piggy banks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13484/all en-US Great Financial Gifts for Children http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/great-financial-gifts-for-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5232269732_8ab316ac5a_b.jpg" alt="toy cash register" title="toy cash register" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think back to your childhood and the toys you played with, and there's probably a toy you wish you had as an adult to either play with or give to your children. It could be a game, favorite doll, bike, little red wagon, or anything else that sparked your imagination.</p> <p>For me, after a <a href="http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12737384&amp;camp=ppc:431499102&amp;affcode=1499102&amp;searchdef=2194806&amp;k_clickid=7338ed9d-35cc-1a68-53c8-00003664ad37&amp;002=2194806&amp;006=18249304486&amp;007=Search&amp;008=&amp;009=e&amp;012=big%20wheels&amp;021=19716323709">Big Wheel Racer</a>, I was always fond of piggy banks. I was a geek saver even as a child, and I too often used my allowance money to buy coin sorters and other contraptions to store my change before taking it to the bank to put in a savings account. My favorite was a small, clear plastic case where you put a coin in at the top, and it would roll down a path and fall into a slot for whatever size coin it was. It was an easy way to count coins and helped get me on the road to being a saver.</p> <p>I've received plenty of other great financial gifts since then, and have bought some for my daughter in the hope of teaching her some financial life skills. Here are some great financial gifts for children. Since children through college age can still use financial gifts, not all here are toys, but they are still great gifts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-give-kids-cash-for-the-holidays">5 Reasons Why&nbsp;You Should Give Kids Cash for the Holidays</a>)</p> <h2>Piggy Banks</h2> <p>The pink little piggy is usually a child's first introduction to saving money. It's where they (and you) can put extra change, giving them a chance to spill the coins out on the floor every once in awhile and learn how to count money. The banks come in many sizes and colors, and one of my favorites is the <a href="http://www.msgen.com/assembled/money_savvy_pig.html#.UE4sHhgjT6B">Money Savvy Piggy Bank</a> that has separate compartments to save, spend, donate, and invest. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Moonjar-Classic-Moneybox-Spend-Share/dp/0972428216">Moonjar Moneybox</a> and its compartments to save, spend, and share is also popular. The best piggy bank, however, may be one without a hole in the bottom that you have to destroy to get into.</p> <h2>Play Cash Register</h2> <p>Having fake dollar bills and coins to count and give out as change for &quot;transactions&quot; from your friends is a smart way to learn how to count and learn the value of a dollar. What child hasn't played &quot;store&quot; at home and sold groceries or whatever? A cash register is a necessity for any play business.</p> <h2>Monopoly</h2> <p>What better board game to learn about money than this classic that has been around in <a href="http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/monopoly.htm">some form</a> since 1883 (when it was called &quot;Banking&quot;)? The Game of Life also does a great job teaching about spending and saving, but Monopoly is tops for teaching how to manage money. Should you buy that low-rent property? Is it worth it to build a hotel? How can you negotiate with other players to get the properties you want?</p> <h2>Passbook Savings Account</h2> <p>Believe it or not, banks still have these, which still have written ledgers to keep track of balances. It's the best way to learn how to save because it's real money that belongs to a child. I helped my daughter open one in kindergarten so she could put birthday money in it, with the goal of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">saving for a car</a> or college. The <a href="http://www.money-rates.com/savings.htm">interest rates</a> that these pay are low, so consider moving large sums to other investments such as CDs.</p> <h2>Education Savings Plan</h2> <p>Also called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/section-529-plans">529 Plans</a>, these investments grow <a href="http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/name-the-top-7-benefits-of-529-plans.php">tax-deferred</a>. The donor is in charge of the plan and decides when the money is taken out. Giving a 529 Plan donation to a grandchild, for example, requires having a Social Security number of a parent. In that case, the parent will be the custodian of the account, so the grandparent won't get any tax benefits by donating.</p> <p>In <a href="https://idsaves.s.upromise.com/">Idaho</a>, which has 27,000 such accounts with $230 million in assets, a single person with a child can give up to $4,000 annually to their child's 529 account, while a married couple filing jointly can give $8,000 annually, says Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane.</p> <p>&quot;What a great gift to give to a newborn child or to a kid just starting school,&quot; Crane told me in a phone interview.</p> <h2>Retirement Account</h2> <p>Helping children see the long view is difficult, especially if it's 50 years away. Creating a family retirement account is an ambitious step for teens, but one that <a href="http://blog.famzoo.com/2011/04/pave-road-to-retirement-for-your.html">FamZoo</a> says takes only 30 minutes to set up for a lifetime of savings. Here's how it works &mdash; a parent or other relatives matches a teen's earned income contributions to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-facts-about-roth-iras">Roth IRA</a> in the teen's name. Use a savings calculator to show them how much money they'll save in 50 years &mdash; usually $1 million or more. A custodial account can be set up for a teen, and the contributions and investments can be made online. It's a smart way to reach the ultimate long-term goal of retirement.</p> <h2>Stock</h2> <p>Buying a child stock in Disney, or any other company they're excited about, is a smart way to teach them about investing, the stock market, dollar cost averaging, and reinvesting dividends. You can often <a href="https://www-us.computershare.com/investor/plans/planslist.asp?bhjs=1&amp;fla=0&amp;stype=dspp">buy stock directly</a> through the company &mdash; $250 to start through Disney with minimum additional investments at $50 &mdash; or buy through a broker and ask for a keepsake stock certificate.</p> <p>Besides physical toys and financial gifts, the best financial gifts to give children are continuing discussions about money and the importance of saving it. Without regular talks about how money can be saved and used, you might as well just give them a Big Wheel to ride on without teaching them to ride on the sidewalk only. You don't want them to get run over &mdash; whether on a toy or financially.</p> <p><em>I'm sure there are other financial gifts out there that are worth giving to kids. What were some of your favorite financial gifts as a kid? Please respond in the comments section below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children" class="sharethis-link" title="Great Financial Gifts for Children" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Family Shopping children financial gifts kids and money piggy banks Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Aaron Crowe 954411 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make a Piggy Bank http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-piggy-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-a-piggy-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2301500208_7136f3fa7d.jpg" alt="kitty coin jar" title="kitty coin jar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>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: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a>)</p> <p>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.</p> <h3>Easy, Simple Banks</h3> <p>Grab a container from around your house and put a slit in it.</p> <p><strong>Glass Mason Jars</strong></p> <p>It's no wonder glass <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/multiplicity-of-uses-for-a-mason-jar">Mason jars</a> have been in existence for 125 years &mdash; 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: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sanity-saving-ideas-for-canning-jars">Sanity Saving Ideas for Canning Jars</a>)</p> <p><img height="544" width="500" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/IMG_2458_0.JPG" /></p> <p><strong>5-Gallon Jugs</strong></p> <p>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!</p> <p><strong>Tin Cans</strong></p> <p>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.</p> <h3>Fun, Creative Banks</h3> <p>Want to add a little fun to your homemade piggy bank? Get out your scissors, glue, and googly eyes.</p> <p><strong>From Milk Jug to Animal Bank</strong></p> <p>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&quot; sections and glue on the bottom of the milk jug for feet. When the jug is filled with coins, you can cut open your &quot;piggy&quot; bank or empty it through the cap.</p> <p><strong>Half Gallon Carton to Skyscraper Coin Collector</strong></p> <p>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.</p> <p><strong>Soda Can/Coin Jar Sculpture</strong></p> <p>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 &quot;sculpture&quot; is full, you can cut off the tops of the cans to empty and then recycle.</p> <p>These are just a few ways to reuse everyday items and help create a small rainy-day savings fund.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-piggy-bank" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make a Piggy Bank" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY mason jars piggy banks recycle reusable Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:36:08 +0000 Little House 509354 at http://www.wisebread.com