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In Praise of Piggy Banks

There was a day not too long ago that almost every kid had a piggy bank, and the fact that the tradition has fallen by the wayside may mean more than the loss of an iconic childhood toy. Piggy banks - a name derived from the "pygg" clay used to make them in 18th century Europe - have been around for a long time. It wasn't too long ago that all money took the form of hard currency, and it wasn't long before that when most of that currency came in the form of coins. So, it wasn't surprising to find that most households had a "pygg jar" for keeping their money. Can you remember your <a title="Coin Banks" href="http://www.atgstores.com/coin-banks_2543.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">piggy bank</a>? If you had one, it no doubt meant more to you than your average piece of kid’s décor. A piggy bank was a thing of promise; a place where dreams were hidden – even if that dream didn’t amount to much more than a scoop of ice cream. But, that’s kind of the point. Here’s what kids today lost out on when we lost the piggy bank: <strong>A Tangible Representation of Savings  </strong> Saving money is a very important skill that seems to be getting harder and harder to teach. There are lots of reasons for this, but one of them is surely the fact that money is no longer “money” the way it used to be – now it’s just as <em>idea</em>. Money is a difficult concept to grasp as a child and the fact that we don’t carry it around or physically exchange it for goods and services makes it more mysterious. Piggy banks are a reminder that money doesn’t come out of thin air. <strong>A Reality Check on Instant Gratification</strong> Click and it’s here! That’s what the Internet is teaching all of us and kids are very susceptible to taking this as a fact when it comes to anything. But, it’s not a fact when it comes to money. Traditionally speaking, it takes time to fill up a piggy bank and that time was once used to daydream about all the great things that would happen when it was full. That’s an important time – a time that teaches us (or reminds us) that patience really is a virtue and that good things come to those who wait. <strong>A Fun Learning Tool   </strong> Technology is awesome, but it starts to look evil when it encroaches upon the territory of kitschy, adorable things like piggy banks. Of course, it could be argued that piggy banks already sold out in terms of tough love. It used to be that a piggy bank had to be broken to retrieve the money inside – it was a last line of defense against capricious spending. Now that they come with stoppers we can pilfer all we want without breaking the bank, which is a bit of an indictment of our current attitude toward finance. Even so, a piggy bank can still be a fun way to save for the young and old alike. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> would like to hear stories about your favorite piggy bank when you were growing up.
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