Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Feed your piggy

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

Long ago, when I was growing up and had no money — except for a small allowance and some cash given to me on Christmas and my birthday by grandparents and godparents — my parents bought me a coin bank.

Back then we called it piggy bank because it was shaped like a pig.

Dad and mom would remind me, "Hey, don't forget to feed your piggy!" 

Today, piggy bank has stuck, even if those coin banks are in various animal shapes or cartoon characters.

Do you have a piggy bank that you feed with your coins?

* * *

I had always wondered why my coin bank was a pig and not a cat, or a dog, or even a sheep. So I read up on the piggy bank's origin and these I found out:

Before real banks existed, 600 years ago, people kept their money at home — in kitchen jars. Metal was expensive then; therefore, pots were made of a low-cost orange-colored clay called pygg. People would drop their coins in that pygg pot.

Pygg later came to be pronounced "pig." So in the 19th century, when English potters made pygg banks, they shaped them like pigs. This delighted adults and children alike.

* * *

Early models of the piggy bank had no hole in the bottom, so my pig had to be broken to get the money out. Then my parents would buy me a new one saying, "If you want something from a store, you have to earn the money to buy it."

This was how I learned about saving money — how to treasure the things I buy.

I no longer have a piggy bank because as adults, we keep our savings safe in a real bank, where we can add money (called a deposit) and take out money when we need it (a withdrawal). A real bank helps us keep track of our savings through statements that arrive in the mail or email or seen via our account on the Internet.

* * *

These piggy-bank thoughts came to me today because over the weekend, I met up with friends who brought along their three-year-old son, Rafa.

Rafa's parents read to him my books at bedtime. One of those books shows the main character, Teo, wanting to buy a bicycle.

Rafa said proudly, "I have a bicycle. I bought it myself."

His parents explained that when Rafa asked for a bicycle, they encouraged him to save up for it. They gave him a piggy bank where he deposited his coins (gifts from elders). When the piggy bank was full, they took out the money, went to the store, and bought the bicycle. 

Indeed, Rafa bought it himself and in the process, learned the value of saving!

* * *

Very often, children want to possess something - a toy, a bicycle, a robot, a video console, etc. So they nag their parents to buy it for them. Some parents immediately do so. But some parents don't, explaining that the item is not that important or urgent.

I am sure you've seen some children in malls throwing a temper tantrum because they could not to get what they want.

How about you?

Do you have a piggy bank or a real bank account where you save your money? If not, let me share with you what Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the USA, said: "Never spend your money before you have earned it."

Meaning, if we want something badly enough, we should first have the money to buy it -from our savings. The feeling of having bought something with your own money is more than wonderful — it's super cool!

* * *

You may reach me through my e-mail address: [email protected]; or through my website: http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com.












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