April 14, 2011

Remember when you were a kid and coins were a really big deal? Well, they still are! Think of how much change you accumulate over a month and multiply that by 12. Now, think of all the things you could buy with all that change.

The first step to saving change is making yourself save it. It’s a busy world, and sometimes it’s easy to forget our loose change! In the spirit of National Teach Kids to Save Month, we’d like to encourage you to keep that importance of change mentality alive for your children!

Remind Yourself

After you set yourself to saving, you have to remember to do it! To help reinforce this for yourself and your children, you can do something as easy as setting a reminder on your phone, computer or calendar. This will designate a certain time during the day or week to round up all loose change for your children’s piggy bank!

If you want to get really creative, you can create a visual savings reminder, such as a poster or a savings calendar. It can be a simple question like, “Have you saved your coins today?” or “Where’s your spare change?” A calendar can denote days to collect change and also when to take a family trip to the bank for a deposit!

Make a Bank

After you set your reminders, you need to have a place to keep your coins! If you don’t want to purchase a piggy bank from the store, you can make something similar out of materials you have right around the house. This is a great way to get your children excited about saving, as well as being a fun afternoon craft project.

Here are some easy ideas with which to get started:

  • Cut a slit in the top of a Mason jar. Seeing the money accumulate through the clear glass sides is a great way for kids to learn to estimate and get excited about saving.
  • Use a three- or five-gallon jug. These are a better see-through option for people who tend to use cash more often and end up with a lot of change.
  • Tin cans with plastic lids can be converted quickly and easily into a bank. The non-see-through container can help if you’re bad about raiding your savings too often. Examples include coffee cans and baby formula cans.

And if you REALLY want to get creative…

  • Turn an empty, cleaned-out milk jug on its side and cut a slit under the handle large enough for a quarter to pass through. With the lid as a nose, go to work with construction paper, markers and other fun crafts and create your own coin-holding animal!
  • Half-gallon cartons can be used to create anything from skyscraper coin banks to rockets or even a cell phone. A little construction paper, glue and some markers can go a long way!

There are many possibilities for creating “piggy banks” out of recycled materials at home. The most important thing is saving your change. We don’t necessarily recommend carrying your creative masterpiece filled with pennies to the store to purchase your next big toy, but here at the bank, we’d love to see what you’ve come up with. When your container is full and you’re ready to make your purchase, bring your change in and we’ll convert it to cash or simply deposit the total into your account. We’re happy to help and look forward to seeing your creation.

How do you save your spare change?