My breakable piggy bank: worked when I was 5, still works to help me save today

Guest post by Edith

pink piggy bankThis year I’ve been struggling to save any money. Keeping it in the bank meant online shopping was too easy and keeping it in cash meant I always spent $20 when I walked out the door. To cure this, I purchased a pig bank that I absolutely love!

I take half of my paycheck (which for a student is fairly small) every other week and stuff it in him. The best thing is that he has no plug on the bottom so until I really want to break him I have to save the money inside! So far, this has been the best solution that I could come up with for my small budget.

Comments on My breakable piggy bank: worked when I was 5, still works to help me save today

  1. I have an antique bank that I bought at a flea market when I was seven, and I’ve found it’s a great way to save for my daughter’s RESP. Any time we have an extra five or ten it goes in the bank, and the same with larger bills that come as gifts. By using a physical piggy bank (okay, it’s actually shaped like a girl under an umbrella) we’re able to save much more than if we just transfered funds from time to time. We also have a cat bank for change, although that usually gets spent on small emergencies such as bus fare…or a sudden need for chocolate.

  2. Saving half of your paycheck every time is very smart and very admirable. At the risk of being Debbie Downer, what happens if you get robbed? Banks are there to provide security for your money. I would hate a burglar (or even a “friend of a friend” at a party) to walk off with half of your income.

    Could you get on online bank account separate from your main one dedicated for savings? I have a friend who has an Ally savings account with no debit card, since it is savings. She has to transfer the funds to her checking in order to spend. Since it is not at her main bank it takes several hours, sometimes a day, for the transfer to go through. In the time it takes for her to transfer the money to her checking the impulse to buy is gone.

    • I do this too- I have an Ing Direct (now Capital One, I think) savings account that is entirely online and it takes several days to access the money, which keeps me from using it for anything except planned expenses like taxes (blaaah). I like the idea of a pig but I’d constantly be worried about it getting stolen.

      • I came here to say exactly this. The piggy bank is vulnerable, and with the ING/Capital One account you also earn interest! You can set it up to automatically transfer a specified amount on a specified day (or days) so you don’t even have to think about it.

      • Are you sure? I used to have a free student account with Chase… and then I suddenly started getting charged 6 bucks a month. My mistake was that I got a checking account because they were offering $100 to open a free checking account… but then I wasn’t using my debit card often enough so then I started getting charged. It took me awhile to change banks because it’s SUCH a hassle, so I think I ended up losing most of that $100. Now I’d recommend a credit union or online bank -forget those giant fee-gobbling banks like Chase!

    • I do this! It’s still with my bank, but I have a couple of savings accounts dedicated for specified saving goals. In my mind, I’m not allowed to touch them except to add money in. It helps.

  3. Every month a Direct Debit moves some of my money into a separate savings account shortly after my pay goes in. It’s a Cash ISA (for you UK finance fans) and fairly flexible so I can move it back out again if I need it, but I can’t use it directly for buying stuff online.

    If even the messing about shifting money from account to account wouldn’t stop you from spending online, one idea might be to put half of it into a flexible and half into a fixed term saver account. That means that you’ll can’t take it out before full term without a hefty charge (which would certainly discourage me), but you still have some in case you need to pay for a boiler repair or something mid way through the term.

    Half of your savings would be very difficult to access, half would be slightly easier, but somewhere separate to help you control the urge to spend!

    • I do exactly the same!

      Even better, I have speedy online transfers for my everyday current account, so it’s easy for me to put money from there into my savings account if we have a windfall. But transferring things *back* takes a few days…

  4. My sister used to put her tips in a wine bottle for the same reason. Now in Canada our smallest bills are $5 so it doesn’t work as well. 🙁
    The piggy bank would work great but I just really don’t want to spend money that could be saved.

  5. You might consider putting money into a Certificate of Deposit (CD) account as an alternative to the piggy bank. That type of account is more difficult than a savings or checking account to just take money out of and is supposed to be left untouched for a certain fixed amount of time. If you withdraw from the account before that time, there is a significant penalty. This kind of account might provide a similar deterrent to spending as your breakable piggy bank does, but it would be safer and earn you interest. (Rates on CDs are usually higher than those on regular savings.)

      • It is a fixed amount that you can’t add to unless you get a special type of CD (usually called something like an add-on CD) that allows you to add more money to the account. Apparently the interest rates on those tend to be a bit lower than regular CDs.

        If not being able to add the account is an issue another option would be a savings account that only allows you to withdraw money a certain number of times per month (something like three or four) without imposing a fee. I know that some savings accounts at Bank of America work that way (though I don’t particularly recommend them as a bank). There are probably other banks that have similar accounts.

  6. I learned at a pretty young age you can just stick a knife inside and shake it upside down to slot those monies out without breaking it. Thanks for the sailor moon cards, mom! lol

  7. I do this as well, but with a tea tin at the back of my cupboard and a savings account at a bank 20 minutes away from me, with no debit card or checks….works pretty well for me

  8. I just cracked open my travel piggy and found $2600. I put all my toonies in it for 3 years and then any birthday money/pennies from heaven. I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty darn pumped and part of that money’ll be going into buying a new piggy for the next trip 🙂 **snortsnort**

  9. I live in Japan and you can get these awesome 500 yen coin banks at the 100 yen shop. They’re either metal cans or plastic canisters, neither of which can be opened without the help of a can opener or a hammer. They also come in sizes like “fill this one for 100,000 yen” and “500, 000 yen.” I’ve actually used one to pay for a return flight to Canada. Added bonus: they get REALLY heavy pretty quickly, making them difficult to steal.

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