Dad’s One-Way Bank

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As a little girl, my childhood savings bank was a pink ceramic dog. The removable stopper on the bottom enabled me to take the money out, which I often did—far too often.

Recently, while visiting my parents, I noticed a small wooden box with a hole in the top.

“What’s that, Dad?”

Dads One Way Bank

He smiled that sweet, sly smile that I love. The grin that says, “I’ve invented something cool.” He’s been inventing things all his life. Clever things, useful things, fun things.

“Let me show you.” He rolled up a dollar bill and shoved it through the tiny hole in the top of the box with a dowel rod. “It’s a bank!”

“But how do you get the money?”

“You don’t, that’s how you save.”

I was intrigued. “What happens when it gets full?”

“Then I bust it,” his eyes twinkled. “I hit it with a hammer and break it all to pieces. That’s the really fun part!”

“But then what?”

“Then I build another one!” He was enjoying this lesson, loving that he could still teach his adult daughter a thing or two.

He continued. “It took about six months to fill it the first time. It’s a ‘One-Way Bank.’ The money only has one way to go.”

I smiled. Proverbs 13:11b came to mind. “. . . whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

For a fun summer project with your kids—one that comes with a lesson—make a One-Way Bank of your own!

Below are Dad’s instructions for making his “One-Way Bank.”

¼” plywood (We used scraps from previous projects.)
Wood glue

Cut plywood into two pieces 3½” square for the top and bottom
Cut plywood into four pieces 3½” x 10” for the sides
Drill a 3/8” hole in one end and glue all sides together with wood glue. Let dry and finish with your choice of either paint or varnish.

All cuts are straight; there are no angles to worry about. You can sand the corners for smooth edges, if you want.

Dads One-Way Bank

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About Kelly Stigliano

Kelly J. Stigliano has been a speaker and writer for over 25 years. She and her husband of over 30 years, Jerry, enjoy life in Orange Park, FL. To learn more, visit

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