The Piggy Bank Mentality – Saving Money Every Day
I remember piggy banks. Not the virtual kind, like Smarty Pig, but the real ones. They were shaped like a pig and rested on your dresser or kitchen counter. Those piggy banks performed an important function beyond storage of loose change. They provided a visual reminder of the need to save – every day.
In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin wrote:
Human felicity is produc’d not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
(Don’t you love Google books?) Now apply this advice to the subjects of spending and saving. It tells us not to seek financial success by purchasing lottery tickets or speculating in the stock market, trying to hit a home run. Instead, we should do something every day to improve our financial condition.
Saving every day is not difficult. It does not require stuffing money into a piggy bank or cookie jar each day after work. (Although that would be a good thing.)
Saving money daily can be as simple as conserving energy around the house, e.g., turning off a light switch or dropping the thermostat a degree on a cold day. When you make that small adjustment, you can mentally pat yourself on the back: “I just saved some money today.” Or maybe tomorrow you will drive to work at 5 MPH under the speed limit instead of 5 MPH over the limit. That also saves real gas money.
I try to save money (and calories) each workday by bringing my lunch from home. I think about that $3-$5 in savings with each can of soup that I open.
I know some folks who claim to save money every day by purchasing items on sale – as in “I saved $10 on this robotic hamster.” Yeah, you know who you are. Sorry – that’s not what I’m talking about. No one gets wealthy buying unnecessary stuff on sale. Selling your useless stuff on Craigslist and putting that income in your piggy bank? That qualifies.
Just writing this short post has me thinking about old school savings techniques. Remember bank “Christmas Club” accounts? Mrs. ToughMoneyLove’s mom was a banker. She used a Christmas Club account to save money to buy gifts for our boys – her only grandchildren. Very simple and very effective. I admired her for that daily or weekly savings effort (and for a lot of other things).
I have a large change container on my dresser that is slowly filling up with quarters. It’s my generic-shaped piggy bank. I don’t put something in it every day. But I should, if for no reason other than its symbolism. And starting today, I will.
Do you have a piggy bank mentality? What tangible things do you do every day to save?