Friday, July 9, 2010

Financial Friday: The Power of a Piggy Bank

After receiving some great feedback from readers on this post, it's clear we all have some great tips and tricks when it comes to saving money. Because of this, I am introducing a new weekly feature here on The Economical Eater called Financial Fridays. Every Friday, I will post a money-saving tip that I implement in my own life, or that readers use in their own daily lives.

For the first Financial Friday post, I wanted to share a money-saving trick that I've used since I was 7 or 8 years old, at least. Does anyone remember the glass Skippy Peanut Butter jars that were in the shape of a teddy bear? Well, after we went through three jars of the stuff in my house, my mother saved the jars, washed them out, and cut a slit large enough for a coin on the top of the peanut butter jar. Three of my siblings and I then became responsible for saving any money we received and putting it in this jar. No lie: By the time I started babysitting for neighbors at the age of 11, my jar was full - and I already had my very own savings account.

To this day, I still use a piggy bank. Anytime I have loose change, I throw it into the piggy bank immediately. This way, the piggy bank acts as an additional savings account that I can't break into until it's full. Plus, this prevents my wallet from getting bogged down with loose, unnecessary change.

I cash in my coins about once every year, and I usually use the Coinstar machine at Shaw's. However, a reader recently told me that TD Banknorth branches have a similar machine that doesn't charge you the small fee that Coinstar does. I've been meaning to check this out on my own, but have yet to do so.

Do you still use a piggy bank?


  1. Bret and I do the EXACT same thing. We have a jar that we fill up with our loose change and when it is full we cash it in at Coinstar. We've used this money for a fancy meal on a special occasion or to help costs on one of our mini-vacations. I like to use cash more than debit cards because it helps me keep track of how much I'm spending and this means that I always have a lot of change around. Great post and looking forward to more money-saving tips every Friday!

  2. Thanks, Michelle! And that's such a good idea to use the saved piggy bank money for a special night out, or on a mini-vacation. I definitely agree, too, that cash helps you to actually SEE how much you're spending, versus just swiping a plastic debit card.