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  • Doug W
  • September 08, 2020 12:28:55 AM
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Ever feel like you are stuck in a loop? Wake up. Work. Earn. Spend. Repeat. Blue Sky Money is a personal finance blog aimed at helping people master their money, understand financial independence and achieve financial freedom. BlueSkyMoney.com covers ways to make money, spend less, invest better and a bunch of tools to help understand and improve your financial position. USA and UK focussed money blog for the FI movement, the FIRE movement and anyone who wants to get more control of their cash. Blue Sky Money is a money blog gives you the tools and midset to to equip you to get rich, get in control and win the money game.

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The Silversmiths – Financial Literacy Stories – 7

The Silversmiths is one of many financial literacy stories by Doug Weller. It tells the story of what happens if you forget to pay yourself first when trying to save your gold coins.

The Silversmiths is one of many financial literacy stories by Doug Weller. It tells the story of what happens if you forget to pay yourself first when trying to save your gold coins.

Financial literacy stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial freedom. In this series, in these financial literacy stories, you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic. There’s action, and drama, and love, and sometimes a happy ending. Enjoy all these financial literacy stories.

Stay to the end of the story to read a little about the lessons contained with in this story. You can find more Financial literacy stories here.

Now, if you’ve got some popcorn, and the dog is sleeping at the end of the bed, let’s begin…

The Silversmiths by Doug Weller – Financial literacy stories

There once was a lad called Jacob, who loved to work hard for the only silversmiths in the village.

At the end of another day of work, Jacob was preparing to leave for home when the chief silversmith called him to her office.

“You are my best worker, Jacob” the chief silversmith said. “You work hard all day, every day, and every customers appreciates your work.”

Jacob was a modest and kind person, who didn’t need praise in order to do a good job.

“It is no trouble,” he said. “I am happy to work hard. After all, you pay me well for my efforts.”

The chief silversmith nodded in appreciation. She gestured to a leather pouch on the table.

“This pouch of gold is you earning for today’s work. Use it wisely.”

Jacob thanked the chief silversmith and reached out for the pouch. As he was about to leave, the chief silversmith called him back.

She stretched out her back and sighed.

“Oh Jacob, I love my job here at the silversmiths, but my hair is turning grey. I am old and soon I will look like I should retire.”

Jacob was sad at this news, because he loved his job working for the chief silversmith.

“Who will the new owner of the silversmiths be?” he asked, hoping he would not hear bad news.

“You, Jacob.”

Jacob stared at the chief silversmith in shock. He was about to thank her, but she held up her hand.

“I would like to sell this silversmiths to you because you love this work as much as I do,” the silversmith explained.

“But, I never dreamed of becoming the owner of this silversmiths,” Jacob said, “and I fear I have no gold to pay you.”

The chief silversmith looked surprised.

“Surely I have paid you generously for all of the years we have worked together. Are you certain you have no gold coins saved?”

“All the gold I ever earn gets spent,” Jacob replied. To prove the point, Jacob pulled out his pockets and showed that they were empty. He had nothing apart from that days pouch of gold.

He turned to leave, but the chief silversmith once again called him back.

“May I offer you some advice?” she asked. Jacob confirmed he would be delighted to hear it.

“You advice is always good,” Jacob said.

The chief silversmith sank back into her chair and exhaled.

“Every day, you work had and I pay you gold. If you saved a few gold coins every day, in a years time, you would have enough to buy this silversmiths from me.”

Jacob was delighted at this advice. Counting gold had never been his biggest strength.

“In that case, I will save some gold every day as you’ve advised,” he said. “And, in one year, I will have enough to buy the silversmiths from you.”

“That’s the spirit,” the chief silversmith replied. “Now, have a safe journey home, and remember my advice.”

Jacob left the silversmith and walked through the village on his way home.

After only a few steps, he found himself passing the local greengrocers.

“How can I help you today?” the rosy-faced greengrocer called out.

“Nothing today,” Jacob replied, “because I am saving all my money.” He held up his pouch of gold at the greengrocer.

“That’s a pity, especially as turnips are on offer today,” the greengrocer replied. “And carrots are cheap too. You could make yourself a delicious soup with them.”

The offer tempted Jacob. He did have food already at his home, but it was always good to have more food. I have to eat, thought Jacob, and I have plenty of gold in my pouch. 

So he paid a few gold coins to the greengrocer.

A few steps further on his way home, Jacob stopped outside the local cobbler.

“How can I help you today?” the cobbler called out.

“Nothing today,” Jacob replied, “because I am saving my money.” He held up his pouch of gold at the greengrocer.

“Ah, well, that is unfortunate,” replied the cobbler. “I happen to have a fresh supply of leather delivered just today, and I could have made you a fine pair of leather shoes.”

Jacob looked down at his shoes. They were a little worn, and no longer looked as new as they once had. I deserve good shoes, thought Jacob, and I have plenty of gold in my pouch. 

So he paid a few gold coins to the greengrocer.

A few steps further still and he reached the local tavern.

“How can I help you today?” the landlord called out.

“Nothing today,” Jacob replied, “because I am saving my money.” He held up his pouch of gold at the greengrocer.

“Saving is indeed a wonderful thing to do,” replied the landlord. “You obviously work hard to be able to save so much. Why not take a seat at my bar and enjoy your success?”

Jacob looked into the tavern. It was busy with people eating and drinking after a hard a day at work. I have deserve to relax a little, thought Jacob, and I have plenty of gold in my pouch. 

So he paid a few gold coins to the landlord, and took a seat at the bar.

The man he sat down beside had a wiry red beard, and a glint in his eye.

“You look like a person who wishes he had more gold,” the red-bearded man said.

“You’re right. I am saving money every day for the next year so I can buy the silversmiths,” Jacob confirmed.

“That is an excellent thing to do,” replied the red-bearded man. “Perhaps you might like to learn of a way to double your savings in half the time?”

Jacob was interested because a year already sounded like a long time to save gold.

The red-bearded man leaned in.

“I have here a two-sided amulet,” he explained. “Every time I spin the amulet, you decide whether it will land on the star, or on the cross. If you guess right, you will double your money.”

Jacob excitedly agreed and placed a few gold pieces on the bar in front of the red-bearded man.

“I predict the amulet will land on the star,” Jacob said.

The red-bearded man spun the amulet, and, sure enough, it landed with the star facing upwards. 

Delighted at winning some extra  gold piece, Jacob thought it would not be long before he had saved enough to buy the Silversmiths.

“One more game,” the red-bearded man suggested.

This time, Jacob put up few more gold pieces, and predicted the amulet would once again land with the star facing upwards.

The red-bearded man spun the amulet, but, this time, it landed on the cross. Jacob watched as his gold pieces were taken away.

“Never you mind,” the red-bearded man said. “You can try again tomorrow.”

Jacob thanked the red-bearded man, and then headed for his home.

Sat at home, he began to daydream about owning the silversmiths. He felt so proud to have been offered this chance by the chief silversmith. All he had to do was save a few coins every day.

“I wonder how much I have saved today,” he said to himself. He pulled out his pouch and tipped it over the table.

But not a single gold coin came out.

“Ah well, I may not have saved anything today, but there is plenty of time before a year is through,” Jacob said. “I will just try harder to save tomorrow.”

The seasons tuned and a year had passed faster than anyone could have imagined. 

Once again, Jacob was preparing to leave after another day of hard work, when the chief silversmith called him to her office.

“So, Jacob, one year has passed,” she said. “Today, my hair is fully grey, and I look ready to retire. Tell me, how much gold have you saved?”

Ashamed, Jacob pulled out his pockets. They were empty.

With amazement in her voice, the chief silversmith asked, “But did I not tell you to save gold every day?”

Jacob nodded, sadly.

“I tried so hard to save my gold, and yet, when I came home every day my pouch was empty,” he explained, then turned to leave.

The chief silversmith called him back.

“May I offer you some advice?” the chief silversmith asked, and Jacob confirmed he would be delighted to listen.

“You advice is always good,” Jacob said, then added, “even when I fail to follow it.”

The chief silversmith rubbed her eyes, and sighed.

“There are many ways to spend your gold, Jacob, but only one way to save it,” she explained. She then raised her hand, and listed all the ways people spend more money than they need. “People will buy more than they need, and spend more on each thing than they need,” she said. “People will replace possessions before they are worn out. People will choose entertainment over saving, and people will gamble their money away in the hope of making more.”

