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Money saving advice from a former circus clown

Are you like Chicken Little when it comes to money - always running about shouting, "The sky is falling!" Here's a little financial advice that might help you calm down and stop laying eggs!
Tim Torkildson, FamilyShare Modified: August 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm •  Published: August 22, 2014

Most people know the story of Chicken Little, who thought the sky was falling. She was really worried, and it turned out, she was worried about nothing. In our family, we like to remind eachother of this sweet little fable when worries are getting us down.

One of the biggest worries that EVERYONE has is about money. And that includes me.

I’m not going to pretend that money, and all that it means and can purchase, is no longer a concern to me. I am neither a billionaire nor a Trappist monk. I like the green stuff. But over the past six decades, I’ve learned a thing or two about having it, and not having it.

Please let me share some anecdotal advice with you:

Even a pauper can save something

My first job as an adult was with Ringling Brothers Circus as a First-of-May, a new clown. I made exactly $90 per week. (So I wasn’t exactly raking it in.) But it was an interesting job, and I got to travel to every state in the Union.

I made up my mind at the beginning of the season that I would save 10 percent of my weekly salary, no matter what. (That's $9.) Each week, I sent it to my account at the Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Savings Bank.

At the end of two years, with a little help from “cherry pie” (my second job selling coloring books during intermission), I had enough funds to enroll in a prestigious pantomime school in Mexico during the winter lay off. It was both a vacation and an investment. When I got back to the show, they promoted me to traveling in advance of the circus for promotional appearances.

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