Why a piggy bank? Discover the story behind it

There are several theories as to why a piggy bank is an ideal design in which to store money. Continue reading if you want to learn more about this.

Why a piggy bank? Discover the story behind it
I don't understand the point of a piggy bank. Learn the back-story. Photo by Andre Taissin / Unsplash

By now you are aware of the importance of saving throughout our lives and how good it is to start at a young age. Due to the great benefits, many people save, which is a very good habit. But did you know that this habit began to be practiced long before the creation of banks?

For centuries, people saved money in their homes, boxes, jars, pots, or any other container they could find, until they reached piggy banks and, later, bank accounts. There are archaeological discoveries in Greece and Rome where objects made of different materials were found, which had a small cut that was used to accumulate coins. They were perhaps the first piggy banks.

But who said they had to have the figure of a little pig? There are different theories about this, and it is even believed that it is the perfect shape of a piggy bank to keep our money. If you would like to know more about this, continue reading.


During the Middle Ages, people used a clay or mud-like material, orange in color, and with it, they created their vessels to store the little money they had at the time.

The name they gave to this material was "pygg", and the vessels made with it were known as "pygg jars". It was here that the resemblance between the words "pygg" and "pig" (pig, in English) was related, and with time, the origin of the name of the clay was forgotten and only the name of the pig was kept.

By the 19th century, English potters were receiving orders to produce these piggy banks, so they began to give them various shapes until they created them with a pig figure, which was much more popular.

Chinese version

Other people say that piggy banks originated in China during the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. In this culture, pigs are considered sacred animals and symbolize abundance and wealth.

Pigs in the Chinese Horoscope

According to the description, people born in the year of the pig have luxurious manners and tastes. Therefore, it is said that people began to design their piggy banks in the shape of these animals to store their money and generate a lot of wealth.

Piggy bank also from Indonesia

Another version mentions that piggy banks were born in Indonesia. Some banks in that country have a wild boar or a kind of wild pig as a symbol. Some Indonesian museums have sculptures in the shape of pigs. These sculptures, which are usually made of clay, are from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Now you know some theories about piggy banks, and although we can not know exactly which of these versions is the first, the truth is that saving is a great tool to meet our goals.