The Piggy Bank:
A Child's First Savings Account

When did your child get his or her first piggy bank? Many children get one before they're even born or soon afterwards. The banks serve an important function besides looking cute - they're usually a child's initial introduction to money and the world of savings.

piggy bank

Piggy banks are usually your child's first savings account. Kids' banks are an easy way to start teaching your kids how to save money. This works even if your child is too young to be receiving an allowance. Try these tips on piggy banks to help get your child off on the right foot with her child savings account at home.

  • Have them make their own bank. Kids often want to use something that they have made more than something that is given to them. There are great craft kits available at many craft stores and online. You might also have local pottery stores where you can walk in, paint a bank and they will fire and glaze it for you.
  • Ensure that your child has regular opportunities to put money in her bank. If she doesn't receive an allowance, there can be other ways for her to get into the habit of saving including using play money. How much she gets to put in isn't as important as getting into the regular habit of thinking about saving some of the money she receives. This is a big key in teaching her how to save money.
  • Consider using more than one piggy bank. If your child is old enough to receive an allowance, he should also be beginning to understand how to set aside some of his money for savings (even if it's only until the end of the week). One way to encourage this is by using one bank for immediate purchases and one for savings. If your child is also setting longer term savings goals and donating to charity, he might might have as many as four banks (or you could consider a bank with different slots like the great ones from Money Savvy Generation).
  • Use the money in his piggy bank as a way to teach him to count money. One of the best ways to get kids to put money in their kids' bank is for them to see how it is growing. You can combine this natural desire to see his money with the goal of teaching him to count money.
  • Start setting savings goals. Even if your child is just starting to put money in a kids' bank, it's not to early to help her set savings goals. Make these money goals as simple as they need to be for where your child is in their money education. If she has the money personality of a natural saver, it may be easy to teach her how to save money and set goals for savings. The key is to set appropriate goals and then have those goals grow and change over time.

All of these suggestions can also be used with any money container you might want to use. This can include a money jar (get more information on those here), envelopes or anything that is meaningful to your child. Having a personal connection to their savings can help kids get excited about saving their money - have them use their imaginations to find what works best for them and you.

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