Friday, 12 January 2018

Tortoise & Hare Finances

Hi folks

So, I am pretty sure we all know the fable about the tortoise and the hare and how that slow and steady tortoise won that fabled race ..... yep.

You know, some days it feels like our incomes are like the tortoise and our expenses are like the hare.  On other days, it is our savings and investments that feel like the tortoise and our incomes are the hare.  For some of us, our partners are the hare and we are the tortoise (or vice versa) when it comes to household money. Some of  us have a hare income and a matching hare spending habits, others of us however have a tortoise income and tortoise spending. At any rate, there is lots of tortoise and hare habits going on when it comes to personal finances.

To be truthful, the hare was just an idiot. He could have easily won that race. He could also have saved the whole community of forest folk from death the very next week when the forest council elected the tortoise to go and warn all the forest folks of the approaching forest fire - all because the tortoise was the winner (!). Needless to say that forest burned as did many of the forest folk because the tortoise was the wrong choice.

Lessons for Hares:

  • Stay focussed.
  • Don't get distracted.
  • Leverage your natural abilities.
  • Reach the finish line quickly, then rest.
  • Slow reliable plodders have lots of fans.

Lessons for Tortoises:
  •   You got lucky competing against an unfocused hare.
  •   Stick to water - tortoises move much faster in water.
  •   Hares can't hold their breath under water nor can they swim efficiently.
  •   You should have declined the job of warning the others of the forest fire - ego.
OK, enough musings....

Tortoise & Hare Finances
  1. I've been a tortoise earner and I've also been a hare earner - having a hare income wins hands down.
  2. I've been a hare spender  - fun at the time but devastating at the finish line.
  3. I've been a tortoise spender - very powerful, very boring but definitely a winner.
  4. Save and invest like a hare.
  5. Increase your income like a hare.
  6. Minimise your spending rate like a tortoise.
  7. Invest like both the hare and the tortoise  - 50% yield & 50% growth
The moral of the story is, that the tortoise and the hare should be friends, partners even. The tortoise could keep the hare focused and the hare could carry the tortoise when necessary. Competition is rarely useful.

Take care and stay nice folks.



  1. We are having a bad month, motor bike costs not expected and my car is due in the garage next month, we have used my car money to pay for the bike and are saving this month for the cost of the car. If we touch our small savings, it will be harder to replace.

  2. I just re-read "An Unpopular Topic", very thought provoking indeed.

  3. Mr HM, I could not agree more! Funny, interesting and so true. This is one of my favourite posts :)


  4. Hi Phil and very wise advice too.

    The secret in all households is to spend far less than you earn and put money away in savings for a rainy day if possible. We like to have at least 12 months total household expenditure put away for our emergency fund and then we don't have to worry if unexpected expenditure arises.

    I love your tortoise and hare analogy it works well :) .


  5. Haha, I really enjoyed this comparison!


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