Why People Who Live in Colder Climates are Better Money Managers

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My brain thinks about strange things sometimes.  Occasionally I decide that I should write about a meaningless conclusion I’ve made.

Today is one such day.

Recently, I was having a Bible study with some Christians who live in one of the squatter settlements in town

We were looking at the “lazy man” (Easy to Read Version), also known as the “sluggard” to the NIV community.

One of the key things I tried to emphasize was personal responsibility and personal accountability.

We read the following passage in Proverbs :

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV)

Then it struck me.  I had to explain what summer is because people in PNG enjoy a perpetual summer.  Food grows year round.  Different types of foods are harvested year round.

Think, then, about how winter impacts personal finances.  In my causes of poverty post, I didn’t include a perpetual summer! Shame on me.

If you’ve grown up in a place with a cold climate then in the summer months, you know you need to be storing up for the winter.  You learn to think about your tomorrow not just today.  You learn to work hard today so you’ll have what you need tomorrow.  You learn to say no to today’s extra desires because tomorrow (winter) may not even offer you enough to survive.

If you’ve lived through a winter, you’ve learned important lessons that help you manage your money.

I only see one flaw in my new found theory.  It would mean that Canadians should be wealthier than Americans and folks from Michigan should be better money managers than people form California.

What do you think?  Is this the reason why many of the world’s poorer nations live closer to the equator?


  1. Mulinge says

    Am a born again Economist living in Kenya, right on the Equator. I have actually thought of this relationship between the climate and wealth. Glad you have started a theory on it. In Kiswahili, there is a saying which goes “penye miti hapana wajenzi” literally translated “where there is plenty of wood, there are no builders”.

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