Power of Storytelling: A Savings Story

Sep 25, 2014

We all know the power of a good story.  For a great example of this, check out Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Stanford back in 2005.  I bet those stories he tells will stick with you for a while.  So, how can we tell a story that will make it clear to students that saving is the key to incredible wealth?

Here are two that provide an incredible contrast and show that it is not how much you earn that matters but how much you save (also great message about giving back also)!

Oseola McCarty’s story is nothing short of amazing. She quit school at 12 and began taking in
laundry for a living. She never earned more than $10 a bundle. For the next 75 years, she worked hard and pinched her pennies. When she retired she had saved $280,000 and gave more than half of it to the University of Southern Mississippi for a scholarship fund.

Oseola started saving when she was a little girl — for candy. As she got older she saved for her future.  Every month, she held back just enough to cover her expenses, and put the rest in the bank.  The moral of this story? It’s simple: no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, no matter what you do for a living . . . you can save for the future too.

  •  Contrast her with the story of the NBA player, Antoine Walker (DailyMail); and he is certainly not alone among athletes and celebrities:

“NBA star Antoine Walker blew through the $110 million he earned in a successful basketball career so quickly that he was forced to file for bankruptcy just two years after he retired.

Walker, who was forced to come out of retirement and play in the obscure development league, says bad real estate deals, gambling debts and 14 years of living the high life have left him all but broke today.  It is a far cry from his glory days in the NBA, where he was named to the all-star team three times and won a championship in 2006.”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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