make you worse off.


Helping kids learn about money can help them to avoid the poisonous fruits.


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Summary


Let’s make sure as many kids as possible grow up to be like the bushmen of the financial world. Ensure they don’t just follow the same old tracks or eat the ‘unknown’, juicy fruits.


We need to teach them how to survive and thrive in the world of money. As mentioned above, the 3 Rules of Wealth are like the ’Salt Trap’ needed to survive in the financial wilderness.


You can show your kids the video of the bushman and the baboon here. After watching, let your kids know you are going to help them learn the 3 Rules of Wealth so they can find water (money), just like the bushman. With Grandpa’s Fortune Fables being the baboon in this analogy 🐵


SUBSCRIBE: Tips and stories to help you teach your kids about money delivered to your email box for free each week. Subscribe to BlueTree today


I hope you enjoyed this blog!


Will


P.S. If you’ve read Grandpa’s Fortune Fables, leave a review on Amazon. If you have not yet read my book, you can learn more about it here. Also, please check out our Online Course to help you teach your kids about money.

Grandpa's Fortune Fables book to help kids learn about money


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