This little piggy…
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy had coins
This little piggy had none…
- “Save 10% of your income.”
- “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
- “Pay yourself first.”
These are just a few of the sayings we have heard over the years about savings.
Of course saving is important. And saving early makes perfect sense. But if saving has not been a part of your regular money repertoire, have no fear, there is another saying that holds just as much water…
- “Better late than never!”
Just when I get some money set aside…
I can’t tell you how many times I have set money aside only to have an unexpected expense occur and hear myself saying something like, “As soon as I get some money set aside, something happens”. Well, that is one way to look at it, or we could say, “Isn’t it great that I had some extra money to cover that expense”.
So many questions come to mind when starting a conversation about savings…. How much should you save? How should you save? Where should you save?
Let me just start by saying ANY savings is better than NO savings.
And, if you are currently using credit as your ‘emergency’ fund, then savings should be at the top of your priority list along with debt-reduction goals, of course!
There are three types of savings:
Short term – things that come up regularly, like car repairs, annual expenses, gifts or just running out of milk, bread and eggs.
Medium term – these tend to be larger expenses such as replacing/repairing home appliances, planning for goals such as trips or vehicle replacement.
Long term – the number one in this category would be retirement, but can also include buying a home, home renovations, replacing a vehicle, etc.
Where you save will depend on your need to access the money. While long-term savings can be tucked away in investment funds with tax savings, short and medium-term savings should be more ‘liquid’….meaning you can access them more quickly. Bank accounts, Canada Savings Bonds (now a thing of the past), and piggy banks.
Tossing your spare change into a bank or jar is a great way to secure some short-terms savings for those occassional things that come up, or save for a goal, like a family vacation.
I recently went looking for a ‘coin bank’ to offer as a prize for an event I was attending. There were so many options I just had to share my finds. Savings has never been so much fun 🙂
This one gets the “most unique” prize. My friend tagged me on it on social media…love it…lol…haven’t found this as an actual piggy bank yet, but if I do, I will definitely want one to give away as a fun gift.
Families that save together, spend (time) together! 🙂
With the demise of the penny, savings from coin tends to build up a little faster. An alternative to the piggy bank is the ‘counting bank‘. Because it helps you track your savings, it is a great choice for a goal. We have one at home, we call the savings the “Family Fun Fund”…we put our spare nickles, dimes and quarters in it (sometimes loonies and toonies, just depends on our financial well-being at the time) and watch our Fun Fund grow. Every year we decide, as a family, how to spend it. It’s made savings a fun family event. The kids even pop some coins in once in a while, and they ALWAYS roll the coins when it’s time to ‘cash in’. :0)
One for the kiddies (kitties?)
My son likes to search the web for interesting items. He’s the one that first showed me this fun little bank. What I like about this savings bank is it makes it fun for kids to save…and adults too. 🙂 Originally I thought I would purchase one for my son, but after watching this video (and several others online) I may want to get one for our cat..lol. You can get one here.
I gave both of my kids the Money Savvy Pig a few years ago. They worked for awhile and then they lost interest. Since then, my daughter has implemented the “division savings idea” with labeled mason jars. Hey! Whatever works!
In my quest for the most unique piggy bank, I came across several unique ideas that I could use as give-a-way gifts or give to friends. The Money-Puzzle Bank for example, is a fun way to give money as a gift, or the Decorate-Your-Own Piggy Bank for encouraging savings at a younger age. Of course you don’t need anything fancy to start saving money. A mason jar, cookie jar, or anything else is as effective, just not as fun!
At the very least, if you don’t already have one, start some type of short-term savings account today. You can pick a goal for yourself, or your family, or you can simply have a rainy day fund for those “just-in-case” expenses.
Because it is never too late….
Wishing you Happy, Healthy Finances
Mary Ann Marriott
aka Dr Debt