Once upon a time, there was a farmer that was struggling to pay his bills. His clothes were tattered, and his home in bad shape. However, he managed to save a little money each time he sold vegetables from his farm. Eventually he saved up enough money to buy a goose. He took it home and made a nest for it to lay eggs. The goose will produce eggs for selling and eating and making bread, thought the farmer.
The next morning when he went to gather some eggs for his breakfast, he lifted the goose and to his surprise, the goose had laid a golden egg. The next morning, he found another egg, and the next, and the next. The farmer was so happy because he was able to pay his bills, buy some clothes and was living quite well. One day the farmer got impatient, he wanted all the eggs. So he took the goose and cut it open, only to find that there were no golden eggs inside.
This fable can be used to teach several lessons, depending on the age of the child. Some adults can learn some things from it also. Things like, not to be impatient, good things come to those who have patience, or when you have a good thing, don’t ruin it. It can even be used to educate them about dividend paying stocks. When you buy a good stock that is paying consistent dividends, don’t kill it, or sell it, looking for the big gold egg inside. Tell the story every time the opportunity arises. Then ask them what they learned from the story? Notice, that as they get older, what they learn from it changes.
Here’s one way to teach the benefit of saving and investing to a child. Have them give you a certain amount of money that they have saved. Explain to them that based on how much they give you, you will add a certain amount to it each month. For example; they give you $20, each month you will add $1 to it. Then explain, if they add to it, then the amount will increase. But they can’t take the money back to spend it. They must leave it alone until they are 18 or whatever you decide. This will accomplish two things, one it will give them some money to start their IRA, and hopefully it has taught them to save money. The goal is to teach them not to spend everything they get, and how to make money will work for them.
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