Jacob frowned, because he recognised he was guilty of all these ways of spending too much gold.

“You are right. There are many ways to spend too much gold. I know this better than anyone. But tell me, what is the one way to save it?”

The chief silversmith leaned closer.

“All gold is saved until the day it is spend. Saving is the act of not spending. So you must pay yourself first. Each day, as soon as you receive your gold, take a few coins and keep them separately from the rest. In this way, you will save. Do you now understand?”

Right then, Jacob saw the truth. 

“I have been a fool,” he said, forlornly. “I forgot that the only way to save was to not spend.” He shook his head. “And because I am a fool,  I cannot afford to buy the silversmith from you today.”

The chief silversmith smiled.

“You are a good man, Jacob,” she said. “I do not plan to retire today.”

“But, your hair is grey!” Jacob said in surprise.

“People should not retire because they look old. They should retire only if they no longer love the work they do. I will keep working until I no longer love what I do. And on that day I will retire.”

“So I have still time to save my gold?” Jacob asked, excited.

“Until the day you retire, there is always time to save,” the chief silversmith said, and passed a bag of gold to Jacob for his day’s hard work.

The Silversmiths – Financial literacy stories – Coda

Jacob is a great worker, who is appreciated by his boss, but he had a fatal flaw. He is no good with money. Every new shiny thing attracts him.

First, he buys more “essentials” than he needs because there are offers available (which there always are), and the food sounds tasty.

Then, he buys something even though he doesn’t need it – new shoes even though he has perfectly good shoes already.

Next, he spends to relax rather than save, without thinking about whether the short time is worth the long term costs.

Last, he gambles his money, hoping to get rich quick.

These are all routes to overspending, so rather than controlling his spending, Jacob manages to spend everything that he has earned.

His syndrome is sometimes related to the Marshmallow experiment. The experiment showed that people who are able to delay gratification are more successful and happier in their lives than those who seek instant gratification.

Jacob doesn’t even realise he is an instant gratification seeker. He thinks he is just no good at it.

The advice to pay yourself first is to actively delay gratification. By separating some money before you spend on anything else, you are trying to trick your brain into think you have less available, and so spending less as a result.

The chief silversmith reminds us that saving is simply the act of not spending. It isn’t complicated or hard. You don’t need to have a special bank account in order to save. The difficult bit is, you have to reduce your spending in order to save.

Want to read more Financial literacy stories?

These Financial literacy stories are written to teach lessons about mastering your money in a fun way. Sometimes, reading dry financial advice can be a little dull, or too complicated at first glance. These fairy stories aim to refresh the parts that other types of money advice miss.

You can read more Financial literacy stories here. Why not start with The Young Man with Red Hair – financial freedom fairy stories?

And while you’re here – why not learn more about the building blocks of financial freedom?

You could also learn more about marshmallows and delayed gratification.

Financial literacy stories
Financial literacy stories


Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad – Financial Freedom fairy stories – 6

Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad is one of many financial freedom fairy stories by Doug Weller. It tells the story of what happens when an average person has the chance to make uncommon returns on their gold.

Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad is one of many financial freedom fairy stories by Doug Weller. It tells the story of what happens when an average person has the chance to make uncommon returns on their gold.

Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial freedom. In this series, in each financial freedom story, you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic. There’s action, and drama, and love, and sometimes a happy ending. Enjoy each financial freedom story.

You can find more Financial Freedom Fairy Stories here.

Now, are you sitting comfortably? In that case, let’s begin…

Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad – Financial Freedom fairy stories

There once lived a woman called Mrs Grey, who was perfectly average.

Each morning she would wake in her average bed, go to the kitchen for an average breakfast, then take an average walk around the village.

She met people who were taller than her, and smaller.

She met people who were more beautiful than her, and uglier.

Some were thinner, some were fatter. Some had longer noses, some shorter. 

Some were older, some were younger. Some were smarter, and some were stupider.

As usual, she stopped by the village duck pond, and watched the local ducks and geese. She found she enjoyed this as much as the average person, and when she had spent an average amount of time at the duck pond, she left.

When she arrived home, she walked into her average and house, put down her average shopping bags, and took a seat in an average chair.

She sighed, for she felt averagely good about her life.

“Good day, Madam,” said a strange, bubbling voice.

Mrs Grey looked around in surprise, but couldn’t see anybody else in the room. A voice from nowhere did not feel like an average occurrence, so she assumed she had imagined it.

“I said, good day, Madam” the gurgling voice repeated.

Mrs Grey looked down at her kitchen table. Squatting on the table was a green-skinned, warty toad. Unlike the many toads she had seen at the village duck pond, this one was wearing a top-hat and holding a cane. 

The toad lifted the top hat, and bowed to her.

“Such fine weather we are having today, would you not agree?” he asked. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am an uncommon toad.”

Mrs Grey was dumb-struck. A toad finding its way on to her kitchen table was unusual enough. But a toad discussing the weather while wearing a top-hat and holding a cane, was even rarer.

“You are wondering why I am here, no doubt?” the uncommon toad asked, to which Mrs Grey nodded. “My business, Madam, is lily pads. And there is not a thing in this world I do not know about lily pads. Are you yourself an expert in lily pads?” asked the uncommon toad. 

Mrs Grey shook her head.

“I thought not. I thought not. There are very few of us who truly know the ups and downs of the lily pad market.”

The uncommon toad pulled out a pocket watch and checked the time. He then looked around Mrs Grey’s average kitchen, with a frown on his face.

“I see, Madam, you are not rich.”

Mrs Grey at last found her voice.

“No, I am not rich. But neither am I poor. I am perfectly average, you see,” she confirmed.

The uncommon toad’s bulging eyes looked left and right, then took a hop towards Mrs Grey.

“In that case, Madam, I have a proposal for you. Because who, on earth, wants to be average?”

Mrs Grey’s face fell, because until that day, she had never questioned her average life.

The uncommon toad saw her distress and nodded, reassuringly.

“Fear not, Madam, I am here to help. We are, in fact, about to enter lily pad season at the village duck pond, and I happen to be best placed to make gold from it.”

“Gold from lily pads? Is that possible?” Mrs Grey asked, because she knew only an average amount about making gold, and an average amount about lily pads.

The uncommon toad’s wide face spread into a wider grin.

“Let me explain,” he said. “Each year, lily pads grow all over the village’s duck pond. You may have seen this for yourself.”

Mrs Grey nodded, for she had seen the lily pads covering the village pond in previous years.

“What you may not fully understand is that some lily pads grow small, whilst other grow large. And the larger the lily pad, the more valuable it is.”

“Valuable to whom?” Mrs Grey asked.

The uncommon toad has a momentary look of irritation at her lack of understanding.

“To other toads, of course,” he snapped.

“I see,” Mrs Grey replied. Then, not wishing to further irritate the uncommon toad, she added. “That makes sense.”

The uncommon toad regained his professional composure.

“My proposition for you, Madam, is this: For a very small amount of gold, I will pick the lily pads which will grow largest this year. I will buy these lily pads, on your behalf, for only a small amount of gold. And when it comes time to sell, you will be rich.”

Mrs Grey thought she understood. “You mean, we buy low, and sell high?,” she asked.

The uncommon toad was astounded.

“Madam, I had no idea you were such an expert in such matters,” he said.

Mrs Grey blushed. 

“Oh no, I think even the average person knows that to profit from gold at the end, you should have more of it at end, than at the beginning,” she explained.

“I see,” the uncommon toad replied. He checked his pocket watch again. “Now, I am running short of time, so may I ask, how much of your gold would you like me to invest in lily pads this year?”

Mrs Grey was not sure. After all, she normally kept her average amount of gold underneath her average mattress. But the idea that she might become rich had suddenly become very tempting.

“Your offer is generous,” Mrs Grey said. “But may I ask, how you can be sure you will pick the lily pads which will grow to become the largest? Are you just guessing?”

The uncommon toad looked deeply offended.

“Madam, I am an expert and I will follow a strategy, of course..I have been watching the lily pads since I was a tadpole. Before we met, you knew nothing of lily pads, but my family have been involved in the lily pad trade for many years.”

“I see,” said Mrs Grey.

