Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Wisdom of Squirrels

We have many squirrels living in our neighborhood and my two daughters, especially the older one, took a huge interest in observing them. Her love of these cute critters quickly rubbed off on me as well and we both made friends with quite a few of them over the years.

They have many interesting little habits and quirks, but their particular habit of saving served me as a life lesson. Those little animals have to make do for themselves out of what they have available to them. Sometimes humans help them and sometimes they do not, so those little animals cannot really count on any steady food supply, so they have adapted by learning to save in order not only to survive, but to thrive.

Just as the ants have become a symbol of hard work, most notably mentioned in the Bible, so I think the squirrels can serve us as  a symbol and even an example of prudence in saving. I really think that if any of us saved like they do, we would not lack anything and we would even be able to build considerable wealth over time.

As a family that has to make do on one income for many years now, we learned that it really doesn't matter how much one makes, but it does matter how one manages what he/she makes infinitely more.

For a person or a family that is used to spending most if not all their resources, the increase of the amount of the money they make, would only increase their spending and so there are many families or people out there who are really wealthy money wise, but who are also broke on higher level because they do not really know how to mange what they have.

So, what do squirrels teach us in this regard? Well, they all save. Some of them save up to 50% of what they get. They sure don't have to worry about paying taxes or rent bills, but they all have to eat and those of them that save more are healthier and stronger because of it.

Some save portions of the nuts they are given or food they find and eat the rest, other ones do the opposite. Some of them save half of what they get, other ones save one third or less, but they ALL save.

Now imagine what would happen if you did that? I know it changed my life. Before we learned to save as a family, we always had to borrow and often pay high interest for those loans whenever we had any type of unexpected need. Now, we simply use some of our savings to deal with it without going into debt and without wasting money on interest payments and because we are paying all our bills on time, now the credit card company we are dealing with pays us for using its services.

It isn't hard to start. Just  try to save some money even if it is little amount every month and if you cannot come up with any, then look at your expenses and see what can you really go without and then save the money you would have otherwise spent on that item or service. Do that for several months and see what you can buy with it that you do need. Then begin doing that on ongoing basis.

Before long, you will be looking for ways to save and you will find out how many unnecessary things you used to spend on and you will enjoy the freedom of always having the money for the things that you do really need regardless of your income level, and don't cheat yourself by saying that you just don't have enough to save because you do, it is just the matter of having the will and prudence of doing it.  Learn from the wisdom of squirrels.

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