17 November 2008

What Piggy Banking Taught Me?

Do you remember if you were piggy banking while you were young or growing as a kid? Think about it! Most adults have fond memories about their childhood piggy banking adventures. Later in life, these adults would tell children their personal stories on how they were first introduced to saving money using piggy banks to encourage the habit of saving. This practice continues to live on even in this time of modern-day banking, though historians speculate that the concept of a piggy bank started in England during the Middle Ages. It may come in different forms, classical or modern yet the principle remains the same.

Let me tell you my personal story then…

At an early age, I was told that if we want to buy something we have to save for it. At first, I find this a bit obscure since if my parents or relatives want they can anyhow set aside an ample amount of money to buy the things we always desire to have as long as we don’t cross the family’s financial boarders. Little did I know what they were trying to instill in us was money management lessons. Because I was so persistent, I asked them how such a kid like me could possibly save money and buy for the things I like to have. This argument led the way to my early training on piggy banking.

Alkansya is the Filipino term for piggy bank. It may come as the literal pig-shaped jar made from ceramic, porcelain, clay or in various innovative types such as empty containers from evaporated milk, baby powder, coconut shell, wide-mouthed bottles, a portion of bamboo trunk, etc. It has an overside opening to where the coins are inserted. Traditionally, it must be broken open in order to retrieve what has accumulated.

From the meager baon (allowance) I regularly received, I had to save a few cents for my piggy bank religiously. "Make sure you stuffed it up." My aunt Tintin even reminded me one time. Stray coins lying on the road or elsewhere, earnings from different errands and gifts from loving uncles and aunts also went into my piggy bank. Unspent money from my birthday and Christmas gifts likewise found their way into my piggy. It was tough at first but it always thrilled me every time I dropped a coin. In no time, regular dropping became a second nature to me. Days went by, only when the piggy bank got heavy, did I gather up the nerve to shatter it to find out what I have amassed after a long period of sacrifice. Then I spent hours thinking of the best way to make that money last. I wanted to get the most out of it. I forgot that the reason for this exercise was for me to buy everything I want. I was determined because I had a goal to fulfill. But then again, the goal was not to spend but to save. I think that was how I first learnt about the value of money. It is hard to earn money and therefore I just need to be mindful on how I should spend it wisely.

My inclination to save using piggy bank continued until I was ready for something big. Something for the teenagers, so to speak. This time I was introduced to the real world of banking. My aunt Isabel who was an entrepreneur and often went to bank to carry out various transactions guided me to open my first savings account. I was in ecstatic mode while I was telling my father and mother about the experience. They reminded me, however, that while saving brought enjoyable training to me I should also imbibe good spending habits and bring these lessons along until the day I mature. They even pointed out that with this wisdom I could not go wrong with my personal finances.

Today as I look back, I exactly know why managing personal finances have never been a big deal to me, only because piggy banking taught me many lessons I carried on while I was growing.

So if you are trying to teach your kids the importance of money, start with piggy banks then get them a savings account later when they are ready. Let them understand the basics of savings before infusing a more complicated concept. This is a great way of developing in your child an appreciation of the value of money. Create the “money-smart” attitude in your kids and watch them start financial planning at an early age.

Do you have exciting stories to share about piggy banking? Why not share them with us?

By the way, did you know that piggy banking also applies to adults?

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Photo Credits: Piggy Bank



  1. I loved this article. In today's world of instant gratification--I'm thinking piggy banking--kids would say what is that?

  2. In this time and age, there is really no better way to teach the future generation value for money. Everyone has to start first with a piggy bank,it teaches not only saving per se but more importantly patience and goal achievement.

  3. Kids would say what is that? LOL…

    Such reaction from kids is not actually remote, Gutz. In fact, it is one of the most common receptions we get to receive from them, especially when it is their first time to see a piggy bank or learn about piggy banking. Our task as parents is to inculcate in them the benefits of this by giving them examples to quickly facilitate our objective.