The uncommon toad scratched at the largest wart on his face, satisfied that Mrs Grey now understood.

“Now, Madam, how much of your gold would you like me to invest in lily pads this year?”

Mrs Grey was not still not sure. 

“Your offer is generous,” Mrs Grey said. “But may I ask, what would happen if you chose the smallest lily pads instead of the biggest ones?”

The uncommon toad scowled.

“How dare you,” he said. “It is my job to choose the largest, and I would never dream of choosing the smallest. But, since you asked so nicely, if I were to choose you the smallest lily pads, then I am afraid you would lose all your gold.”

Mrs Grey frowned. This did not sound good.

“And what about the gold I paid to you? Surely, you would at least return that gold to me.”

The uncommon toad shook his head, sorrowfully.

“No, Madam. I am afraid I would keep the gold you paid me. Because it is a very small amount of gold, and because I have a family of more than one thousand tadpoles to look after, I would keep that gold.”

Mrs Grey frowned again.

The uncommon toad hopped to the edge of the table, so he was as close to Mrs Grey as he could get.

“So, how much of your gold would you like me to invest in lily pads this year?” he asked.

“One last question,” Mrs Grey said. 

At this, the uncommon toad almost fell off the table in frustration.

“One last question,” he muttered, impatiently.

“If I chose just an average lily pad, would it make me gold, or lose me gold?” Mrs Grey asked.

The uncommon toad seemed delighted with this question.

“Madam, over time, the average lily pad will alway grow bigger. It is the main reason for my confidence in the lily pad market. If you bought only average sized lily pads you would almost certain of an average sized return on your gold. But, of course, nobody know which lily pad will grow to be the average.”

Mrs Grey relaxed at the uncommon toad’s explanation.

“In that case,” she said, with an averagedly happy voice, “I know what I shall do…”

* * *

Several months passed, and Mrs Grey woke up in her average bed, went to the kitchen to eat an average breakfast, then went for her average walk around the village.

When she arrived at the village duck pond, she decided to take a look at the water. As happened every year, the duck pond was now full of lily pads. Some were tiny, and others huge.

With an average smile, she nodded at what she saw. As she turned to leave the duck pond, she heard a bubbling voice call to her.

“Madam!”

She turned to see the uncommon toad squatting on top of a fence post. He was waving his top-hat towards her.

“Is it not a marvellous sight to see so many huge lily pads?” the uncommon toad asked Mrs Grey. “I imagine you now regret your decision to not use me to pick your lily pads. If you had, you might now be rich.”

“Might I?” Mrs Grey asked.

“Of course, Madam. The average lily pad is now worth far more today that it was worth several months ago.”

“Is it?” Mrs Grey asked. “And how about your choice of lily pads? Are they also worth far more than several months ago?”

The uncommon toad swallowed, a big lump travelling down his green neck.

“Ah, yes, well. That is an interesting question. Very interesting indeed.” He pulled out his pocket watch. “But, is that the time. I really must be making haste.”

The uncommon toad turned to go, but Mrs Grey reached out her hand and grabbed him. She pulled his scaly body to her eye level.

“Come now, tell me how big your choice of lily pads.” Mrs Grey gently squeezed the uncommon toad’s bulging belly.

“I followed my strategy, “ the uncommon toad said. “My idea was to choose all the lily pads around the edges of the duck pond. Last year, that is where the smallest lily pads grew, so I reasoned that this year those lily pads would grow biggest. It was a brilliant idea.”

“And did your strategy succeed?” Mrs Grey asked.

The uncommon toad swallowed.

“A little bad luck. This year, once again, the lily pads on the outer edges were the smallest.”

“I am sorry,” Mrs Grey said. “You must have lost a great deal of gold.”

The uncommon toad’s eyes narrowed, guiltily.

“Not at all, Mrs Grey. You see, I did not personally invest any of my gold in lily pads. No, no, no. Instead, I have kept all the payments made to me by others. I had a very successful year,” the uncommon toad explained.

“So you make gold no matter what happens to any of your investors?” Mrs Grey asked, astonished.

“Precisely,” the uncommon toad replied.

“It sounds to me, that your real strategy is simply to make yourself gold, no matter what happens.”

The uncommon toad eyes widened in offence.

“How dare you, Madam. I am an expert in choosing lily pads. And, at least, I had a strategy, even if it was a bad strategy.  Eventually, my investors will earn gold. They simply need to pay me more next year.”

“How are you so certain they will make gold?” Mrs Grey asked.

“Because the average lily pad continues to sell for a great deal of gold. As it has done throughout my life. If you lose gold one year, you have a good chance to make gold in the following year.”

Mrs Grey smiled.

“That is exactly what I thought,” she said. “And that is why I did not choose any particular lily pad. After all, I only know the average amount about lily pads.”

“So you made no gold this year either,” said the uncommon toad, triumphantly.

Mrs Grey continued.

“Rather than pick certain lily pads, I bought a small amount of every single lily pad on the duck pond.”

“A small amount of every lily pad?” the uncommon toad exclaimed. “But then, if a lily pad grew large, you would only make a small gain.”

“But if a lily pad grew small, I also only make a small loss,” Mrs Grey replied.

The uncommon toad scratched at his mole.

“With a small slice of each lily pad, you would make the average gain,” he spluttered.

“Each year, every year, I will make the average gain from my share of all the lily pads. And, I won’t be paying you any gold for guessing the size of lily pads,” Mrs Grey confirmed.

“Guessing!” the uncommon toad’s voice boomed out. “Guessing!!!” His eyes looked like they were about to pop out of their sockets. “But Madam, I beat the average every five years. How could that be described as guessing?”

“You are right,” Mrs Grey said. “It is worse than guessing. Your strategies are, on average, bad decisions, and you take gold from good people in the process. Most people would be far better taking the average return from the lily pads.”

The uncommon toad was incredulous.

“But who in the world would only want to be average?” he demanded to know.

“I do,” Mrs Grey said, proudly. “Averagely rich, that is.”

She placed the uncommon toad down by the duck-pond, and watched as he swam through the lily pads towards his vast family of tadpoles.

Then, Mrs Grey took a perfectly average walk home.

THE END

Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad – Financial Freedom fairy stories – Coda

What’s so wrong with average? The financial moral of this story is that getting an average return can be much better than trying to achieve outsized gains when you are investing.

There are a couple of key reasons for this:

First, there are far lower fees if you simply buy the whole market from a low cost index tracker fund, rather than pay the fees that stock-pickers will charge.

Second, the stock pickers are generally no better than the market, and often worse. In fact, a previous study suggested stock pickers miss the average performance of an index four times out of five, just like our Uncommon Toad.

The Uncommon Toad doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong, and he believes his strategies will beat the market, whether for lily pads or stocks, share, and bonds.

Mrs Grey was proud to be average, if it meant doing just as well or better than the Uncommon Toad. For many to achieve Financial Freedom, they only need to get average returns on the market, based on history. Be more like Mrs Grey, and be suspicious of any Uncommon Toads who cross your path.

THE END

Want to read more Financial Freedom Fairy Stories?

These Financial Freedom fairy stories are written to teach lessons about mastering your money in a fun way. Sometimes, reading dry financial advice can be a little dull, or too complicated at first glance. These fairy stories aim to refresh the parts that other types of money advice miss.

You can read more Financial Freedom fairy stories here. Why not start with The Young Man with Red Hair – financial freedom fairy stories?

And while you’re here – why not learn more about the building blocks of financial freedom?

You could also read why Medium thinks Financial Freedom is not a fairy tale.

Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad - Financial Freedom fairy stories
Mrs Grey and the Uncommon Toad – Financial Freedom fairy stories


Cauliflower and Melon – a Financial Freedom story – 5

Cauliflower and Melon is a Financial Freedom story by Doug Weller. It tells the story about the dangers of trying to keep up with your neighbours through borrowing more than you can afford Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial freedom. In this series, in each financial freedom story, you will meet explore … Cauliflower and Melon – a Financial Freedom story – 5 Read More...

Cauliflower and Melon is a Financial Freedom story by Doug Weller. It tells the story about the dangers of trying to keep up with your neighbours through borrowing more than you can afford

Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial freedom. In this series, in each financial freedom story, you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic. There’s action, and drama, and love, and sometimes a happy ending. Enjoy each financial freedom story.

