Last month while my husband and I were shopping for a couple of Christmas gifts, we encountered some unusual (and perhaps pretentious) ceramic savings banks that made me chuckle due to the idea behind them and how timing in the retail market is uncanny. Obviously the creator of these items was somehow affected, even if creatively, by the current recession and saw a need to monetize on the misfortune of others. Notice in the photo below how the “Mall Money Fund” is the same size as the “New House Fund.”

Mall Money and New House Fund banks
Mall Money and New House Fund banks

If one were to take this literally (silly, I know) one could almost say it’s maybe what got us into the whole housing fiasco; spending at the mall is somehow equivalent to saving for a new house. Of course, during the housing boom years when potential buyers didn’t need much, if any, down payment I guess someone could equivocate that buying a house was similar to going shopping at the mall.

Or, looking at the savings containers from a different perspective, it could be viewed as a way to categorize your savings in general. Maybe that was the point of the containers – savings needs to be specific. Either way I look at it, it still strikes me as humorous. Another photo below is a retirement savings piggy bank compared to a “Shoe Fund” container. I’m pretty sure the “Shoe Fund” is larger.

Retirement Fund vs. Shoe Money Fund
Retirement Fund vs. Shoe Money Fund

Of course there were plenty of other ceramic banks such as a “Green Fees” and “What the IRS Missed.” All of course the same size. I guess that just seeing them on display might be a positive enough action that could subconsciously promote people to save for specific goals. Motivation is half the battle; doing it is the other half.

What are your thoughts on these photos? Do you think that it would motivate one to save money? It caught my attention enough to write about it.

12 Comments

  1. Jeff @ Sustainable LIfe Blog Reply

    Little House –
    I’ve seen these before, and I think that they are (mostly) gag gifts, but the fact that they are mixed in with serious ones (house saving) is rather worrisome. I think that they may just replace a regular piggy bank, and this could help people just save more money in general. I think that they can motivate people to save money, and that in itself is a plain-old good thing. While it may be used “at the mall” or whatever – its better than putting it on a credit card, no?
    (disclaimer: I was given one of these that said “college money” a long time ago)

    • @Jeff – I saw a huge piggy bank at another store that had “College Funds” on it. It made a little more sense because of the size (but it would probably only hold enough to cover a semester’s worth of books!) I guess they are just “gag” gifts, but they made me chuckle. 😉

  2. Yup, there is always someone out there who will see any situation as an opportunity. They are cute banks. I personally like the retirement one the best as saving for a house is mostly behind me at this point.

  3. Hi Little House, I think it could be helpful as a reminder of your goals. For example, if you kept the retirement piggy bank in a visible place so it would remind you not to blow your budget on silly things. However, you wouldn’t be able to save enough for retirement in that little piggy even if you used gold coins!
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..8 Life Lessons from Ruby- Age 94 =-.

    • @Jennifer Barry – I agree that it could be a good motivator. But yes, that retirement piggy is quite small even if filled with pure gold I don’t think it would be enough!

  4. I am in favor with whatever works for the individual! It would do absolutely nothing for me.
    .-= krantcents´s last blog ..How Do You Choose the Right Career =-.

  5. retirebyforty Reply

    Love the pictures! I haven’t seen these before since I don’t go to the mall. 😉
    We have shoes/purse/toys fund too, but it’s in an envelop and that’s the last place our allowance goes.
    .-= retirebyforty´s last blog ..Book Review- Your Money Or Your Life =-.

    • @Retireby40 – These little savings jars were pretty silly, but that’s why I took photos of them. As for separating out the cash, I just started doing that this year and I realize I don’t really like the whole cash system. It’s only working for one of my categories so I think I’m going to have to go back to debit cards for all the others!

  6. @Lisa@Cents to Save – my Mason jar is a great inspiration – I can see the coins growing and adding up from the outside which encourages me to add more to them.

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