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What We Can Learn From Squirrels on Squirrel Appreciation Day

Sam Greenwood/Getty images

Yesterday was not only Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of the first two, just putting a spotlight on the nut chewing wonders.

I began to reflect on these bushy tailed beasts and compare them and the way they handle food to humans and money.

Squirrels have one characteristic that human seem to lack these days: they save. Most humans, on the other hand, don’t. Squirrels are programmed to stash, in hundreds of places a year, their food. Some caches are temporary but most are permanent burial sites.They never lack for food.

Humans have both temporary and permanent stashes too. Of money. The temporary is what my Dad calls “mad money”. It’s the personal cash no one, even your spouse, knows you keep. It’s blown on recreational stuff mostly.

Then there is the permanent. This is the paycheck. Most of us live hand to mouth, so it’s not as permanent as it should be. And it doesn’t get saved. Only about 34% of Americans have $1000 or more in savings. The rest have less than $500!

One thing we do have that squirrels don’t is credit. The catch here is, that adds to our spending and not the saving. I figure if we all take a cue from squirrels and hoard away even a little change each day, we would build our stashes to the point where we could
have our “nuts whenever we want them.”

I vow to be more like a squirrel from this point on. Off I go to bury the sixty-seven cents from my pocket!

 

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