You can find another Financial Freedom Story here.

Now, are you sitting comfortably? In that case, let’s begin…

Cauliflower and Melon – a Financial Freedom story – by Doug Weller

There once lived two rabbits who lived in a meadow, and their names were Melon and Cauliflower.

Both Melon and Cauliflower were both partial to carrots, so they often met in the fields of the nearby carrot farm.

“Good day, Melon,” Cauliflower said, as he munched on a carrot.

“Good day, Cauliflower,” Melon replied as he dug in the dirt with his front paws.

“Say, Melon, my old friend. Would you like to come and and visit my warren after we’ve finished eating carrots?” Cauliflower asked.

“Why not?” Melon replied. Melon had never been inside Cauliflower’s home before so he was naturally curious.

They both hopped to the underground warren, and Cauliflower gave Melon a tour.

“You have a very spacious warren,” Melon said. “I am most impressed.”

“Thank you. I did all the digging myself to build this warren,” replied Cauliflower. 

It was getting late, and Melon had to get home to his family. He hopped to the entrance of the warren and said goodbye to Cauliflower.

“Watch out on your way home,” Cauliflower warned. “The local fox may about, and he is not to be trusted.” 

Melon returned to his warren, as quickly as he could, but there was no sign of the local fox. Melon’s warren was far smaller than Cauliflower’s. It even had a leak in its ceiling that let the rainwater in.

“I wish I had a nice, spacious warren like Cauliflower,” Melon said. He heard a noise outside his warren and went up to the entrance to investigate. 

When he came outside, he froze in fear, because prowling outside was the local fox.

“Do not worry about me for I am not hungry today,” the fox said.

Melon relaxed at once, because he really didn’t want to be eaten that evening.

“Actually, I have a proposition for you, Melon,” the local fox said. “Did you know that I could dig you a burrow even more spacious than the warren your friend Cauliflower lives in.”

“You can? You would?” replied Melon, excitedly.

“Of course. It is really not a problem for me, because I have plenty of time and love to dig,” said the local fox.

But then, Melon remembered what Cauliflower had told him about never trusting a fox.

“This must be some kind of trick. I know better than to trust a fox,” said Melon.

“It is no trick,” replied the local fox. “All I ask is that thirty days from now you repay me for the work I will do.”

“And how will I repay you? All I have is carrots. Every day, I dig in the nearby field, and in the evening my family eat every carrot I find.”

The local fox considered this.

“I will accept payment in carrots,” he said.

Melon was excited at this news

“How many carrots do you need?”

“Let me think. Today, I will dig you a new warren. And in thirty days you will pay me for the work. So I will require thirty carrots,” said the local fox.

Melon though about whether this could be possible.

“All I would have to do is dig up one extra carrot every day for the next thirty days and I will have a bigger warren,” he said. “That doesn’t sound too hard. I will just start digging a little earlier in the morning.”

The local fox grinned, showing off two rows of sharp teeth.

“Excellent decision, Melon. First, I will make the opening to your warren wider, so that I may fit inside. Then I will repair your roof,” the local fox said. “And then I will dig you a new carrot store, so that you have space to keep the thirty carrots you will owe me.”

Melon quickly agreed to the fox’s proposition. He couldn’t believe how much his warren would be improved. 

Immediately, the local fox started to dig. And as the sun rose the next morning, Melon woke to find his warren had increased to more than doubled it’s original size. In fact, it was now bigger than Cauliflower’s warren.

Delighted with his new warren, Melon headed for the nearby field to dig for carrots. He quickly set to work digging for carrots, knowing that he would have to collect more than he usually did.

An hour or so later, Cauliflower arrived and found Melon hard at work.

“Good morning, Melon,” Cauliflower said.

“Yes, it is a good morning,” Melon replied, with a twitch of his nose.

“You must be hungry today, Melon, my old friend, because you look like you are digging up more carrots than usual,” Cauliflower observed. “How are you going to carry them all?”

Melon paused. He normally dug up only the carrots he could carry home.

“Would you like me to help you bring that extra carrot back to your warren,” Cauliflower asked and Melon agreed.

When they arrived at his new and improved warren, Melon invited Cauliflower inside. Cauliflower was clearly impressed by the size of Melon’s warren.

“You must have worked very hard to dig a warren so big.”

Melon was going to explain what had happened the night before, but then he hesitated because he knew that Cauliflower did not trust the local fox.

“Yes. I have been digging day and night. I have worked very hard.” Melon lied.

Cauliflower congratulated his friend and then returned hometo his own warren.

After his family had all eaten, Melon checked on his new carrot store and saw one carrot sitting there.

“So one day has passed and I have saved one carrot. At this rate, I will have thirty carrots by the end of thirty days.”

Soon ten days had passed, and when Melon went to his carrot store he counted ten carrots.

“This is wonderful. After working for ten days I have ten carrots saved in my store. At this rate, I will have thirty carrots by the end of thirty days.”

On the twenty ninth day, Melon hopped to the carrot field as usual. When he got there, Cauliflower was hopping back in the other direction.

“Are you not digging for carrots today,” Melon asked.

“Not today. There is a man sat in the carrot field with a shotgun. As soon as he saw me he took aim and I ran. We will have to wait until tomorrow to dig for carrots, my old friend.”

Melon agreed, because he didn’t like the idea of being shot by man with a shotgun, so he returned to the warren. He borrowed one of the carrots from his carrot store to eat. 

“Tomorrow, I can work even harder and get even more carrots,” he thought.

On the thirtieth day, the local fox returned to Melon’s warren.

“Thirty days have passed and you owe me thirty carrots,” the local fox said.

Melon laid out all the carrots from his carrot store on the grass. The Fox counted them carefully.

“But this is twenty-eight carrots. You owe me thirty carrots.”

Melon quickly explained about the man in the field with the gun. How he had not collected on the final day, and had to eat one of the saved carrots to make sure he didn’t starve.

“None of this is my concern,” the local fox replied. “Thirty days and thirty carrots, that was our bargain. I must say I am starting to feel rather hungry.”

“For carrots?” Melon asked.

“For rabbit-stew,” replied the fox as he leaped towards Melon.

“Wait, wait. There must be some way I can repay you,” Melon cried as he dashed away from the local fox. “I promise to get you your missing carrots, I just need more time.”

The local fox stopped.

“Very well, Melon. I am a reasonable fox. In fact, I will give you five more days to pay me. But because you are late, the price has gone up. When I return in five days. I expect ten more carrots.”

Melon quickly agreed and jumped back into his warren before the local fox could change his mind..

The next morning, he arrived at the nearby field before the sun had even risen. He could see no sign of the man with the gun so he got to work frantically digging for carrots.

By the time Cauliflower arrived, Melon was exhausted.

“You’re up early, my old friend,” Cauliflower said. “Are you alright?”

“Oh yes. There’s nothing I like more than hard work,” Melon replied as he continued to dig without looking up.

“No sign of the man with the gun today?” Cauliflower asked.

“No,” Melon replied as he dug.

Melon’s efforts continued for the next three days, and through all of his hard work, he had managed to save up nine carrots.

“I only have to dig up one more carrot, and I will be able to pay the local fox,” Melon said as he looked into his carrot store.

“I won’t even have to get up early to do that!”

On the fifth day, Melon had a extra lie in before hopping along to the nearby carrot field. On route, he saw Cauliflower coming the other way.

“Are you not digging for carrots today?” Melon asked.

“Not today. The man with the shotgun is back. We will have to wait until tomorrow to dig for carrots, my old friend.”

Melon gulped, because he didn’t want to see the man with the shotgun, but he didn’t have enough carrots.

When he returned to his warren, the local fox was already waiting for him. Sadly, Melon went to his carrot store, and brought out all the carrots he had.

“But this is nine carrots. You owe me ten carrots,” the local fox said angrily.

Melon quickly explained about the man in the field with the shotgun.

“That is no concern of mine, Melon. Five days and ten carrots, that was our arrangement. I must say I am really feeling very hungry.”

“For carrots?” Melon asked.

“For roasted-rabbit,” replied the local fox as he leaped towards Melon.

“Wait, wait. There must be some way I can repay you. Tomorrow, I will get you your missing carrot.”

The local fox stopped.

“Very well, Melon. I will give you one final chance.  But because you will be late, the price has gone up. I will return tomorrow and I expect five more carrots.”

