“Nudge” by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein is a book about how people make choices. (I apologize to the authors for the oversimplification of their work. This a great book and worth the trip to the library to check the book out and to take the time to read.) The authors state that the things that influence people’s decisions are not always rational and further, that people are not always aware of what is influencing them: “Consider the black flies painted in the urinals in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Men using urinals often don’t aim well and make a mess. However, if you give them a target, even a painted fly, spillage plummets (in this case, by 80%).” This reminds me of how parents teach their boys how to use the potty. They place a piece of toilet paper with an “X” on it in the toilet. Then they ask the child to hit the target. Enough practice hitting the target and before you know it, they were experts. So, I got to thinking that this could be applied to the Money Savvy Pig. Consider giving your child the Money Savvy Pig as the “target” for your child to “hit” as they think about the money they are putting into this piggy bank. Like the “painted fly” or the “X” on the toilet paper, kids will see the choices they have for money — save, spend, donate and invest — and will aim for those choices — rather than simply thinking of spending. It’s simple enough to work.

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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