May 22nd, 2012
Many parents aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to teaching their children about the basics of money management. I’m happy to say the old fashioned way may be the best: the Piggy Bank. Piggy Banks have a long and rich history helping people learn to save money.
The Piggy Bank gets its start not from some clever inventor or banker but rather a misstep of language. In Old English the word for orange clay was pygg. People would use this type of clay to make dishes and jars and they would put their coins in them. Around the 18th Century the word pygg began to sound like the word for the animal “pig.” So some clever craftsman shaped a pygg jar to look just like a real pig. This is how the Piggy Bank is thought to have been ‘born.’
When you give your child a Piggy Bank you are telling them they’re now old enough to begin saving their own money. The Piggy Bank can be the tool which starts the conversation about the importance of savings and why we set money aside for our future goals and emergencies. The Piggy Bank will serve as a great teaching tool for your child because they’ll see the money accumulate. I also recommend that you open a savings account at your local bank or credit union as well. Most offer free accounts for children.
Once the Piggy Bank begins to fill up, or whenever they receive birthday or gift money, you should take them down to the branch and make a deposit. When the statement comes in each month, show them how their money has grown. This becomes another opportunity to discuss the importance of saving and financial goal setting.
As you can see, getting your child a Piggy Bank can really help you teach some valuable lessons in money management to your child. It’s a simple way to start, but starting is what’s important.
Below is a list of several companies that make educational piggy bank products, but check with your local bank or credit union to see if they give away free ones when you open an account. You can also go to the local craft store for a less expensive option that your child can decorate themselves, which may get them more excited about the whole idea.
Moonjar ($25.00). This durable tin moneybox is a timeless gift that will inspire and teach children to save, spend and share wisely for a lifetime.
Money Savvy Pig ($16.99). This clear plastic pig is available in several colors and has four compartments: save, spend, donate and invest.
Prosperity4Kids ($24.95). This handmade ceramic Money Mama piggy bank is designed to give children a fun, hands-on way to practice abundant money management.