Why do we put money into piggy banks? The reasons are varied but for me, it is a way of rewarding myself.
I don't remember having a piggy bank when I was a child. Back then, I only got money for my school expenses, given by my Mom on a daily basis. The money that I got was only enough to get a decent meal during recess, so I didn't have extra money to put into a piggy bank. I watched with envy every time my Dad put some money into his piggy bank. He would put those small change that he got into his piggy bank, which was made of clay, a replica of a rooster. His reason was obscure to me, but come to think of it, maybe men just do not like carrying coins in their wallets. Or pockets, for that matter.
The only time I would get lots of money was during Hari Raya. I would get some money from my family, uncles and aunties, but that would disappear fast as it would be used to buy whatever I needed. Yup, money was not easy for me to get back then. This is why when I entered university, I worked during semester breaks and sometimes on weekends, so that I earn my own money and need not ask my parents for it.
My parents did not really teach me how to save money but I learned from them indirectly. My Mom's money-saving skills was exemplary. She used to save part of her salary religiously that by the time she retired, she had saved enough money to build a house back in her hometown. Also, throughout her working years, there have been occassions when money was needed and she already had some money handy. Like when she bought two pieces of land in her hometown. Like when she bought me a second-hand desktop so I could do my thesis when I came back home on weekends. Like when she handed me 20k for the downpayment of my first car! She made me speechless every time!
I started saving money when I taught in school. I used to save about 400 ringgit every month, with the aim to travel to UK. Hehehe. But a lot of things happened along the way. I got married and whatnot. I got divorced. I also had a lot of part time jobs. I saved some of the money I got. I always told myself, if my Mom could do it, so could I. Plus, I've always believed in the need to save up for some rainy days ahead.
So, my point is, I've never had a piggy bank. Until recently. I've always saved my money in banks. About two or three years back, a friend told me about her piggy bank, which, when full of coins, would yield about 400+ ringgit. She would then use the money to top up her car insurance payment. I thought that was really cool! So I tried it, beginning on 1 January 2013. I bought a piggy bank at a 5 ringgit shop. My target was to save money into the piggy bank for a year. So whatever small change I had, I would quickly put it into the piggy bank. I would do this almost daily. So by 31 December 2013, I got about 300+ ringgit! I'd always intended to use the piggy bank money to reward myself. So I got myself an Armani watch at JPO. I've always liked Armani watches anyway. The same thing happened by 31 December 2014. I got about 200+ ringgit. I got less savings this time around because the coins have shrunk in size, a move by Bank Negara that has baffled me until today. Hehehe. With that money, I managed to get a good deal on an Armani watch. I was happy!
This year, 2015, I added another piggy bank. Thanks to a pin I came across on Pinterest, this second piggy bank is a piggy bank of notes. Yup! The whole idea is called The 52-Week Money Challenge. The image below illustrates this challenge:
So, by week 52, 31 Dec 2015 to be exact, I would have a total of 1378 ringgit! Isn't that a wonderful way to close 2015 and welcome 2016? As of now, it's already the 12th week of 2015. I have actually saved up about 66 ringgit! Woohoo! So far I've been doing this with great discipline. Every weekend, I would mark in my calendar how much I've put away for the second piggy bank. Just so as not to lose track.
As of now, I still haven't decided what I'll do with the money. Maybe go on a shopping spree. Or a short holiday somewhere. We'll see! Whatever it is, I'll reward myself. If I don't do that, nobody will ^-^ !