The Lessons Your First Piggy Bank Can Teach Your Children

Your first piggy bank probably taught you a lot of lessons about handling money. Unfortunately, they probably were not the best lessons to learn about money management. My aunts and uncles reinforced the lessons I was learning by giving me coins to feed the piggy bank – and many of them even brave me piggy banks as gifts over the years, usually with a few coins jingling inside. My first piggy bank was a plastic one, but over the years, I was given piggy banks in porcelain, pewter – even sterling silver.

The first piggy bank was probably not shaped like a pig, nor was it made of plastic. It was called a piggy because it was made of inexpensive, unglazed clay called pygg. In past centuries, few people could afford metal or glass containers. Pygg was used to make pots, jars and pans used by the working class and the poor. Often, a small pygg jar was used to hold what few coins and money a family was able to amass. Since money was seldom borne around in someone's pocket, the pygg bank served a rather important function in the medieval home. Somewhere along the way, a clever, punny potter started creating pygg jars in the shape of pigs, which, by happy coincidence, are a symbol of wealth and fortune in many cultures.

Unfortunately, the lessons that a child can learn from their first piggy bank are not the type that will stand them in good stead in their future. Securing your pennies in the dark belly of a piggy bank is no way to help them grow. While many child experts are advising parents that piggy banks are a good way to teach a child to save, the lessons in money management have to go further than how to drop coins into that little slot every week. Here are a few more lessons you can teach your child along with that first piggy bank.

  • Start with a weekly savings goal to be added to the piggy bank to teach them about good spending habits.
  • Their first savings goal should be enough money to open a savings account.
  • Teach about interest by paying them interest. Each week empty out the piggy bank, count up the amount, and add x% interest.
  • When the money in the piggy bank reaches a preset amount, teach them to roll it over into a savings account that will pay them a higher rate of interest than you can.

If you use your child's first piggy bank as a 'stepping stone' to higher savings and investment goals, you'll be teaching them values ‚Äč‚Äčthat will last a lifetime.

Source by Elizabeth Dasilva

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