Melon agreed and jumped back into his warren to safety.

That night, Melon could hardly sleep. He arrived at the carrot field in the middle of the night, and saw no sign of the man with the shotgun, so bounded straight into the field to begin digging.

But something was very wrong. 

No matter where de dug,  he could not find a single carrot in the field. It was as if they had all vanished overnight.

Cauliflower arrived and saw what Melon had seen.

“I expect the carrots have all been harvested.  It happens every year. Never mind, you can live off all the carrots you have been storing up and wait in your lovely big warren until winter is over,” he said. “That doesn’t sound too bad does it, old friend.”

“But…” Melon said, as Cauliflower waited for a reply. But he couldn’t tell Cauliflower about how he had promised carrots he did own to  the local fox to exchange for his new warren.

When Melon returned to his warren, he found the local fox waiting for him.

“So Melon, do you have my five carrots?”

Melon shook his head.

“In that case, I have some good news for you. If you come a little closer I will tell you it,” the local fox said.

Melon really wanted to hear good news so he took a hop closer to fox.

“Just a little closer,” the local fox said.

Melon took another hop.

“Just one more hop, Melon, and I can tell you the good news.”

“But what is the good news,” Melon asked.

“For supper tonight, it’s RABBIT-PIE,” the local fox cried. He leaped forwards with his teeth bared. 

Melon sprung out of the way, but he felt a nasty pain in his ear. He dived into his warren, but this did not stop the local fox because the opening was now wide enough for him to fit inside.

The local fox chased Melon around and around the warren, through tunnel after tunnel. Melon turned and kicked mud into the local fox’s face, and just managed to get back outside the warren. 

With nowhere else to go, Melon found himself racing towards Cauliflower’s warren, with the local fox in hot pursuit. 

As he reached the entrance to Cauliflower’s warren, the local fox pounced. But Melon made it inside just in time. And, because the opening was not too large, the local fox could not follow him.

Cauliflower came hurrying out from a back tunnel. When he saw Melon he was shocked, for Melon had lost one of his ears to the fox.

“Come inside quickly, my old friend,” Cauliflower said and Melon followed him. Cauliflower tended to Melon’s ear with dock leaves and rose petals.

“Thank you,” said Melon.

“But how did you let the local fox get so close? Didn’t I warn you he wasn’t to be trusted?” Cauliflower asked.

At last, Melon explained the whole story of what had happened, right from the first day he had seen Cauliflower’s warren and wished he could have a nice warren just like him.

“Oh, Melon. Was it worth all that digging, and the lying, and the loss of your ear? Just to have a bigger warran?”

“But I was only missing carrot. Just one,” Melon complained.

Cauliflower went to his carrot store and pulled out a fresh carrot. 

“Here, accept this carrot as a gift from me. And I have enough saved here to share with you all winter, so you and your family will not go hungry.”

Melon thanked Cauliflower.

“Oh Cauliflower, my old friend. I am so lucky to know you.”

“Remember, never borrow just to keep up with what your neighbours have. Especially not from the local fox. And save all the carrots you can. For you never know when your field of carrots will be harvested.”

Thanks to Cauliflowers gift of a fresh carrot, Melon settled his debt with the local fox. But his missing ear always reminded him of the mistake he had made. Over the next year, he repaid Cauliflower even though he had not asked for this. And because they were old friends, they worked together to connect their warrens, so they always had a route of escape if ever the local fox should visit them again.

And Cauliflower and Melon lived happily ever after.

Themes – Emergency fund, don’t borrow, don’t keep up with the jones or be a sheep, beware of trusting people you’ve been warned against, friends are helpful in a crisis, stay out of debt, don’t overbuy house

THE END

Cauliflower and Melon – a Financial Freedom story – Coda

Melon learned the hard way about the dangers of borrowing more than you can afford to repay.

Melon wanted to have as nice a house as his friend Cauliflower. He wanted to “Keep Up With The Jones” even though he couldn’t afford it.

He proved he was willing to work hard to dig up more carrots, and that he was able to save the carrots / money that he earned. But all that went to waste because he had to pay off the loan he had taken out with the local fox.

Although Melon felt confident that he could repay the amount he owed the local fox, unexpected circumstances meant his debt grew and grew until he had no way to repay. In real life, there are many unexpected circumstance, from a personal health issue, to losing your job, to a global pandemic. These black swan events will take you by surprise, but although you don’t know exactly what will happen, trusting that the future will always be the same as the past is risky.

Melon’s friend, Cauliflower, had learned these lessons. Rather that using credit, he had improved his own warren. Essentially, he used DIY to improve his home rather than borrowing.

Cauliflower never got into debt. He also made sure he had an emergency fund, so he was ready when winter came, with enough carrots to spare to even help his friend in the end.

If you meet a local fox, who promises to help you out, remember, they really only want to help themselves.

Want to read another Financial Freedom Story?

Each Financial Freedom Story is written to teach lessons about mastering your money in a fun way. Sometimes, reading dry financial advice can be a little dull, or too complicated at first glance. These fairy stories aim to refresh the parts that other types of money advice miss.

You can read another Financial Freedom Story here. Why not start with The Young Man with Red Hair – a financial independence story?

And while you’re here – why not learn more about the building blocks of financial freedom?

You could also read why Medium thinks Financial Freedom is not a fairy tale.

Cauliflower and Melon - a Financial Freedom story
Cauliflower and Melon – a Financial Freedom story

I hope you enjoy this Financial Independence Story. You can let me know your thoughts in the comments below. My plan is to keep writing these stories similar to this Financial Independence Story – so if you find them useful, or you think they could be improved, let me know.


The Four Brothers – a Financial Independence story – 4

The Four Brothers is a Financial Independence story by Doug Weller. It tells the story of how enterprise, frugality, and wise-investing may not be enough to be rich.

The Four Brothers is a Financial Independence story by Doug Weller. It tells the story of how enterprise, frugality, and wise-investing may not be enough to be rich.

Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial independence. In this series, in each financial independence story you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic. There’s action, and drama, and love, and sometimes a happy ending. Enjoy each financial independence story.

You can find another Financial Independence Story here.

Now, are you sitting comfortably? In that case, let’s begin…

The Four Brothers – a Financial Independence story – by Doug Weller

There lived four penniless brothers who wanted to be rich. 

One day, the brothers all met at the home of their father to celebrate his seventieth birthday.

“Look at us,” the first brother said, sadly.

“We are all poor,” the second brother said, miserably.

“And we want to be rich,” the third brother said, sorrowfully.

“What can be done?” asked the forth brother, despairingly.

Before any of the brother’s could answer the question, their old father spoke to them.

“I have lived my whole life poor. The only things I have of value in my life are my four sons and this oil lamp,” he said.

He produced a tarnished old oil lamp from an otherwise empty cupboard.

The forth brother took the oil lamp from his father, and said, “I could not afford a birthday present for you. But the least I can do is to polish your lamp.” So, he polished the oil lamp his father. And, to the surprise of everybody, from out of the lamp burst out a genie.

“I am the genie of this lamp and I will grant a wish to any person who asks for one.”

The first brother stepped forward. “I want to be rich,” he said. 

The genie nodded and waved his hand. “I grant you the great gift of enterprise. Use it wisely.”

The second brother stepped forward. “I want to be rich too,” he said. 

The genie nodded and waved his hand. “I grant you the great of frugality. Use it wisely.”

The third brother stepped forward. “I want to be rich,” he said. 

The genie nodded and waved his hand. “I grant you the great gift of wise investing. Use it wisely.”

The forth brother stepped forward. “I want to be rich,” he said. 

The genie shook his head. “Oh, did I not mention that I may only grant three wishes?” he asked.

“No, you didn’t,” the forth brother said.

“Oh, sorry. I alway forget about that,” the genie said, and in a puff of smoke the genie vanished back inside the lamp.

“Bad luck brother,” the first brother said, now filled with the gift of enterprise.

“You live and learn,” the second brother said, now filled with the gift of frugality.

“It’s the luck of the dice,” the third brother said, now filled with the gift of wise-investing.

The forth brother said nothing, but he looked forlorn.

Their aged father rose to his feet.

“My sons, each of you must now go out into the town and use your gift to become rich,” he said.

