Remember the days when saving money was as simple as gathering your change in a piggy bank? You didn't have to worry about words like "interest rate" or "APY"—you just knew that when you put your pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters into the piggy bank, there they would stay and multiply, until one day you broke the poor little piggy open to buy yourself something awesome. Like a really rare Pokémon card.
Well, here at Movoto Real Estate, we got to thinking, what if instead of keeping your savings in a bank, you did still use a piggy bank? And what if, instead of saving for that Pokémon card, you were saving for something even more awesome—like a house.
Just how big would your piggy bank have to be?
Pretty freaking huge, it turns out. If you were saving for a new house with pennies, your piggy would be a whopping 15 feet long and almost 6 feet tall. Sounds terrifying, doesn't it? If you wanted to save in quarters, though, you'd only have to clear a space about 2.72 by 5.5 feet. But more on that math in a moment. First, let's talk about why we built this calculator in the first place—aside from its undeniable cute factor.
Why Calculating Gigantic Piggy Banks Is Important
Here at Movoto we've brought you many a calculator—there was the calculator to find out how many Schwarzeneggers it would take to lift up your house; there was one to determine how long it would take Peyton Manning to pay off your mortgage; there was even that time we showed you what your house would be like as a sandcastle. And while these things are, of course, a whole lot of fun, we do them for another reason as well: perspective.
And so that is why calculating gigantic piggy banks is important—it provides you with a different perspective of looking at the value of your home. And for those of us who think visually, being able to picture our home's value in terms of how big the piggy bank would have to be to fit that amount, well, it's actually quite helpful.
But enough oinking around—let's talk about how we actually did it.
How We Did It
In order to figure out the calculator, we first had to figure out how large a piggy bank would have to be to house pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for both the average new home price and the average existing home price. As you can imagine, this took a whole lot of research and math. I hope I didn't make a pig's ear out of it.
First, we found the cubic volume of each coin in terms of cubic feet.
Then, we found the average price of a new home in the U.S. ($257,200) and the average price of an existing home ($199,200).
Knowing that there are 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, or 4 quarters in $1 we were able to calculate the cubic volume of each coin type for both new homes and existing homes. For example, the volume of $257,200 worth of pennies is 401 cubic feet.
So with the cubic volumes for each coin, for both home types, we used the magical formula of V= pi (radius)²(height), in order to find each piggy's cylindrical height and diameter. A whole lot of math later, here's what we came up with.
New home: 15 ft. long with a diameter (width and height) of 5.83 ft.
Existing home: 11.5 feet long and 5.86 feet in diameter
New Home: 10 ft. long, 6.19 ft. in diameter
Existing home: 8 ft. long, 3.93 ft. in diameter
New home: 5 ft. long, 2.8 ft. in diameter
Existing home: 4 ft. long, 2.7 ft. in diameter
New home: 5.5 ft. long, 2.72 ft. in diameter
Existing home: 4.5 ft. long, 2.68 ft. in diameter
To put that into perspective for you, if you wanted to save for a new home in pennies, your piggy bank would have to be 2,035 times larger than your standard piggy bank—using the average price for a new home in the U.S.
But what if you don't just live in the average home? What if you're building your very own $10 million home shaped like... a pig? Well that is precisely why we used this math to come up with our calculator.
Calculating Your Own Home
The calculator is pretty simple. Plug in your home's value, the type of coin you'd like to use, and we'll do the rest. Obviously, the more your home is worth the larger the piggy bank you'll need to collect your savings.
So play with the numbers, go nuts, pig out—and if you do decide to start using a piggy bank for your savings, well, you might do better to start with something smaller than a house—like that Pokémon card you always wanted.