Ahh, the piggy bank. Too often empty, many times imagined being smashed to bits to get the coins inside in a cathartic, triumphant violent episode, and almost always a symbol of kids starting to learn about money!
The only problem is… we give our kiddos one piggy bank for all their coins, but we want to successfully teach them to handle money wisely in three ways: Saving, spending, and giving!
My daughter has three Mason jars with “Adelaide Gives”, “Adelaide Spends”, and “Adelaide Saves” labels attached to them. She 6, and we have been helping her to organize what she earns for a few years now, and already it’s ingrained in her little spirit: some money is to spend, some money is to save, and some money is to give away. The three jars are cute and help reinforce the balanced approach. If she only has one dollar, we stick it in the saving or giving jar – whichever has the least. She gets little vouchers from church for memorizing scriptures, bringing her Bible, and inviting friends to come, and we treat those church dollars just like regular money, which has been a great way to encourage her to flex her wise little kid money muscles.
You don’t need a fancy expensive glass piggy bank to get the habit of wise money handling started: three plastic containers with lids will do. I like clear plastic tupperware so the bambinos can see that their savings “accounts” are growing. Plus, when it’s time to connect earning money with spending it on something they wanted – a plastic tupperware won’t shatter when you drop it while you’re trying to convince your kid that her favorite toy really would be something from Chip and Joanna’s latest line at Target.