Monday, December 26, 2011


I got a most evocative stocking present on Christmas morning.

A piggybank.

Now these were designed in the past to encourage thrift.

"What's thrift?" I hear you ask.

Well, it was a pre Celtic Tiger virtue which meant you saved some of your income for a rainy day, or a family emergency, or to buy something you couldn't quite afford yet.

The piggybank always had a zero or positive balance.

It has, unfortunately, been replaced by the credit card. These, contrary to what their name implies and unlike the piggybank, always have a negative balance. In fact if you have more than one of them they can add up to an exponentially negative balance. They should more appropriately be called debit cards, but then we already have debit cards and they have a positive balance, don't they? Very confusing.

But that is all for another day.

Back to the piggybank.

My new one is well suited to saving in a period of reduced income. It is no bigger than a table tennis ball, so it can quite adequately cope with the likely volume of savings.

In fact, the deposit slot at the top will accept nothing greater than a 20 cent piece in €urocurrency.

It also has a withdrawal hole on the underside which is normally bunged up lest any savings leak.

However, when you get to the stage of withdrawing your meagre savings, you find that not even a 1 cent piece will pass through the hole.

So, to get at your savings, you just have to break the bank.


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