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How To Make A Large Personalized Piggy Bank With Your Children To Teach Them About Saving

By Matt Breed

Teach Kids about Saving with Piggy BanksTeaching children not only how to save money every month,but also the importance of doing so is difficult for many parents, especially those who have issues with money themselves. Ultimately, your children will likely mirror your actions and habits when it comes to money management. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your current and future financial actions. Teaching smart saving and spending habits to your children early drastically increases their chances of becoming financially independent in adulthood.

Piggy Banks Can Make Saving Fun

Take an hour or so out of a rainy, dreary day and use some activities to educate your child on saving money. While doing so, you can make it more fun and tolerable for them by making a piggy bank with them. You can even make a few different ones and have your kids use them for different savings goals. The best part is you won’t have to spend a penny to make or buy the piggy banks since you already have the necessary items in your house to make great piggy banks.

Now, this is just me, but I’m not a fan of piggy banks that you can access anytime. I want to fill that puppy until I can’t cram another dime into it, and then if I want to access the bounty inside, I’ll need to break it, which is my favorite part. If it’s fun for me, a thirty-year-old man, just imagine how a kid must feel when he or she gets to smash the bank into smithereens. It’s like therapy you get paid for!

5 Great Things To Use As Piggy Banks

1. Spaghetti Sauce Jar – Cut a small hole in the top of the jar and place the lid back on after removing the label from the outside (after all, you do want your kids to be able to see the money, right?). Personally, I like to super glue the lid so that breaking the jar is the only way to get to the money.

2. Mason Jars – Same idea as the spaghetti sauce jar, but likely a little thicker for the breaking.

3. Large Yogurt Containers – No, not the little cups you take to work. Those big tubs are ideal piggy banks. And if your kids are very young, there is no broken glass danger when they decide they want to buy some Starburst and need to access their piggy bank. I still recommend the glue on the lid here.

4. Bleach Bottle/Milk Carton – Bleach bottles are amazing piggy banks. They already have child-proof lids (which your kid can no doubt operate), and they hold a lot of money. Milk jugs on the other hand, are a bit more flimsy and leave the money easily accessible. But they are transparent, unlike the bleach bottle.

5. Soda Bottle – See though? Yes, but 16 oz cans and two liter bottles have that tiny cap that no coin will fit through. You can go through the trouble of “Martha Stewart-ing” it, or instead just do what I would do: use a one-liter bottle. Most of these have the large caps that will easily allow coins to fall freely to the bottom. Again, make sure to glue!

Final Thoughts

While I do not yet have children, one thing I will most definitely do when I have some of my own is teach them that saving for specific goals is very important. One very fun way to show them this is to use piggy banks. You may think that piggy banks are an outdated way of saving that no longer serve a viable purpose. For adults, this may be true. But we have the advantage of being able to open multiple bank accounts and manage our money electronically. Children will not grasp what money is and how it works by looking at numbers on a computer screen or piece of paper. You can explain how money and bank accounts work until the cows come home, but they will not understand fully unless they have something tangible. Cold, hard cash right in front of them!

You may not be the crafty type who does a lot of DIY projects; you might think it’s just as effective to go buy a piggy bank to teach your kids about money management. But don’t you think it teaches even more to a child if you able to utilize items you already have lying around the house? Frugality is also a part of saving. If everything you buy is designer, you likely won’t have money left over to teach them with.

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Matt Breed
You are looking at Matthew Breed. He is a 30 year old sports nerd who lives in North Florida with his fiancee, Sarah. Originally in school for a Business degree that did not work out due to capricious youth and irresponsibility, he is currently "getting past" his Peter Pan syndrome and attends classes for a degree in Information Technology while working full time. His care for personal finance stems from a modest upbringing with fiscally responsible parents who highly value education and frown upon frivolity.

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  • http://www.madatdebt.com/ Scott Neumyer

    Great ideas! We actually used a huge water bottle (like the kind you have to use to refill the water on top of the water cooler) when I a kid. My parents STILL use it to this day and I’m pretty sure there are pennies in their piling up for around 30 years now. I’d actually be curious to see how much is in there by now.

    Killer article, man!

  • Matt Breed


    One question though…

    Once that jug is full, how is ANYONE going to be able to lift it?

  • Sally Aquire

    Good ideas! I personally use a metal tin that used to contain hot chocolate to house my loose change. It’s not particularly big but it takes forever to fill – maybe I just don’t get enough spare change these days!

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com mattbreed

    No worries Sally, I leave all of the change collection to my girl, then I steal and stash it when I do her laundry. *(evil laughs)*

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