The Piggy Bank: A Secret to Simple Saving
When I was a sophomore in college, my dad gave me a piggy bank for Hanukkah. I couldn't figure it out at first — had my dad forgotten that I was all grown up and didn't need a piggy bank for my pennies anymore? It was an adorable little pig, though and I put it on my desk as a decoration. Pretty soon, the pig was full. I wasn't sure how it happened, really, but who was I to turn down the $20 I had in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters? I took it with me to the bank and deposited my change — I wasn't about to roll all that change myself.
The piggy bank went back on my desk and I started paying attention to what I was doing with my spare change. I had developed a habit of dumping all my change in the piggy bank as I was emptying my pockets on my desk at the end of the day. Before I had just been setting down piles of change — and I'm not really sure that I ever saw any of that loose change again.
The Piggy Bank as a Focus Point
My piggy bank, just by sitting somewhere that I saw it every day, helped me realize just what I was doing with my money. It's easy to lose track of pocket change — it's just a few cents, after all. But those pennies and dimes add up fast. Even with my college habit of pulling quarters of my bank to do laundry, I could fill my piggy bank in a month.
The Piggy Bank as a Saving Tool
If I had just treated my piggy bank's contents as found money, I could have had a fun evening once a month. But I was able to think about it as a saving tool — it was money that I would have lost if I wasn't putting it in the pig, and I worked hard to remember that fact. That money went straight into my savings account. It came in handy, too: the clunker I drove died on me one day and without my savings, I'm not really sure that I would have been able to get my car fixed.
The Piggy Bank for Grown Ups
I've come to the conclusion that my dad was right — a person's never too old for a piggy bank. It doesn't need a snout or a curly tail, but having a place that you can put spare change can be a very effective savings tool. I still keep my piggy handy and it gets all of my spare change. It may not fill up as fast — I rely on my debit card for most purchases — but that makes it even more important that I have a place to put my pennies before I lose them. Even a few cents can be important to a budget when you put them all together. My spare change has saved my bacon: has it saved yours?