Penny by penny

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Piggy banks may be a yesteryear thing but some still believe in the concept, and think it is a good way of saving money

For centuries, the simple and humble piggy bank has been teaching kids the importance of saving. These cute pig-shaped money banks were quite popular till about the ’90s, but it’s not that they have been totally forgotten now. Even today, when everyone is advocating cashless transactions and gushing about the benefits of PayTM, Google Pay, Pay Zap etc, there are few old school folks who continue to use the piggy bank — some out of habit, some because of nostalgia and some who want to preserve interesting notes and coins. We catch up with a few who still believe in the concept.   

SAVING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN NOSTALGIA
I was left with coins everyday in my wallet and then it became difficult to handle so I started using one. I don’t really have a gullak but a fibre box where I have been saving money. Almost every time I have coins and notes left over from the day, I put them in it. I love collecting coins and because of my love for saving coins, I started using the fibre box as a piggy bank. Many associate it with memories, but, for me, the habit of saving is more important than nostalgia.  
— Prem Agarwal, manager at MNC, Pune

MY PIGGY BANK IS AN EMERGENCY FUND
I actually have been using it for almost two years now. Earlier on, I kept notes and coins here and there and forgot about it. So I converted a box into a holder to keep notes of lower denominations and it turned out that I had collected a good Rs 5,000 in a year. I thought why not use it to actually save money! Now, I put Rs 50-100 in the box everyday and at the end of the year, the money that I save, I invest or spend it on something useful. One might wonder why piggy banks when the entire world is going cashless? It’s just the tangible nature of it that makes it so appealing — money stashed away in banks and e-wallets, somehow has a barrier of access. My piggy bank is an emergency fund, it’s a storage for change when you order something for cash on delivery. I also use it to give Diwali bonus to my domestic help, so I don’t have to dig into my bank account for all these things. I think it is important that we also teach our kids about saving money in piggy banks. It will help them plan for future activities. 
— Shweta Potdar, dentist, Pune

FULL OF SURPRISES
I was inspired by my husband to use a piggy bank who has been using it since the last 4-5 years. I bought one for myself seven months ago and whenever I get my catering order, I put away Rs 500 for my piggy bank. My husband used to collect coins but once it was full, we hardly got Rs 3,000-3500, so we’ve started saving currency notes now. What I love about piggy banks is that you can’t break open the clay piggy banks (unlike boxes), so you keep saving without knowing how much you have put in. And since they are made of clay you don’t feel like breaking the pot even during times when you fall short of funds. You just keep adding to your collection until the day comes when there is no space left in the pot. 

With smallest denominations, I managed to collect Rs 4,500 in the past but now that I am adding Rs 500, I am excited about how much I would have saved by the end of it.   
— Tasneem Bagasrawala, entrepreneur, Pune

A PART OF MY CHILDHOOD
I did have a piggy bank till I was in Std 12, after which I started using a box. It is not that I am trying to do something different in this age of e-wallets; my fascination with piggy banks is not new — it has been a part of my childhood and has become a habit. It is like a routine to put away some money into my piggy bank every month and I use the saved money only when I am in great need.  
— Nayan Burnwal, student, Kolkata

A TREASURE OF SPECIAL NOTES AND COINS
I have been saving coins and notes since I was a kid, perhaps when I was 8 to 10 year old. However, my piggy bank is not a conventional gullak, it is a boot — a hanging garden shoe-shaped piggy bank. For me, keeping a piggy bank is more about nostalgia and it’s also where I keep all my special collections of coins and notes. Every time, I spot an unusual or special coin, I put it in the bank, or one of every kind of note or coin. Piggy bank, for me, isn’t about saving money, but to preserve the special notes and coins for future generations.
— Jayesh  Sachdev, designer and owner and founder, Quirk Box, Pune

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