Technology has helped our society in a number of different ways. We now drive more economical cars, have more economical house windows, and we can now speak across borders with our relatives in different states and many times in different countries. I still remember the time when we had to pay for long distance calls in order to speak with people living out of state. I have to admit that from this standpoint, I really like technological developments especially in telecommunications. There are other reasons for why I really am a geek with personality who enjoys what is modern and technological. Not sure about you but I actually enjoy my car’s backup camera and turbocharged engine. I can’t live without them. By now, after reading my provocative column here at the Banner, you can probably deduce what is coming next. You got it! Although we have seen so many advancements in technology that sometimes makes us take for granted what we have, there are a number of side effects that we experience, as well. Let me give you an example. Let’s talk about savings and handling cash.
When I was young, I used to get money from my parents to go shopping or to go to a local burger shop down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I come from. My parents used to give me something like 20 bucks to have fun every Friday evening at least four times a month. Despite the former, I have always been a frugal and calculated individual; therefore, I rarely spent all of my money at once which frequently resulted in me bringing some change home after my pinball adventures. I religiously put my coins and change in a piggy bank after coming home. Why? Because I wanted to have available cash more than four days a month!
It didn’t take long before my piggy bank would get full which often resulted in me asking my parents to go to our local bank to cash in my money. I’ve learned a lot about handling cash savings with my piggy bank system, starting at age 11 to a point that when I was 12, I got this 6 foot talking “piggy bank” system which I felt was the coolest thing in the world. It was the best year of my teenage life, 1986. I was able to save the equivalent of 50 dollars with that massive piggy bank which back then made me feel like a billionaire. What is the moral of the story? I have learned to manage my money by saving my change using piggy bank systems. Today some banks offer a change round up savings. They will round up your transaction amount and put the change into a savings. But how do we teach our children, who are too young for their own account, how to save? Let me start with the obvious. Do you own a piggy bank today? Are you showing your children the value of money by having them actually see “real life” currency?
All these innovations in the credit system has changed the way we now handle money. As a matter of fact, I wonder if kids today know how to handle cash at all. Look, I understand. We shouldn’t be saving our money in piggy banks all throughout our house as adults because we understand the value of interest. We must be able to own checking and savings accounts in order to build our personal financial empire. I am just skeptical that all this technology will teach our children how to handle cash and how to save money in the long run.
Let’s make this long story short. I know that my piggy bank system is outdated and old school but I trust what makes sense to me. We have lost a lot of life skills especially in cash handling and savings which is a shame. I love technology for what it is but when it comes to teaching someone to save money, I would much rather have that rudimentary piggy bank system that we all have used in the past versus all the plastic we carry now.