I was given a gift a while back, don't worry, I have had a few gifts before and since so don't feel too sorry for me, but this particular gift was aimed more at the 'fun' side of gifts, so to speak, or one of those gifts that would be a stocking filler at Christmas.
This gift I was given was in fact a miniature cash machine, ATM, hole in the wall, or what ever you want to call one of those devices that give you money when you put your credit or debit card into a little slot. Although these days you have to be careful as some of these machines are targeted by low life criminals who think nothgin of adding a few 'extra' bits around the machine in order to get a peak at your personal details.
Luckily though, this little gift I was given, this miniature cash machine was very unlikely to be targeted by some Vietnamese pot bellied pig who thinks hard work is below his high standards, (criminals do come from other countries too).
This little gift is in fact something called a Peers Hardy Kids ATM money box, which, as the name suggests, is in fact a rather fine looking, and very useful, little money box.
* What does this cash machine look like..?
To be honest, it looks like a miniature cash machine, very miniature indeed, with the button pad on the front, several slots for pushing things in and dragging things out, plus the good old fashioned screen to see what's what.
It's not the same size as the natwest hole in the wall, ATM, cash machine, or what ever else you call them, I mean, who on earth has a full size cash machine hidden under their bed? This one is a toy one, made of a lightweight plastic, and is a mere 250mm high by 235mmwide about 150mm deep
But in more detail, we have, at the top of the front, the small display screen that has 6 buttons around it, three on either side, sound, clear and set on the left, and alarm code, balance and withdraw on the right.
The screen itself shows you in a simple to understand format how much you have left in the box and the date, plus other information too.
Below the screen there is the number pad, which resembles a standard machine, only there's very little danger of finding a false front on this one as there may be when you visit your local Co-op cash machine.
This number pad consists o numbers 0 to 9, as in a standard phone key formation, with the other buttons being the 'paper note' selection, £5,£10,£20 and, if you're really rich, £50. There's also a target button which, when used with the 'set' button and the cursor keys, can let you set a target of how much you want to save.
On the far right, (not being political), there's a couple of slots, the top one being for the cash card that you get with this machine. The lower slot is for the coinis to be pushed into.
Then below the key pad, there is the paper money slot for sliding your £5 notes into, or £10 if you're feeling flush, and maybe your £50 if you a politician or banker.
And finally, right at the bottom, there is the actual money container that you money is housed in. this tray being about 200mm by about 120mm, which is big enough for a stash of pound coins to drop into.
I nearly forgot, above the keypad there is a little camera so that you can see who's taking your money from your box without telling you... it's just a shame that the camera doesn't really work and is only for show.
* How do you use it then..?
The first thing you have to do is set put in the 3 AA batteries that it needs in order to work. Then, once the screen activates, you have to then set up your own PIN, (personal Identification Number) so that you, and only you, know the number to get into your life savings. The pin is four digits of your own choosing and, with the help of the instruction leaflet and a few presses of the buttons, it only take a matter of minutes to set up.
Once the pin is set up you're saving box is ready to be filled up, safe in the knowledge that your other half can't get into all your lovely money.
So, when you want to put your money in you simply slot the coins into the little slot on the front and the machine 'should' read the amount put in and total it all up, adding it to what ever else you've inserted. If you're well off one day and decide to slide in a ten pound note, or any other, then you place this on the 'note' slider and the machine takes it in. sadly though it can't tell the difference between the notes so you do have to press the corresponding button to tell the machine how much you've just put in.
If you want to take money out you simply put your card into the slot, input your PIN and the amount you want to take out. The draw slide open so you can take out the money, and the machine calculates how much money you have left in your saving, giving you a total on the screen.
And that's how you use it. It's a money box with a twist.
* Is there anything else worth mentioning..?
There are a couple of features that make this money box stand out a little more than your boring box with a slot in the top. Such as the fact that this one lets you actually set a target so that you know how much money you're short every time you slot a pound coin into the machine. Then there's the way that you need the bank card and the PIN in order to take money out, but, you don't need them to put money in. and don't worry, the machine still does its best to tot up the pennies you slot into the machine even without the card.
And in addition, although not really important for saving money, this box has a built in calendar and calculator too... which is nice to know
* So what do I think..?
This is a bit of a harmless, fun gift that I use quite often. It is sat on a shelf, out of harms reach, and when I want to put a bit of money into it I just slot or slide it on. The odd time I need to take some out I quite enjoy the fact that I can use this like a cash machine
It opens when you put in the right four digit pin so that you, and who ever else you either give the pin too, or hacks into your system, can get into the box with out using the force of a hammer.
The cash box inside can hold quite a bit of small change, although once notes are involved things can get a bit mixed up, but it is big enough for a stash of pound coins without any real trouble.
