Children and Money

Throwing Away Your Piggy Bank

Throwing Away Your Piggy Bank

Go ahead and smash your piggy banks. Okay, please don’t smash them. The mom in me doesn’t want you to hurt yourself or clean up the mess. But the sentiment remains the same—it’s time to throw away your piggy banks. They are not effective money tools.

I’m busy working on my new workbooks, and one of my tips is to throw away your piggy bank. Let’s face it—most of us had one at some point in our life. Do you remember what you did with it? Most likely it sat on your dresser, collecting dust. Occasionally, you randomly threw in a coin or two then forgot about it.

It’s hard to stay disciplined—no matter how old or young you are—when your money doesn’t have a purpose. This is why piggy banks fail. There is a better way to teach kids how to save money, and it starts by giving purpose to your money. What do you want your money to do for you? It’s how I taught my girls to think.

Every year we set family and individual goals on how we plan to save, spend and share our money. When we’re at the store and my girls clamor for the latest toy, I remind them of the family vacation we’re planning. Now I’m no longer the “mean mom” who always says no. I’m the “fun mom” who oohs and aahs with my girls over all the wonderful things they find, even though we ultimately agree our family vacation is more important.

My workbooks will be available in November and will provide you with the curriculum and tools to teach your children how to handle their money confidently. You can start now by throwing out your dusty piggy banks, and the idea that money belongs in a locked vessel without any goal or purpose. Reread The Heavy Purse and discuss how you plan to save, spend and share your money as a family.

And yes, if you truly love your piggy bank–please keep it. But place a sticky note with a goal written on it to give a clear message that all money has a purpose.

October 19, 2012  •  4 Comments  •  Children and Money

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  1. Friday, October 19th, 2012
    Interesting point... I don't have any piggy banks of my own to break, but I will think more about this and as I teach my girls about piggy banks.
    • Saturday, October 20th, 2012
      Thanks for your comment, Susan! Too often my clients believe they are teaching their children how to save money by giving them piggy banks. It's my belief that understanding the purpose or goal of money, whether they are going to save, spend or share, is what matters most.
  2. Friday, November 2nd, 2012
    Oooh! Such an interesting concept! And one I am eager to read more about. We purchased "sports" banks for my boys last Christmas that consisted of 4 balls - one for saving, investing, giving and spending - giving a purpose or "category" to the money therein. What are your thoughts about these kinds of banks?

    I look forward to hearing more abut the workbooks!
    • Friday, November 2nd, 2012
      Thanks Charmin! I think you can use whatever container your boys love! The key is to make sure there is a goal attached to the money being placed in the containers, which sounds like your banks do. Otherwise it's really hard for kids (and adults too! :D) to diligently save their money. At a very young age, investing is probably less critical, but it certainly doesn't hurt for them to understand investing will be something they will need to do when they get older. I'll keep you posted on the workbooks. I'm really excited about sharing them with you!
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    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan