Piggy Banks Are Not Keeping Track of Money Like ATMs

Piggy banks don't print receipts.
Piggy banks don’t print receipts.

Does your child’s piggy bank print out a receipt? Then how does your child now how much money is left? This brings us to another problem with a piggy bank, keeping track of money.

The traditional piggy bank counting method is to dump out the money and count it. Some piggy banks have counters for money going in but don’t subtract money going out.  At some point a kid will just have to get his hands on the cash to count it. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to counting, something about touching and counting money makes kids want to spend, right now!

With all this counting and touching a child is not learning anything about how to understand a bank account balance like you do. When your ATM prints a receipt do your kids know that the receipt tells you how much money you have left in that account?  Do you ever physically count the money in your bank account?

When you swipe your ATM card you are withdrawing money that you previously deposited. This is not new money. Most of these deposits were electronic transfers or automated deposits from other accounts such as your employment. Like so many of our financial transactions these deposits are money that we usually never see or touch. Does your child ever see you put money into the ATM?

So, what’s the difference between an ATM and a piggy bank? It is accountability. The bank dispensing your cash keeps up-to-date records of your balance. A piggy bank, even one with a counter, can’t subtract withdrawals and adjust the total.

Part of the money management experience for your kids is learning to keep track of their money like they will have to as adults. By having to record each transaction in a home account, your child learns that money is a number that either makes the balance bigger or makes it smaller. A child learns through repetition.

The No-Cash Allowance Tip #4

Give your kids the responsibility of keeping track of their balance like a bank does with an entry for each transaction.

Your kids can accept the reality that their money is a number. That’s how they will manage their financial resources as adults. Piggy banks can’t show them their balance, but a money management system like The No-Cash Allowance can.

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