Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

Claudia here. Today is my son, Matthew's, fifth birthday. You probably expect me to spend time telling of Saturday's Christmas-in-April themed birthday party; about his carefully selected birthday present; or reviewing the highs, lows, and ahas of his fourth year.

All that can wait.

Today is the culmination of a five-year goal - the fruition of a project a full FIVE YEARS in the making. Here's the back story...

In March 2004, down the hall from where my office was located at Bellarmine University, the thoughtful women of the Office of Financial Aid presented me with a big white piggy bank. Stretched across the front are the words, "Matthew's College Fund." The irony of this gift coming from the Office of Financial Aid did not escape me. It was the perfect creative gift coming from the perfect people.

Knowing the grim reality of sending a child to college (never mind three kids), I immediately brought the pig home and Richard and I ceremoniously placed in it the first shinny quarter. The drop was long and the echo loud. Each of us took a guess at how long it would take to fill the bank. Me, the optimist, guessed 2.5 years. Richard, the self-proclaimed realist, guessed 3 years.

Side bar. Something you should know about me is that when I get fixated on something I can be relentless. I broke dollar bills when my total at the store was $5.01, just so I could get the $.99 in change. I rummaged through the console of Richard's car stealing his change. And, any money found in the laundry (including dollar bills) was immediately dropped in Matthew's CAVERNOUS piggy bank.

Back to the story line.

Two and a half years passed. Not full.

Three years passed. Still not full.

Four years passed. STILL not full

And then I became obsessed. Five years. That's it. Not a day past his fifth birthday until that pig is filled. I should tell you I thought the bank was full in December. Unfortunately, Matthew made it his business, and took great joy, in finding ways to squeeze in just one more coin.

Then last night it happened. Using a Thomas the Train engine the last coin was pounded through the slot and into bank. No matter how much we shimmied the pig, trying to get the money to settle, not one more coin would fit.

Not so smooth transition.

Somewhere around year two I decided once the bank was full that I would send Heather B., Dawn, and the rest of the Bellarmine Financial Aid staff a (Kimack) picture postcard to thank them for their thoughtful gift and to let them know how much money the bank actually held.

So how much does the bank hold? This has way too much fun potential to just blurt it out willy nilly. No. Guessing the total amount of money in Matthew's piggy bank is exactly the kind of fun my friends at Highlowaha would enjoy. So how about this? You guess and whoever comes closest can win the final $25.00 Target gift card (leftover from our drive for RAK postcards)?
This might help.
  • The bank weighed 52 pounds
  • $117.00 in bills were found inside (I should mention that one day Richard asked me if I knew where his three missing $20.00 bills were. We found them last night).
  • It was filled with pocket change, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters (we don't discriminate against pennies).
  • Beeny Family guesses: Matthew, $32.00; Ricky, $520.00; Richard, $880.00; Claudia, $802.18. Jack is barely two and most of what he says is still indiscernible, so I have no idea what he guessed.
Signing off until tomorrow...


heather said...

I remember this piggy bank and remember it being extremely large as well. Congratulations on finally filling it. My guess? (And don't worry readers I won't put my name in to win but I've got to take a whack at it)...$772.13

Heather said...

I should also say a big:

I can't believe you are five...where does time go?

Chaotic said...

$873.17 is my guess...and congrats!!!! Most ppl would have broken into the pig (literally & figuratively) before now!

cassie p said...

Happy Birthday, Matthew! I cannot believe he is 5 already; I think last time I saw him, he was barely 3.

That piggy bank as a gift from FA is funny in a couple ways, and made me laugh this morning. Thanks for that Dr. B!

And my guess is going to be $711.32

Cristine said...

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

Filling the piggy bank is a great accomplishment. William & Matthew's are very empty (the Easter bunny money made a are clank)

I asked my Matthew how much was in the piggy bank - he said $818.88 (William added it's like Mommy's big money)

So our answer is $818.88.

Happy Birthday Matthew we wish you the best on your birthday!

Kat said...

That is so neat. I can't believe that to took 5 years to fill! My guess is $692.83.

Jess said...

My guess is $655.55. Happy Birthday Matthew!

Katie K said...

Happy birthday, Matthew King! I cannot believe you are 5 today!

I, like Heather have to take a guess but will not be in the drawing. My guess is $902.17.

Peggy said...

That is fun!! $941.10
Can't wait to hear about the party!

b.k.root said...

Hmmm... this is tough. My guess is $555.11.

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

First... Claudia- JB LOVES your invitation!! You are so darn clever.

Second... I'll throw out my guess of $549.12 for fun.

Third... who's going to count it?

Tera said...

Super cute! We still wanna hear about the party.


My guess is $583.12.

Claudia said...

Richard's task is to find a bank with a coin counter, BUT that won't charge us a percentage of the money.

If we can't find one, counting will become a family affair.

Susan said...

Awww - I can't believe he is 5 already. Seems like those late night phone calls were just yesterday, remember those, Claudia? hehehe.
Give him a big kiss from the Britt family. We will try to call this evening but since its a crazy soccer night.....we'll see.
My guess is $601.33.
Hugs, Susan

eknoxuk said...

My guess is $400.
Happy Birthday Matthew!

Margaret said...

Hmmm.... 719.67


Happy Birthday!

Katie O. said...

Happy Birthday, Matthew! Claudia -I have a vivid memory of going to a meeting with you when you were pregnant with him - can't believe that was 5 years ago. :-) My guess is $633.93!

Shannon C said...

Happy Birthday Matthew! Sorry I've been out of the loop lately but I'm still here and still read HLA everyday.

My guess is $643.23.

Ashley Benz said...

My guess is $750.39 - congratulations!

maureen said...

First of all Happy Birthday Matthew!!!!!!!

I had a piggy bank and it was only filled with silver coins and it held $2000 when full.

My guess is that there is $1038 dont ask me why I just got fixated on this number!

No matter what is in there unfortunately being it wasnt filled with hundred dollar bills you will have to float the rest of his education. LOL

Time flies so fast when you are busy with kids... I cant believe I just paid my sons Tuition bill for his 2nd year of college. It seemed like yesterday Claudia was in my wedding!

Well Beeny Family enjoy that little guy and give him a kiss for me!

Everyone at HLA hope you are all having a great day also!

maureen said...


Quynh said...

Happy Birthday Matthew! My guest would be 500.00