How to Make a Piggy Bank
I'm normally a debit swiping, credit-card carrying shopper who rarely makes cash purchases. However, this year I'm using cash a little more than usual which equates to coins rolling around the bottom of my purse, backpack, car, and pockets. Since I don't like being weighed down by these precious metals or the idea of losing them, I've started saving all of my loose change in a do-it-yourself piggy bank. (See also: Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change)
I must say I love watching my coins multiply. Not only is it motivating to watch the piggy bank fill up, it's relaxing to actually dump out the coin bank and count how much I've accumulated, which then ends up getting rolled up and hidden away toward my camping trip fund. Here are several ideas on making your own piggy bank.
Easy, Simple Banks
Grab a container from around your house and put a slit in it.
Glass Mason Jars
It's no wonder glass Mason jars have been in existence for 125 years — they serve various functions from canning to drinking glasses to storage containers. I chose a large Mason jar for my own piggy bank because it was so easy to use. All I had to do is cut a small slit through the top large enough for quarters to slide through. Since it's glass I can also see how much I've accumulated without dumping out the entire jar. It's a great piggy bank for children to use as well since they can practice estimating what they see, then follow up by counting the actual amount. The only precaution I'd add is that it is glass, and though thick, it could still easily break if dropped. (See also: Sanity Saving Ideas for Canning Jars)
If you use cash quite often and end up with tons of coins, a 3- or 5-gallon jug might be another option for storing that money. These reusable water jugs come in plastic or glass, so depending on if you have someone strong enough to lift a filled jug, it could be quite motivating watching the amount grow. I can usually save about $50 in my small Mason jar before I need to empty it. I would imagine that a filled 3- or 5-gallon jug could hold close to 10-times that amount!
Any tin can with a plastic lid can be turned into a piggy bank within seconds: coffee cans, baby formula cans, or Pringle's cans. The only disadvantage is that you can't see the accumulation of coins from the outside. However, this could be beneficial if you find yourself raiding your coin collection every now and then; the out of sight, out of mind mentality definitely reduces temptation. Using one of these can-banks with children can teach them estimation skills based on weight; they can guess how much is in the can based on how heavy it is, then count the amount to see how close they were.
Fun, Creative Banks
Want to add a little fun to your homemade piggy bank? Get out your scissors, glue, and googly eyes.
From Milk Jug to Animal Bank
Maybe it's because I've taught elementary school for many years, but give me an empty milk jug, some construction paper, felt-tip markers, and googly eyes and almost any item can be turned into an animal of sorts. Turn an empty, cleaned out, plastic milk jug on its side (handle up) and cut a slit under the handle large enough to slip a quarter through. Next, decorate the cap for the nose and glue on some googly eyes and pom-poms for decoration. Finally, using a paper towel or toilet paper tube, cut four 2" sections and glue on the bottom of the milk jug for feet. When the jug is filled with coins, you can cut open your "piggy" bank or empty it through the cap.
Half Gallon Carton to Skyscraper Coin Collector
If you don't happen to purchase drinks in plastic gallon container, a half gallon carton can serve as a coin collector as well. Rinse out the carton and let it dry. Use construction paper, crayon, and markers to decorate windows, doors, bricks, etc. Using white glue, like Elmer's, glue the construction paper on the outside of the container, including the top part where the tops form a triangle. Cut a slit for coins at the top, or if it has a screw on lid, most coins will fit through that opening. The carton shape can be decorated into any creation, from building, to rocket, to cell phone; it can be a fun way to teach saving and reinforce counting money.
Soda Can/Coin Jar Sculpture
If you're really creative and love finding ways to reuse soda cans, consider creating a soda can sculpture using fishing line or wire hangers that can collect your spare change. Just be sure to cut a larger opening at the top and make sure little fingers don't get too close to any sharp edges. Turning the severed edges in toward the inside of the can will help minimize jagged edges. Once the "sculpture" is full, you can cut off the tops of the cans to empty and then recycle.
These are just a few ways to reuse everyday items and help create a small rainy-day savings fund.