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Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Coin Bank using plastic food bottles

Mummy Cher and I had been on a lookout for a coin/money bank for Aiden.  He already understands the concept of money, and we intended to use the coin bank to teach him delayed gratification, financial planning and the habit of saving.

We knew that he would receive lots of Ang Baos during Chinese New Year and a coin bank would come in handy, but CNY came and gone and we still did not manage to find a coin bank that we like.  They were either too small, too heavy or made of porcelain.  It's also counter-intuitive to be spending good money on a expensive coin bank to teach Aiden how to save money!

And then one day, post CNY, while trying to gobble up the bottle of kuih bahulu before they expire, I realised the answer was right in my arms.  Why don't I make the coin bank out of a CNY goodie bottle?! 

And so I did.  And wow, it's so simple that even a guy like me can do it!  Here's how:

Materials/tools used
  • Empty, clean CNY goodie bottle
  • Fancy fabric tape (from Daiso)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Stickers
  • Marker pen
  • Scissors
  • Penknife
  • Ruler

  1. Firstly, remove the existing sticker labels.  I know our grandparents used to keep their money in biscuit tin boxes but I'm not quite a fan of that look.  I used Mummy Cher's nail polish remover but there are many alternative ways to do this.
  2. Next, carefully cut a rectangle on the plastic lid of the bottle.  I was too forceful and the plastic lid cracked, so do cut patiently with the help of a ruler.  Make sure it is just big enough for coins and notes to be pushed through.  You don't want money to drop out unintentionally.
  3. If your kid cannot write yet (like Aiden), help to write anything you want on the fancy fabric tape with the marker pen.  Before you start, wrap the fabric tape around the bottle so that you know the limit to how much to write.  I thought the bottle looked like Pooh's honey pot, so I called it "Aiden's Money Pot!".  Other suitable phrases include "O$P$", "I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin' bad" and "My HDB downpayment".
  4. Remove the backing of the tape and stick it around the bottle.  I did this myself as I want to make sure the fabric tape wraps nicely. OCD, I know.
  5. Get your kids to stick his/her favourite stickers on the bottle any way they like.  Tell them what the coin bank is for while they are at it.
  6. Make the first deposit of coins/notes together with your kid.
  7. You're done!  Smile and take a picture together!

It may not look like a million bucks, but I thought it's a wonderful activity to try with your kids.  The best thing is, I was able to justify eating the entire bottle of kuih bahulu all by myself.  Ingenious!  Alright alright.  More importantly, it recycles the bottles, saves you money, inculcates the right values, and is a great bonding activity.

Go try and see what you can come up with!


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