Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Piggy Bank

I'm an adult (most of the time) and yes I still have a Piggy Bank.  A cute one too, I've had it since I was very young.  So what is the practical point of my piggy bank?  Why did it make it onto the blog.  Well I've still got a use for it albeit most people my age go with a jar.

I've seen old cans, jars, you name it, used for collecting tips or spare change.  Usually this change is being put aside for some reason or another.  In "The Money Jar" by Grant Sylvester he talks about emptying his pockets of change every night for a couple of months and eventually having enough to buy a beautiful gold watch.  I've seen people who earn tips counselled to put all the tips into a sealed container and deposit it at the bank once a month.  I've had colleagues who would save every toonie that came there way in order to save up for a cruise.  All of these are valid methods to painlessly save for various wants.  In fact I think that for somebody who is getting started on saving any of the above are great ways to learn how painless it can be.

The question is what to do if you are on a tight budget and every penny is accounted for?  Do you reallocate $1.35 from your grocery budget to your Vacation budget, because that is what the cashier hands you back when you buy groceries?  Or is all cash in the "Miscellaneous" section?  The first option would be hard for most people to keep track of.  The second option runs the risk of too much becoming "Miscellaneous" when it really belongs elsewhere.

I use two methods to save up spare money.  Amounts over $10 generally fall under the "Found Money" category (which I will talk about at a later date) under $10 goes in the piggy bank.  Most of the money saved up in my piggy bank has come off the streets, literally.  I see a quater as I'm walking along, I pick it up put it in my pocket and (after a few rounds in the washer) it goes into my piggy bank.  What's this going to accomplish?  You may ask.  Quite a bit actually.  Every 3-4 months or so I am tempted to peak into my piggy bank and end up counting my change.  I last emptied Ms. Piggy 6 months ago and there is currently $9.05 in her.

What are you going to do with 10-20 bucks a year?  Anything I want.  I might get a book I've been dying to read or I could go to 4 Tuesday night movies.  The big point is that none of this comes out of my budget so I can do what ever I want with it.  For me half the fun is watching the change grow and plotting how best to spend the cash.  It's also great to have a night out and not have to worry about where the money is coming from.

The piggy bank is a bit strange, but it works for me.  How do you handle spare change?

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