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On Being PAIR-ents...: The Power of the Piggy Bank: I recently uploaded this photo on my Facebook account showing my son putting coins in his piggy bank. This picture brought back many memories.
My first piggy bank gave me the chance to buy my very first "taho". A street food in the Philippines which is made of silk tofu mixed with brown sugar and vanilla syrup topped with tapioca. I think I was only four at that time. It was the most delicious "taho" I ever had in my entire life. My first piggy bank had taught me to diligently save up for my next "taho".
My second piggy bank was a replica of a Coca Cola Freezer back in the 80's. The kind that we see from the "sari-sari stores" (Philippine version of an old style convenience store). It was a present from my beloved grandmother. It held more coins than my first. I didn't open it until it was full and from what I remember, it went to my first bank account. The coins I put there were the loose ones I found at home and from the Christmas gifts I got every year. It was something very important to me. I was able to develop a habit of saving by not being "kuripot" (economical but stingy) but rather by being "matipid" (spendthrift). Which means I also indulge sometimes whenever I can afford it.
As a teenager, I remember asking my parents for everything that was in style from computers to fashion. And they would always say that I should either earn it by giving them good grades or save up for it which I will have to take from my allowance. So most of the time, I end up not getting the most expensive ones but still manage to be trendy at that time by being resourceful. I would use only half of my savings for my wants and half of it went to my bank account. At this time, I have learned the value of hard earned money.
The discipline I learned from my little piggy bank had passed on and well made use of until my adult life. I am also very lucky to have a very hardworking husband whom I think is way more spendthrift than I am. His very first savings from childhood went to the purchase of our house. Now, isn't he something?
I am very fortunate that I was exposed to this kind of lifestyle at a very early age. My parents taught me well and I thank them for that. They have prepared me well in facing the world of capitalism. Living in the United States makes it so easy to lose my grip on money. Especially when they (the capitalists) make it look like you need something but in truth, it's only a useless luxury. Today, we may not own the most expensive house, the most luxurious car nor the most fashionable clothes but we are a least proud to say that we have saved up (and still saving) for the rainy days which is enough for our family's needs.
Someday, we pray and hope that we'll be able to prepare our child for his own future too. And that he will also learn the value of money through hard work, perseverance and discipline. We have started it with his very own little piggy bank.