By Karen Galarpe


The security guard peeked into my little red checkered tote bag before allowing me entry into the bank early Wednesday morning last week. He must have been amused because he said, “Thank you, ma’m” in a cheerful tone.

Inside my bag, you see, was a Zip Loc plastic bag full of P5 and P10 coins. Total weight: maybe 5 pounds. Total count: over P1,000.

It was my mom’s gift to my son. For quite some time, my mom would drop P5 and P10 in two piggybanks. They became full recently, and so she gave them to my son. It was my son who decided to deposit all of the coins in his account at the bank, which was what he did too when he got some cash as gift last Christmas.

I can’t remember how old he was when I first opened a bank account for him. Definitely it was before he started grade school, though. And so over the years, whenever he would receive cash from godparents and family members, these would go straight to the bank.

When my two friends got married more than a decade ago, I was floored when I learned they bought a house using their own money as downpayment. They were just in their 20s then. It turns out both of them grew up with their parents saving for them in the bank all the money gifts they received since they were small. So in some 20 years, compound interest has made their savings grow so much that these were enough to help them start on their own two feet when they got married.

The habit of saving can be instilled in a child early. Aside from opening a bank account for him, let him see you and the people around you practice saving as well. Start today and keep at it until it becomes second nature to your child.