My mom gave Mark a piggy bank for Christmas. She didn’t know about our plans to create this budget. Instead, I think, the gift was motivated by visits to our house where she always finds change lying around in random places. In fact, once when she and my sister were visiting they were so appalled by the mess in our car (uh, we have a 3-year-old–isn’t it normal to have kids’ CDs tossed about and Cheerios littering the floor?) that they had it professionally cleaned. In exchange for this nice gesture, my mom and sister made us give them all the change that they had picked up in the various crevices in the car. I think they ended up winning out on the deal–the money came to some staggering amount.
Anyhow, I digress. Now Mark has a designated place for his change and when the piggy bank gets full he and Charlie take it to our credit union which has a change counting machine in the lobby. For credit union customers, the machine is free (unlike the grocery store which charges $.07 for every dollar it counts). Charlie has a blast pouring the change into the machine (he also likes dropping the coins into the piggy bank), and Mark likes taking the little slip of paper detailing the sum total of our change to the teller and exchanging it for paper bills (which he then adds to his weekly kitty).
Yup, we have big love for the piggy bank.