Currently viewing the tag: "money"

He intended to retire next year-but planned to siphon off another two or three hundred thousand first. Then the nest egg would be sufficiently big enough for him to live on for the remaining years. They weren’t really hurting anyone by doing this-the money just sat there. The fact that they never seemed to notice or care that the reports were sometimes off showed him that this amounted to “peanuts” for them. They were a government contractor and as long as they kept spending it, the government kept giving them more.Numbers Never Lie by Shelley K. Wall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an embezzler.

Journaling Prompt: If you knew you could get away with it, would you steal from your employer?

Art Prompt: Embezzler

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a famous embezzler.

Photo Credit: Isidor Hefter on Flickr

Civilization existed before money, but probably wouldn’t have gotten very far without it. Ancient humans’ invention of money was a revolutionary milestone. It helped to drive the development of civilization, by making it easier not just to buy and sell goods, but to pay workers in an increasing number of specialized trades—craftsmen, artists, merchants, and soldiers, to name a few. It also helped connect the world, by enabling traders to roam across continents and oceans to buy and sell goods, and investors to amass wealth…

In the centuries that followed, trade routes forged more cultural connections between nations and regions. Besides exchanging money and goods, traders also spread religious beliefs, knowledge and new inventions, creating cross-pollination among far-flung cultures. –The Journey of Humankind: How Money Made Us Modern By Patrick J. Kiger

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that shows how money spreads between cultures.

Journaling Prompt: How does money exchange feel to you? 

Art Prompt: Spread of civilization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story of how trade and money created today’s world.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Chard  on Flickr


Cattle and metal treasure were the main forms of wealth in ancient Ireland—metal because it was rare, and cattle because they were useful. Cattle provided milk to drink and to make into cheese, and hide and meat after they were dead. If a king demanded tribute from his subjects, it would probably be in the form of cattle—in fact, a wealthy farmer was called a bóiare, or “lord of cows.” In the famous poem Táin Bó Cuailnge, a major war starts because Queen Mebd discovers that her husband has one more bull than she does. Celtic chieftains spent quite a bit of their energy stealing cattle from one another. They even had a special word for this activity, táin. (Cattle raiding wasn’t just an amusement for the ancient Irish; modern Irish people were stealing one another’s cattle well into the twentieth century.) –Ryan Hackney and Amy Hackney Blackwell, 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a unique form of currency – legal or illegal – for your story.

Journaling Prompt: What is more important to you than money?

Art Prompt: Cattle

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of currency.

Photo Credit: Attila Terbócs on Wikimedia

Rope-mounted [sperm whale] teeth are important cultural objects throughout the Pacific. In New Zealand, the Maori know them as “rei puta”; such whale tooth pendants were rare objects because sperm whales were not actively hunted in traditional Maori society. Whale ivory and bone were taken from beached whales. In Fiji the teeth are known as tabua, traditionally given as gifts for atonement or esteem (called sevusevu), and were important in negotiations between rival chiefs. Friedrich Ratzel inThe History of Mankind reported in 1896 that, in Fiji, whales’ or cachalots’ teeth were the most-demanded article of ornament or value. They occurred often in necklaces. Today the tabua remains an important item in Fijian life. The teeth were originally rare in Fiji and Tonga, which exported teeth, but with the Europeans’ arrival, teeth flooded the market and this “currency” collapsed. The oversupply led in turn to the development of the European art of scrimshaw. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem in which whale bone or ivory is an important symbol.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a family heirloom of jewelry that has been passed down to you and what it symbolizes.

Art Prompt: Scrimshaw

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of scrimshaw.

Photo Credit: kqedquest on Flickr


…husbands who contribute 70 percent of the household income are the least likely to cheat on their wives.
Above that figure, the chances of him being unfaithful go up a little. But the further a man falls below that threshold—which is to say, the more economically dependent he becomes on his wife—the odds of him having an affair increase significantly.

… Women who were the primary breadwinners of a household were less likely to cheat than women who were dependent on their husband’s income. This proved true in spite of the fact that their income-producing status can cause their husband to feel threatened, and increase the odds he will have an affair. –Tom Jacobs

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story of infidelity and include the internal monologue of the cheating spouse.

Journaling Prompt: How important is money to you? Could you ever use that as an excuse to act badly?

Art Prompt: Infidelity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the damage that infidelity creates in a relationship.

Photo Credit: smile_kerry on Flickr


It’s only money: that phrase had repeated a thousand times in Leuka’s head, but it didn’t help. –Olympic Summer by Sarada Gray

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: What thoughts come up when you think “It’s only money” ?

Art Prompt: It’s only money

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about your relationship with money.

Photo Credit: elycefeliz on Flickr

Piggy bank full of dirty  coins

When a group of students were given four quarters for participating in an “experiment,” they were much more likely to spend them on candy for sale nearby (which was the actual experiment) than students who had been given a dollar. We are careless when we’re spending what we see as “the change.” This goes for large change as well as small change. The effect is so pronounced that we ourselves are aware of it. When people want to be careful with an amount of money, they specifically request it in a larger denomination. We know we’ll be more reluctant to break a fifty than a twenty.
Here’s the problem. Once a person has broken those larger bills, the entire leftover part becomes “change.” Buying a fifty-cent candy bar with a hundred means breaking your resolve, just as much as buying a twenty dollar meal, or a fifty-dollar item of clothing. Once you’ve crossed that barrier, you tend to spend much more than you would have with medium-sized denominations. The only thing more costly than no will-power is not-quite-enough-willpower. –Esther Ingliss-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the character’s relationship with money as a primary motivating factor.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your relationship with cash, especially focusing on the tricks you use to try to keep from spending it and whether they work for  you or not.

Art Prompt: Pocket Change

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Give your audience some tips for handling their cash responsibly.

Photo Credit: J J on Flickr


bilk INFORMAL v. [with obj.]
1 obtain or withhold money from (someone) unfairly or by deceit; cheat or defraud: government waste has bilked the taxpayer of billions of dollars. obtain (money) fraudulently: some businesses bilk thousands of dollars from unsuspecting elderly consumers.
2 ARCHAIC evade; elude. bilker n. mid 17th century (originally used in cribbage meaning ‘spoil one’s opponent’s score’): perhaps a variant of BAULK.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you felt cheated.

Art Prompt: Bilk

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: numberstumper on Flickr


Money, Wally would learn, ahead of religion or even sex is the controlling influence that nearly always leads us to the wrong decisions. -R.P. McCabe, Betrayed

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about a decision that is influenced by money, or the lack of it.

Journaling Prompt: How does money affect your decisions?

Art Prompt: Money and Decisions

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous piece about how money controls your life.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013 on Flickr

Drunken Monkey Birthday Celebration

Don’t ask me to explain what riotous living is. I only know, from hearsay, that it is an excellent way to get rid of money. -L. Frank Baum, American Fairy Tales (Illustrated)

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about someone running through a lot of money through riotous living.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you spent a lot of money to do something fun.

Art Prompt: Riotous Living

Photo Credit: L-plate big cheese on Flickr
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