The first brother, who had the gift of enterprise, went into the town. He discovered that he could see opportunities to sell at the market where others could not. He found he could find buyers who were willing to buy. And, he understood that he had the energy and drive to capitalise on those opportunities.

“With this power of enterprise, I will soon grow rich,” he reported back to his father.

The second brother, who had the gift of frugality, went into the town. He discovered that he was able to always find the lowest priced goods. He found himself able to haggle even when the prices were too high. And he understood that he was able to resist the temptation to buy goods he did not need.

“With this power, I will soon grow rich,” he told his father.

The third brother, who had the gift of investment, went into the town. He discovered he knew where to invest his gold coins so that they increased fast. He found how to spread his money between different lenders so not all his eggs were in one basket.  And he understood how to keep his gold coins invested a long time to make the most of the return.

“With this power, I will grow rich,” he told his father.

The forth brother, who had no great gift from the genie, went into the town . And because he had no great gift, he carried on his normal work as a lowly blacksmith.

The first brother, who had the gift for enterprise soon received more gold coins that he could have ever imagined. Everything business venture he entered was a success. It felt as if his success in business would continue forever.

One day, the first brother sat in the town square and drank an ale. Whilst drinking, he told anybody who would listen about his great gift for enterprise.

A small boy came up to him.

“You are the most enterprising in our town. I wonder why your robes are threadbare and you drink only ale,” the small boy said.

The first brother did not have an answer. Why did he work so hard to earn more gold coins if he did not spend them?

The first brother asked the small boy to take him to the finest tailor in the town and then to the greatest wine merchant. 

“Certainly, I can,” the small boy said.

The second brother, who had the gift for frugality soon saved more gold coins that he could have ever imagined. Every thing he bought was at the lowest possible cost, and he bought only what he needed. It felt as if his gold coins would last forever.

One day, the second brother sat in the town square and counted out his gold coins. Whilst counting, he told anybody who would listen about his great gift for frugality.

The small boy came up to him.

“You are the greatest at frugality in our town. I wonder why you keep all the gold coins you save in a bag hung by your tunic, rather than invest them,” the small boy said.

At this, the second brother agreed. Why should he save so hard to keep his gold coins if he did not invest them?

The second brother asked the small boy to take his gold coins to and invest them with the greatest stock merchant. 

“Certainly, I can,” the small boy said.

The third brother, who had the gift for wise-investing soon yielded more gold coins that he could have ever imagined. Every place he invested his gold increased in value. It felt as if these gains from his gold coins would go up forever.

One day, the third brother sat in the town square and reviewed his accounts. Whilst totting up his yield, he told anybody who would listen about his great gift for investment.

The small boy came up to him.

“You are the best at wise investment in our village. I wonder why you don’t start to use this money to start a business,” the small boy said.

At this, the third brother agreed. Why should he invest so successfully to earn more gold coins if he did not speculate on new business ventures?

The third brother asked the small boy to take him to the newest business in the town.

“Certainly, I can,” the small boy said.

The forth brother, who had no great gift from the genie, sat alone in the town square. He told anyone who would listen that he tried hard to earn more gold coins, and tried hard to control his spending, and tried hard to invest his money wisely, but at none of these was he as successful as his brothers.

The small boy came up to him.

“You enjoy your work, and you earn enough to support yourself and your father, and have gold coins left at the end of each week, I wonder why you are unhappy,” the small boy said.

At this, the forth brother agreed. Why should he not continue to live complaining about having fewer gifts than his brothers? He had so much that was good in his life. All needed was to choose to be happy.

The forth brother asked the small boy if he would like to take a gold coin to spend as he chose fit as a way of saying thank you.

“Certainly, I can,” the small boy said.

Some years later, the four brothers all met at the home of their father’s eightieth birthday.

“Look at us,” the first brother said, downcast.

“We used to be poor,” the second brother said, dejected.

“And we wanted to be rich,” the third brother said, desolate.

Before the forth brother could speak, the genie appeared again from the oil lamp in a puff of smoke.

“I granted three wishes to help you to become rich. Tell me, how have you all done?” the genie asked.

“I make so many gold coins through my enterprise, but I spend every coin that I make. So I am not rich,” said the first brother.

“I save every gold coin I earn, but I have invested so badly that I never keep the money. So I am not rich,” said the second brother.

“I invest every gold coin I have, but I have gambled away all the profits. So I am not rich,” said the third brother.

“And what of you,” the genie asked the forth brother.

“I could not make as much gold as my first brother, nor save as much as my second brother, nor invest as wisely as my third brother,” replied the forth brother.

The other three brothers commiserated the forth for he must also be poor.

“But, I am rich,” said the forth brother, delighted.

The other three brothers grew angry with the genie.

“You have cheated us. You must have granted our brother a secret wish. Tell us what you did,” they said.

The genie shook his head.

“Your brother has followed a path that any good man or woman can follow. He has worked hard for his gold, not wasted the gold on things he did not need or investments without good returns. Had any of you followed your brother’s example you too would now be rich.”

The first, second and third brothers turned to the forth brother.

“Oh brother. We have been fools. Please can you teach us to be rich?”

“Certainly I can,” replied the forth brother. “All I ask is that you promise to take time to look after our father, because family is even more important than being rich.

And so each brother followed the example of the youngest brother, and in time, they were all rich and lived happily ever after.

THE END

The Four Brothers – a Financial Independence story – Coda

In this story, the first three brothers have the gifts of enterprise, frugality, and wise investing. These are the three keys levers to financial independence. Make more money, reduce your spending, and increase your investment returns.

But the three brothers learn that being exceptional at one of these three levers is not enough. If you do not have a hand on each of the other levers, you can lose all the benefits these skills would otherwise accrue.

The forth brother doesn’t have any special skill for enterprise, frugality, and wise investing. But he does enough to keep money coming in, to spend less than he earns, and to invest wisely enough. In the end, he becomes financially independent just by sticking to these rules.

Want to read another Financial Independence Story?

Each Financial Independence Story is written to teach lessons about mastering your money in a fun way. Sometimes, reading dry financial advice can be a little dull, or too complicated at first glance. These fairy stories aim to refresh the parts that other types of money advice miss.

You can read another Financial Independence Story here. Why not start with The Young Man with Red Hair – a financial independence story?

And while you’re here – why not learn more about the building blocks of financial freedom?

You could also read why Medium thinks Financial Freedom is not a fairy tale.

Financial Independence story
Financial Independence story

I hope you enjoy this Financial Independence Story. You can let me know your thoughts in the comments below. My plan is to keep writing these stories similar to this Financial Independence Story – so if you find them useful, or you think they could be improved, let me know.


14 UK Money Podcasts that you can’t miss

UK Money Podcasts that will help you Manage your Finances. Getting your finances in order can give you the much-needed peace of mind to live comfortably.

UK Money Podcasts that will help you manage your finances, save money, and perhaps reach financial freedom.

Getting your finances in order can give you the much-needed peace of mind to live comfortably. Whether you want to start saving money, learn how to fix your financial issues, or stay up-to-date with the latest financial news, you can find a UK money podcast to help you.

Every month it seems like there are more podcasts being launched to help Brits with their money. This list contains some of the UK money podcasts that I listen to. Listed in no particular order. Really, the more you listen, the more you will learn. So get your expansive mindset hat on and get downloading. Find the shows that work best for you and listen regularly.

List of 14 great UK Money Podcasts

#1 Cash Chats

Cash Chats is a twice-weekly show presented by Andy Webb. On this UK money podcast, the presenter invites and talks with money bloggers, writers, and other experts that can provide you with valuable insights. Moreover, Andy Webb covers freebies and investments so that you can start making a profit.

#2 Deep, Down & Desi: All About the Money

Launched by the BBC Asian Network, Deep, Down & Desi: All About the Money is a money podcast that will explain everything you needed to know about finances. Rahat Siddique and Faarea Masud are trying to make you understand the world of finances, going through topics that extend from the housing crisis to digital banks.

#3 In her Financial Shoes

In her Financial Shoes is a money podcast UK hosted by Catherine Morgan, and it is a show dedicated to women, including female entrepreneurs. The main goal of the show is to teach women more about personal finance. Therefore, it gives you insights on the right money mindset, and offers you practical tips to make the management of your finances easier than ever before. 

