The Golden Egg: A Financial Easter Tale

Reading the Hunger Games brought back flashes of my childhood Easter egg hunts. When it came to neighborhood and Church hunts, my sister and I were Career Tributes. We possessed ridiculously high competitive drives and uncanny abilities to duck, dip, dodge and dive for the best eggs and find even the most deviously hidden gem. When it came to the Easter egg hunt in my home, I wouldn’t even make it to the Cornucopia before being taken down by my younger sister.

11110575_10152927107691137_2179577367266844733_nWhy am I drawing such a gory illustration of the childhood experience dedicated to snatching colorful, candy-filled eggs off the lawn?

Because in my home, Easter eggs quickly phased out of being filled with candy and instead contained cold-hard cash.

And one egg held more money than almost all the rest combined: the Golden Egg.

My parents used Easter egg hunts to teach us the harsh reality that life simply isn’t fair. A set amount of eggs would be marked with E and C to guarantee a degree of sportsman-like conduct, then the rest would be free-for-all and only one Golden Egg lay hidden. (Harry Potter’s quest for the Snitch also gave me heart palpitations).

Cailin and I would be held in the garage (or bedroom when we lived in an apartment in Japan) and then unleashed to grab all the eggs we could. Inevitably we’d pause to do an egg count and determine how many remained before running back, unconcerned with the remaining regular eggs and solely focused on the Golden Egg.

Hunt circa 2006

Hunt circa 2006

She's lethal I tell ya!

She’s lethal I tell ya!

My sister gives off a nonchalant, “I’m not competitive” vibe while I’ve been known to flip the occasional board game and debate points in mini-golf. But underneath her cool, calm façade lurks the heart of a Golden Egg seeking ninja with the ruthlessness of Frank Underwood.

For a solid five years in a row, Cailin snatched up the Golden Egg. One year even finding it buried in a container of fish food for koi. Overall, I’d say the score is something like 10-3. She’s probably made over $300 from defeating me in Easter egg hunts.

I dealt with defeat, after defeat, after defeat – but my parents never offered to hide two Golden Eggs. Never tried to sneak an extra few bucks into my basket. Never snuck me special clues to help my quest to defeat my sister. Instead, they let survival of the egg hunters play out and occasionally even mocked my complete inability to find the egg first (maybe I’m Golden Egg colorblind).

Much like the Krispy Kreme donut lesson and the paying for 50%, this became a cornerstone of my financial education.

Unlike my participation-trophy-winning peers, I learned at a very young age that when you’re not first you’re last (I think that makes five pop culture references in this post). And that money is never distributed equally – even on a relatively level playing field.

Even though I couldn't always hide my frustration.

I couldn’t always hide my frustration.

At 25-years-old, my parents still indulge me in yearly hunts. Now, my cousins substitute in for Cailin when she can’t make the cross-country trip to crush my spirit.

The Cousin Ringers

The Cousin Ringers

Somehow, I still manage lose the Golden Egg, despite being within inches of its hiding place. As my father aptly described this year, I’m the Buffalo Bills of Easter egg hunts.

The Golden Egg loss is more upsetting than Wide Right

The Golden Egg loss is more upsetting than Wide Right

One day, the Golden Egg shall be my precious. Until that day, I continue to learn how to take a beating and keep coming back. Not unlike my feelings on why it’s important to invest. I may be in a down market, but one day it’ll swing back in my favor and there will be glorious returns.

Head over to my Dad’s blog to read his take The Golden Egg – A Politically Incorrect Easter Story

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12 comments on “The Golden Egg: A Financial Easter Tale
  1. I feel ya on the competition. Regardless of what’s at stake-I hate losing (as does everyone else in my family).
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…How to Make Six Figures Before ThirtyMy Profile

  2. Joey P. says:

    “One day, the Golden Egg shall be my precious.” I love the use of pop culture in your writing! Lord of the Ring fans everywhere can appreciate a good dose of Smeagul in their financial literacy readings. Keep up the good work Miss Millennial!

  3. You´re so right about life being unfair–and how that´s such an important lesson to learn! There are tons of ways in which this manifests–even when two people are qualified, or one is maybe even better qualified, the other might get the job or the raise for a slew of other reasons, for example. Sometimes things that seem like they should work out, don´t and that´s just the way of it.
    Chela @SmashOdyssey recently posted…A Lovely Weekend and March UpdateMy Profile

    • Broke Millennial says:

      A lot of the financial unfairness certainly also comes down to an ability to negotiate. Not a skill I learned from the Easter egg hunt!

  4. Happy Easter! I just miss now those memories of egg hunting. I agree with you that life is really unfair. Imagine those eggs I got compared with my friends’. But I learned I need to be complacent and to keep looking for the better.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…Deciding When To Buy A New CarMy Profile

  5. Haha, that’s awesome. I love that your parents didn’t make it so that “everyone wins.” What a great way to illustrate that life isn’t fair, kid! My parents would hide our Easter baskets every year and we’d sometimes spend the whole day trying to find them–and they wouldn’t help us! Mine was hidden in the trash can one year, which took me hours to find. But, they did give all three of us kids a basket, so not a true Hunger Games quest for us :).
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…March 2015 ExpendituresMy Profile

    • Broke Millennial says:

      Certainly wasn’t an “everyone wins” kinda household. But I think we both turned out swell because of these lessons. And I love that your baskets were so hard to find. This year my mom hid mine in the back of a pantry behind other baskets…that one took awhile.

  6. We never really did the Easter egg hunt thing when I was growing up because there were 5 of us and it literally would have been a blood bath every Easter and my mom just didn’t want to start the day celebrating the resurrection of Christ with a family disaster. We do hide eggs for my son, though, and lucky for him he’s an only child, so he always finds the golden egg. This year, though, because he knows about the Easter bunny, we hid eggs that had notes from the Easter bunny. So some had candy or money and some said “vacuum the house” or “clean the dishes.” He wasn’t too thrilled to find those.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – A Dream is a Wish Your Heart MakesMy Profile

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