Login   |   Register

Blowing Up Your Savings

By Christopher Schonberger

If you thought that saving money as a recent grad was annoying, at least your debit card doesn’t explode into tiny pieces when you fail to deposit enough money in your account. That, in essence, is the idea behind the “Savings Bomb,” a new Japanese piggy bank that detonates when aspiring penny-pinchers fail to top it up for a long time.

As part of the ongoing initiative to turn Japan into a video game, the toy company created the product to teach youngsters the importance of saving. Apparently, when it shakes “violently” and explodes, people must “collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness.” I have scattered coins all over my floor, and I don’t even own a “Savings Bomb.” On the rare occasion that I pick them up, I mostly just think A) American coinage is essentially worthless, and B) I have no self-respect. Then I collect up $3.49 and go to Wendy’s for a Frescuit combo meal.

As with all good toys (like the Super Soaker and Nerf balls), there is a noble cause behind the Savings Bomb: Japan has the world’s oldest population and an extremely low birthrate, so the young ‘uns must learn to preserve the bacon for the future. However, Japan is already very futuristic, so maybe the old people should just sell all their antiques, which would actually be worth more in other parts of the world, where it’s still 2007. Just an idea…I’m not the Minister of Finance.

My only other problem with an exploding piggy-bank is the subconscious lesson that when you don’t have enough money, someone will bomb you. Maybe even the person/machine you trusted most. A frightening thought for any child, I’m sure. Meanwhile, the smart ones will take out the batteries and learn that cheating really is the best way to survive.

Question of the day: How many neglected “Savings Bombs” would it take to blow up the World Bank? (Winner gets a free trip to Guantanamo Bay.)

©2010 Gradspot LLC