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The Return of the Piggy Bank

By Nikki Willhite

Here is some advice on saving money-
even when you think you just don't have any to spare.

Think you can't save money? You can- you just haven't tried hard enough. Expenses always seem to rise to meet income. If you are really struggling, give this a try.

Get a Piggy Bank - just like you had when you were a child. You need a big, round metal can, like the ones you buy with punch. Buy the drink, and using a couple small holes (made with the pointed end of a hand can opener), drain the juice into a pitcher. Wash out the can and let it dry. Then, cut a small opening in the top of it, just large enough for change and dollar bills.

This will be your Piggy Bank. You can put the money in, but you cannot see it or get it out unless you use a can opener to take the top off. To make it more attractive, and make you less likely to want to break it open, decorate it. This will also help if you are worried about security. Make it look like something other than a container holding money.

Put the Jar out on a counter where everyone can see it, and ask everyone to "feed it". Let your little children put in pennies, and your older children dimes and quarters. Put in paper money when you can afford it. Let the whole family know that this is the family emergency fund. Let all the members of your family contribute for the unexpected.

This is a good opportunity to explain to children all the things that make life so comfortable. They need to know that life takes money, and that is why dad/mom need to leave them to go to work. It is also a good opportunity for children to learn to give, feel family unity, and an increased sense of self-esteem.

Here are some of the things you might mention as you talk about the need to be financially prepared for the future:

Water Heaters
Furnaces, etc.

Automobile repairs
Emergency Travel Expenses
Increased insurance premiums
Unexpected Vacation Costs

Insurance cost
Childcare if mom gets sick

If your family knows how hard you are trying to save money, they will be more willing to help and make sacrifices. You just can't go wrong saving money.

Here are a couple other suggestions to get an emergency fund going.

UNCLE SAM- Ask your employer to lower the number of exemptions reflected on your paycheck. You paycheck will be smaller, but you will receive it back at tax time in a block of money that you may find easier to save. (Yes, you are giving Uncle Sam a tax free loan, but this is sometimes they only way for some to save).

DIRECT DEPOSIT and BANK SAVINGS- Have your employer put your paycheck directly into your bank, and have the bank transfer a specified amount of money into your savings account each week. Set aside enough to pay expenses that occur on a quarterly to yearly basis, and then some. If you are going to be saving a significant amount of money, set up an account with and move the money from your regular bank to Emmigrant so that you can make interest on it until needed. It is easily done online.

Having an emergency fund is your first line of defense in keeping to a budget and meeting your financial goals. When goals turn into dreams, it is sweet!

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Category:  Money

Related Links | BudgetingCreditDebt |
| Identity Theft
| Investing | Retirement |

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