#4 Informed Choice

Informed Choice is a personal finance twice-weekly podcast hosted by Martin Bamford. On this podcast, you will learn all the latest finance news, as well as advice that will help you invest smarter. The host often invites best-selling authors, thought leaders, and personal finance experts on the show so that you can expand your horizons and have a more in-depth view of the field.

#5 Making Money Moves

Making Money Moves is a UK money podcast launched by Janet’s List and hosted by Janet Oganah and Adonica Simmons. On this podcast, you will find interesting conversations with female entrepreneurs that talk about the difficulties of launching their successful businesses. The show aims to establish a conversation on money, the right mindset, and diversity.

#6 Meaningful Money

If you are looking for a money podcast that will educate you, then Meaning Money is that one for you. Pete Matthew is a financial planner in Cornwall that believes that personal finance is simple. The podcast is full of tips and tricks that make financial planning as simple as possible so that you can start making sense of money.

#7 Money 101

The BBC Sounds series Money 101 is hosted by Bae Duncan, who has set on a quest to learn more about finances and clear the most common misconceptions that surround the field. On every episode, the host is joined by the GH finance editor Kalpana Fitzpatrick who explains each episode’s topic. This UK money podcast is the ideal one for a younger audience.

#8 Money Box

Money Box is a radio programme that you can listen to every Saturday morning on BBC Radio 4. The financial journalist Paul Lewis covers all the latest financial news and shares tips on how to make the most of your money. If you can’t catch the programme live, you can listen to it as a podcast. 

#9 Money to the Masses

Money to the Masses is a very informative UK money podcast hosted by Damien Fahy, a finance and investment expert. In every episode, he will guide you through the complicated field of your finances and give you tips on spending and saving money. The podcast will be exceptionally useful to you if you are planning on investing.

#10 Squanderlust

Squanderlust is a podcast that focuses on the emotional side of money. Martha Lawton and Alex Lemon explore all those things about money that might make you anxious and keep you awake at night. On this podcast, you will learn about the pitfalls of finance and debt, as well as the dangers of procrastination.

#11 The Financial Wellbeing Podcast

The author of The Financial Wellbeing Book Chris Budd, the financial planner Tom Morris, and David Lloyd have joined forces on The Financial Wellbeing Podcast. This show examines a lot of the things that relate to money and mental health, providing you with useful tips on how to release your anxiety. The hosts are frequently joined by various finance experts that provide you with useful insight.

#12 This Is Money

This Is Money is a UK money podcast with a new episode every Friday. The show is hosted by Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost, who comment on the financial news of the week. This is an excellent show to stay up-to-date and get financial predictions, advice, guides, and opinions.

#13 The Which? Money Podcast

The Which? Money Podcast is hosted by Lucia Ariano, Gareth Shaw, and Jenny Ross, all finance experts. Through their podcast, this team is offering tips that will help you increase your income, from your savings to balance transfers. You can find a new episode every Thursday.

#14 Wake Up to Money

Wake Up to Money is a radio show that you can listen to every weekday at 5 am on BBC Radio 5. The show is hosted by Adam Parsons and Louise Cooper is offering her financial expertise. On this podcast, you will find a bit of everything, from the latest financial news to tips on saving and investing. Every episode is available for download after 7 am. 

These money podcasts will help you understand finance and start saving money. Find the one that suits your needs and educate yourself on this complicated topic.

Making a UK Money Podcast
UK Money Podcast

What’s next?

If you want to find out more about managing your money, why not check out the 10 building blocks to financial freedom?


The Magic Bath – a Financial Freedom Fairy Story – 3

Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial independence. In this series, in each financial freedom fairy story you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic.

The Magic Bath – a Financial Freedom Fairy Story

Stories can be powerful for illustrating the lessons of financial independence. In this series, in each financial freedom fairy story you will meet explore a familiar fairy tale world with remarkable characters and magic. There’s action, and drama, and love, and sometimes a happy ending. Enjoy these financial independence fairy tales.

You can find another Financial Freedom Fairy Story here.

Now, are you sitting comfortably? In that case, let’s begin…

The Magic Bath – a Financial Freedom Fairy Story – by Doug Weller

There was once was a poor dairy farmer. 

Every day, the farmer took all day to milk his cows, and every day he collected just enough milk to feed himself and his kind daughter named Patience.

One day, Patience was speaking to a handsome lad who lived at the neighbouring farm. In truth, she was secretly in love with the lad.

The lad pointed out across the valley from where they both lived to cow shed.

“Have you ever noticed that the old widower who lives in that farm does not graze any cows? I think his cow shed is empty,” the handsome lad said. “And yet, he always has enough milk to feed himself and his family.” 

Patience looked across the valley and saw that there were no cows in the old widower’s field.

“That doesn’t seem fair. Everyone has to work to feed their families. Why should the old widower be any different?” she asked.

“One day, someone should find out how he does it,” the lad said.

Patience went to find her father, who was hard at work milking the cows in his field, and told him what the handsome lad had said about the old widower

Her father stopped milking for a moment. 

“I have heard the old widower uses magic, for there is no other way to have all the milk you need,” her father said. He then turned back to milking his cows.

Unconvinced by what her father had said, Patience decided to sneak into the widow’s cowshed  and see whether he truly used magic. She waited until nightfall, and then walked from one side of the valley to the other. 

When she reached the old farmers cow shed, she crept inside.

Just as her handsome neighbour had said, there were no cows to be seen. In fact, the cow shed was empty, except for a large contraption in the middle. The contraption reminded the girl of a bath, because it had a tap at the top. 

When she stepped closer, she saw that the tap was gushing milk into the bath. The bath itself was filled to the brim with milk. 

“What are you doing in my cow shed,” the widower shouted.

Patience turned in fright to see the hideous old widower. She explained honestly that she had wanted to understand how their farm always had milk despite having no cows.

The old widower nodded and pointed at the contraption.

“This is a magic bath,” he said. He then explained that he had won the bath in a fair bet many years before. The bath gave him all the milk his family needed, without him needing to do any work at all.

“I wish my father could have a magic bath. Then he would not have to work another day in his life,” Patience said.

The old widower leaned towards her, and gave her a proposition.

“May I suggest a bargain? I will build you a magic bath, in exchange for your hand in marriage,” he said.

The girl looked at the old widow. She did not want to marry him, but the thought of having all the milk her family needed was too tempting for her.

“I will accept your bargain on one condition,” Patience said.

“And what is your condition?” the old widower asked.

“I will marry you on the day my father sells all his cows.”

The old widower nodded his agreement, and immediately set to work building Patience a magic bath. 

Some months later, the old widower arrived at her father’s farm. A horse-drawn cart behind him carried a magic bath, just like the one he had in his cow shed. The old widower helped Patience installl the magic bath in her father’s barn.

“Where is the milk? Is this a trick?” Patience asked, because there was nothing pouring out of the magic bath’s tap.

“Every day, after milking the cows you must pour all of the day’s milk into the bath,” the old widower said. Then he pointed to a spout sticking out from the bottom of the bath. “Use this spout to fill up buckets with only as much milk as your family needs.”

The girl repeated his instructions.

“If you follow these two rules, then soon your father will be able to sell his cows.”

The next day, her father milked the cows as usual, producing one bucket of milk. Patience  carried the bucket into the cow shed, and poured the milk into the magic bath, just as the old widower had instructed.

Once the bucket was empty, she put the same bucket beneath the spout and turned it on. Milk ran out from the magic bath and into the bucket. When the bucket was full, the spout ran dry. She looked into the bath and it was empty. There was no more milk that day.

Patience went to see the old widower.

“You have tricked me. I did exactly as you instructed, but we still only have enough milk to drink for one day.” 

She explained what had happened in the cow shed and the old widower listened.

“Here is what you must do,” he said. “Tomorrow, your family must work harder, so that you produce more milk that you drink. Only then will your father be able sell his cows.”

Patience explained this to her father, and they agreed that she would help him to milk the cows that day. They worked very hard together, and managed to fill two buckets with milk. Patience then brought the two buckets to the magic bath and poured them inside.

Thenm she held her bucket beneath the spout and turned it on. Milk ran into the bucket. And when the first bucket was filled, the spout still had more milk. She looked into the bath and there was a small pool of milk at the bottom of the magic bath.

