Mother gave Carmen a little tin box that she encouraged her to save her pennies and dollars in; when it was enough she could always take it to the bank, or change them to get things she really wanted. It was hard for Carmen to save anything-she always wanted dolls, and cake and sweets. Every time Mother checked, there were just a few coins in the tin. She would keep asking Carmen, but she never had a really good reason to be spending the money. Mother told her that one day she was really going to need money and she would not have any because she kept spending it all.
Each time that her parents came home from the grocery store, they would give her whatever change they had, and she would gladly skip to the tin and deposit the money. But as soon as she heard an ice cream van passing by, she would go right back to the tin and take some of the money. She felt like those must be the rainy days her parents kept telling her to save for, but alas, Carmen did not quite understand what they meant.
Mother grew ill one day and was not able to work, so Father had to manage expenses for the house alone. Carmen started getting fewer and fewer pennies, but she still kept using it up. She went to school one day and heard that there would be a fair at the school and all the children were invited. Carmen raced home to tell her parents, but Father told her not to get her hopes up, because he was not sure he could give her the money to go to the fair.
On the morning of the fair, it was just as father had said; he has spent a lot on Mother’s medicine and food so all he could give Carmen was two dollars. He told her that if she had enough money saved, she could use it to make up the money and she could go. When they checked the tin, there was only three dollars in coins left-five dollars was not a lot to use to go to a fair, so Carmen had to stay home.
She cried when she thought about all her friends that were having fun, but she learnt how wise it was to save.
Always save on the days you have plenty, for the days when there will be little or none.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
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