On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a simple place to store my money.
For many of us, our earliest memories of money revolve around our cherished childhood piggy bank, a repository of far more than mere loose change.
"It is the greatest tool out there because it's tactile; kids understand the idea of taking a coin and putting it in," says Linfield of the Institute for Financial Literacy. "The idea is as old as time, and it's a great teaching tool. It's the beginning step of understanding that you're putting money away toward a goal."
What makes piggy banks so timeless?
"Studies show that with (children and) money, you have to give them an action immediately, not six months from now," says Levine of Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. "If a child gets money, you don't want to say to them, 'Next week we'll do something with this.' You want them to do something with it right now -- that's fun and sticks in their mind."
When shopping for a piggy bank, our experts say choose a transparent model, ideally one the child can build and customize.
"That's a great visual tool for a very young child because it shows them that the money literally gets closer and closer to the top of the pig," says Seaman of the National Endowment for Financial Education.