The daughter and her father were exhausted after all the day’s milking. Instead of the family drinking just one bucket of milk, they decided to fill the bucket again and drank it. In fact, they drank so much that their stomach’s ached at the end of it.

Patience turned to her father.

“We had enough milk to drink twice as much as before. So now you can sell your cows.”

Her father shook his head.

“Drinking two buckets of milk was excellent, although it made my stomach ache. But we worked so hard to produce the milk, and there is nothing left in the bath. We cannot sell the cows,” he said.

Patience went to the old widow and explained what had happened and the old widow listened.

“Here’s what you must do. Tomorrow, your family must work just as hard as today, but you must only drink the milk you need and no more. Soon, your father will be able to sell his cows.”

The next day, they once again filled two buckets with milk. Patience carried the two buckets to the bath and poured them inside.

Then, she held her bucket beneath the spout and turned it on. Milk ran into the bucket. And when the bucket was filled, the spout still had more milk left to give. She looked into the magic bath, and there was a small pool of milk at the bottom of the bath.

That night, they were careful to only drink one bucket of milk.

“Now, we have milk to spare, so you can sell your cows,” Patience said.

Her father shook his head.

“We drank only the milk we needed, but we will only have enough spare milk to last us one more day. If you or I can’t work tomorrow, the milk will run out. We cannot sell the cows.”

Patience went to the old widower and explained what her father had said and the dairy farmer listened.

“Have you turned on the magic tap?” the old widower asked.

The girl looked at him blankly.

“I may have forgot to mention it. The tap at the top of the bath is a magic tap. If you turn the magic tap on, for every bucket of milk left inside the magic bath, the magic tap will add extra milk.”

Patience was thrilled. She ran to the cow shed and turned on the magic tap. A tiny drip-drip-drip of milk fell from the tap into the bath. It was such a small amount of milk, that Patience realised in would take many, many years for the drips to fill the magic bath.

The next day, Patience and her father worked very hard, and once again managed to fill two buckets with milk. Shebrought the two buckets to the bath and poured them in.

Then, she held her bucket beneath the spout and turned it on. Milk ran into the bucket. And when the first bucket was filled, the spout still had more milk to give. She looked into the bath, and saw there was a slightly larger pool of milk at the bottom of the bath that the day before.

The daughter and her father were tired from all the milking. But limited themselves to one bucket of milk.

Patience turned to her father.

“We have milk to spare, and we have learned not drink more milk than we need. And we have a magic tap. So now you can sell your cows.”

Her father shook his head.

“Living within our means is excellent. But look, the bath is still almost empty and that magic tap of your is hardly helping.”

They both looked at the drip-drip-drip of the magic tap. 

“There is so little milk coming from the magic tap, not even one tenth of the milk in the bath came out of the tap today. We cannot sell the cows.”

The girl went to the old widow and explained what her father had said and the old widow listened.

“Have I mentioned the holes in the bath,” the old widow asked.

“What?” Patience asked, starting to lose her patience.

“There are two hole in the bath, besides the spout. The first leaks out a share of every bucket of milk that is poured into the bath. The second takes a share of whatever amount of milk is sat in the bath over night.”

“With all those holes, I’m amazed we have any milk left in the bath at all,” Patience replied. “Can’t we just block up the two holes?”

“A nice idea, but then the magic tap would stop working also,” the old widower said.

The girl became angry at all the old widower’s rules.

“But how is that the magic bath in your cow shed is full to the brim if you have not blocked up all those holes? What did you do that we are not doing?” she asked.

The old widower sighed.

“Every day, I worked just as hard as you to milk the cows. My family only drank what we needed, and I kept the magic tap open. The only difference between you and me is that I kept doing this for several years.”

Patience returned to her father and explained.

“It sounds as if we will need much patience,” her father said. And then he added, “I am lucky to have you as my daughter.”

The seasons came and went, and the father and daughter continued to work hard milking the cows. Every day, they ensured they only drank what they needed, and they made sure to keep the magic tap open.

They noticed that, as time passed, the amount of milk in the magic bath increased. And the milk did not sour because this was a magic bath after all. Although they knew some milk drained away because of the two holes in the bath, this was less than the milk pouring in through the magic tap. Every day, they saw that the drip-drip-drip of the magic tap had grown stronger and faster. As a result, the magic bath became fuller and fuller every day.

One day, Patience went to pour in two buckets of milk, and saw that the magic tap was gushing milk and the bath was at last full to the brim.

She ran to her father and explained. Excited he went to the bath and saw that what his daughter had said was true.

“Now can we sell the cows?” Patience asked.

Before her father could answer the old widower appeared at the door. He saw the full bath of milk and the milk flowing from the magic tap.

“You have worked hard to make more milk than you drink can drink, then you have drunk only what you need, and you have turned on the magic tap. You can now sell your cows and never work again.”

The father and daughter both thanked the old widower. But he held up his hand for silence.

“There is one more rule for you both to understand. And listen well. You must continue to only drink the milk you need, or you cannot sell the cows. Because if you drink more than your share, the magic bath will once again run dry.”

Patience and her father nodded and agreed they would only spend what they needed in the future.

“Now, remember our bargain, Patience. I built this magic bath for you in exchange for your hand in marriage.”

“But, only once we have sold our cows,” Patience said.

The old widower pointed to the magic bath.

“You will never be short of milk again. There is no need to do a day more’s milking. So now you must sell the cows,” he said.

Her father agreed. “Yes, Patience. I do not want to work another day. And I do not need to, because we have all the milk we will ever need.

Patience smiled.

“We could sell the cows now, father. You are right. But I have had a better idea.”

Patience explained that, rather than sell the cows, her father could loan the cows to the handsome lad on the neighbouring farm. In that way, he will have more milk to drink and sell, and there is no need to ever sell the cows.”

The old widower was furious.

“But that’s no fair. You promised to marry me,” he complained. “How could a girl like you trick me like this?”

“No good man would offer to trad a magic bath for the ownership of another human being. I am not property to be traded.” Patience said firmly. 

With that, the old widower shook his head and left.

And Patience and her father lived happily ever after, never having to work another day in their lives.

THE END

Financial Freedom Fairy Story – Coda

The Magic Bath fairy story is a metaphor for financial independence. If you follow all the elements of this story, it explains the path to financial freedom

Milking the cows represents traditional work. You can work everyday and have nothing to show for it if you drink all of the milk or money that you earn.

When you have make more milk or money than you consume, you can keep the rest in a magic bath. Also known as saving and investing.

When you invest your money, you earn dividends and make capital gains. Exactly like the magic tap, these gains increase your amount of milk, and the more milk you have, the more comes out of the magic tap. In the same way, the more you invest, the more your investments will compound and grow.

But, there are holes in investment, just like in the magic bath. The first hole is inflation. The longer you hold on to milk or money, the less it is worth because of inflation. The second hole is transaction fees, commissions and taxes. Every time you pay money to others, the less money is left for you.

Your magic tap, or return on investment, needs to be larger than the money you lose from inflation and taxes. If you are successful, you will reach a point where you have enough milk or money, so that the magic tap pays for all your expenses, and covers the costs of inflation and transaction fees, commissions and taxes.

You don’t need an old widower to build you a magic bath. They are available to anybody in the form of low cost, index investments. If you invest more than you earn in a sensible place, the magic tap will flow with dividends and capital gains, and the magic bath will fill more and more. This is you path to financial independence and freedom.

And, of course, like in the story of the Magic Bath, you also need a little Patience.

Want to read another Financial Freedom Fairy Story?

Each Financial Freedom Fairy Story is written to teach lessons about mastering your money in a fun way. Sometimes, reading dry financial advice can be a little dull, or too complicated at first glance. These fairy stories aim to refresh the parts that other types of money advice miss.

You can read another Financial Freedom Fairy Story here. Why not start with The Young Man with Red Hair – a financial freedom fairy story.

And while you’re here – why not learn more about the building blocks of financial freedom?

You could also read why Medium thinks Financial Freedom is not a fairy tale.

The Magic Bath - a Financial Freedom Fairy Story
The Magic Bath – a Financial Freedom Fairy Story

I hope you enjoy these Financial Freedom Fairy Tales. You can let me know your thoughts in the comments below. My plan is to keep writing these Financial Freedom Fairy Tales – so if you find them useful, or you think they could be improved, let me know.


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