    Perhaps the best example is to piggy bank, as well, along with them until such time they become completely accustomed to it. Additionally, if you have more than one kid, you can try to reward the one with the most savings by the time they open the jars. This will ensure our goal will be met at the end of the day.


  4. You are without a doubt right, Richie. Learnings such as goal setting, self-discipline, patience and perseverance can also be attained as kids go through this exercise

    Thanks much!

  5. A bank is a wonderful gift for a kid. I learned to save early in life as well. First with a bank, like you (my dad even paid us interest is we deposited in "his bank" to teach us the value of banking. I had a savings account early too and when I'd get money for my birthdays from relatives, I would put most of it in savings.

  6. Well, I must commend your father for using another motivational strategy on how to effectively teach kids the value of money, i.e. providing interest with your deposits.

    Thanks for sharing the tip and for taking time out posting your thoughts.

  7. My husband and I put our pennies in a Winnie the Pooh & Piglet bank. People look at us strangely when we pick them up, but it's their loss. It makes us feel good when we "feed" Pooh & Piglet.

    It's fun to take our pennies to our friends' house and count them as we're hanging out. We're in good company since one of our friends collects aluminum, copper wire...

  8. You are not alone, Kristin. Now, that sounds like Michael Jackson. LOL…

    But seriously, like my parting tone on this post, piggy banking is not exclusive for kids or young ones. There is no age limit. Everyone, just everyone, is encouraged to practice it as part of his or her prudent saving habit.

    Just like you, I still do my piggy banking routine. I try to keep every coin I get daily to feed my piggy. Over the course of filling piggy, I would plan what to do with the savings. I normally buy something that is tangible to remind me what “saving for the rainy days” can bring about, and this makes me feel better.

    Tell your friends stories why you do this so that they won’t ever look at you again with picture in their faces you find undesirable. Yes, it is their lost but if you will share your wonderful experience with others, it will make you feel a lot better because you have paid a good deed forward.


  9. Hi Darwin,

    it is good that you started knowing the value of money when young. It makes us appreciate how difficult money is earned. Great lesson to be learn by all.

    Wei Liang

  10. I was just lucky to be surrounded with financially literate loved ones and relatives, Wei. The lesson I learned was enduring and forever useful. Now is my turn to let others know what it taught me.

    Thanks for droppin’ by.

  11. My kids have a piggy bank's too. They love it. In fact we no longer can just leave our change layen around.. the kids claim it and slap it into there piggy banks. My oldest son filled his up and when I told him to empty it and we can put it in the bank, he freeked out!! So he is now 14 and has a total of 11 piggy banks full of change and he has snuck some bills in there too!! Piggy banks are just too COOL!

  12. WOW! That’s great! You were very successful in teaching your kids how to save using piggy banks, and I SALUTE you on that.

    If I may suggest, you can encourage your son who owns 11 piggy banks to empty them and learn the next level of banking. Tell him that in real banks the money will grow faster and the bills, which he sneaks in occasionally, won’t get infected with molds in the long run.

    If he refuses, however, he might be one of those who enjoy piggy banking as a hobby and that it’s a great joy for them seeing different pigs made from different materials being completely fed over time. Just a thought, though.


  13. Glad you found this post informative, PD.

    Thanks for droppin' by.

  14. love those quotes, thanks for sharing

  15. Good to hear that, Krizcpec. It motivates me to find the best quotes to include as fillers in every single article I post.

  16. Well you have the right idea for sure but do the young of today listen? Hmm well not all in my family at least sadly.
    I often wish they would I know I do...definitely good thinking on your part.

  17. As parents, we have to pay more attention if this is the case. We have to exert extra efforts and understand the underlying reasons why it is fairly hard for them to adopt.

    We all know that there are certain things that are not best learned by simply teaching and imposing. Some things require actions to be learned or creative approaches leading to action steps to learning.

    You mentioned not all, which means some of the family members are in to it. You can perhaps leverage on the “power” of these members who understand the long-term benefits this early training on saving can provide. They can act as instrument to help you achieve your goal, especially if they can likely influence the decision of the rest of the family members.

    Thanks for your candid inputs.

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