Your first piggy bank probably taught you a lot of lessons about handling money. Unfortunately, they probably weren’t the best lessons to learn about money management. My aunts and uncles reinforced the lessons I was learning by giving me coins to feed the diy piggy bank and many of them even gave me piggy banks as gifts over the years, usually with a few coins jingling inside. My first piggy bank was a plastic one, but over the years, I was given piggy banks in porcelain, pewter – even sterling silver.
The first piggy bank was probably not shaped anything like a pig, nor was it made of plastic. It was called a piggy because it was made of inexpensive, unglazed clay called pygg. In past centuries, few people could afford metal or glass containers. Pygg was used to make pots, jars and pans used by the working class and the poor. Often, a small pygg jar was used to hold what few coins and money a family was able to amass. Since money was seldom carried around in someone’s pocket, the pygg bank served a rather important function in the medieval home. Somewhere along the way, a clever, punny potter started creating pygg jars in the shape of pigs, which, by happy coincidence, are a symbol of wealth and fortune in many cultures.
Unfortunately, the lessons that a child can learn from their first piggy bank aren’t the type that will stand them in good stead in their future. Secreting your pennies in the dark belly of a piggy bank is no way to help them grow. While many child experts are advising parents that piggy banks are a good way to teach a child to save, the lessons in money management have to go further than how to drop coins into that little slot every week. Here are a few more lessons you can teach your child along with that first piggy bank.