The coin slot is ample size for all coins, including the largest of the bunch, the £2 coin, so you can save all sorts of coins in this box.
I like the way that the paper money is actually dragged into the machine, which is nice as it saves me trying to force it on and causing no end of crumpled, ripped money that ends up being useless in the shops.
As for how it manages to know which coins are which, well, the way I see it is that it works on the simple principle of how big the coin is that you push into the slot, forcing a little metal rod upwards as the coins passes by. Distance the rod moves determines the size of the coins. So, is it moves a bit then it's going to register either a 1 pence piece or a five pence piece. If it moves a bit more then it's a pound coin. A bit more and it could register a twenty or a ten. Even more is a fifty pence.
And this is where it can go wrong sometimes as if you push a coin in and it goes in at a funny angle then a five pence could register as a 1 pence, a pound coin could be mistaken for a 5 pence... you get the point.
This is a total nuisance as if you want an exact figure you either have to take it all out and slot the entire contents back in bit by bit, or make a few changes on the key board, using a few mathematical calculations, so that the figures match back up...
If in doubt of how to manipulate the figures you could always go and ask your local bank manager, or MP.
Fortunately though, the paper money side does keep a perfect record of how much is in, as long as you remember to press the right money key every time you slot some paper money in.
I do have to say that this is not a 'serious' safe as it is made of plastic and can be easily smashed open, but as long as you don't think that you can hide your family diamonds in it without any trouble then think again. This is only a fun money box and should be treated like one. Just think on the same lines as the old fashioned massive whiskey bottles that people collect coins in and you'll get the general idea.
* What about the price of this cash machine..?
This one sells for about £15 - £20, which seems a little over the odds for what is just a money box. But if you want to get someone a nice little present, say for Christmas, or a birthday, trying to get that person into the habit of saving up money, then this is an ideal choice of gift.
* Would I recommend this..?
As I said, it's probably an ideal present for someone, although if you want one for yourself then I wouldn't judge you for it, I know I still use this one of mine without embarrassment.
It's nice to look at, fun to use and may also help in the old mathematics at the end of the day.
So yes, I would recommend it, especially if you can get it for the lower price as it is a fun way to save what money you can manage to squirrel away these days.
I love money. Well, that might not be true, actually. It might even be more true to say that I dislike money so much that I have to get rid of it and spend it on something else as soon as I get any.
Saving has never really been my strong point, because I love buying things too much and many times has a piggy bank or an old jar been emptied because of a desperate need to buy something completely useless. Well, this is where this cool little gadget comes in handy. The ATM Savings Bank Money Box is designed to look exactly like your typical hole in wall ATM machine.
It stands a good 25 odd centimetres tall and 15cm wide. It features a small screen that tells you how much you have on your account. Using it is pretty simple: you slide coins and notes into the machine (it can recognise both nicely and counts the amount you put in), and you are given a "bank card" which you have to use to get to the money, in conjunction with your 4 digit pin, very much like an ordinary bank system.
The system has a built in clock and calendar which serves almost no purpose, and also lets you set your own savings target, which I have currently quite high. There is something about the machine though which makes me not want to take out the money, unlike a usual jar or book to slide notes in, and I have found I save more with it, probably because it just looks cool and it's slightly more complicated to get it out.
It requires, annoyingly, 3 AA batteries which means you'll always have one lying about uselessly, but that's hardly an issue and overall the machine is very cool and does exactly what it says. It costs about 20 pounds and makes a pretty nice gift.
Awesome little tool - who needs a piggy bank? This thing really is what it says, an ATM money box. Depositing and withdrawing money couldn't be more fun - it's the same as doing it at a real ATM! It recognises coins and notes (how I don't know) and actually sucks up the notes when you put it through the feeder! I know it's kinda sad but it's a much more enjoyable experience than folding up a tenner and slotting it through a coin slot on the back of a piggy.
When you need to make a transaction (withdraw, view balance) you're required to input a 4 digit (preset) pin, in the same way you do at a real ATM. This not only makes it secure from others, it also adds to the authenticity of using an ATM machine.
It even calculates (p.s. it has a built in calculator) how much you have in the the bank and displays on screen (LCD display)! I'm really impressed by all the features it has, the nice big buttons (which also look cool) and the alarm clock... which I can't really comment on as I haven't used it but thats definitely a plus. The only real downside I can think of is the price. I got mine for £15 which is really good value for what it does but when you think about it... I could have an extra £15 in my piggy bank if I didn't have this box.
It also does something an ATM doesn't do, and thats allow you to set target balance e.g. £200 and displays how far you are from the target on screen. This is a nice way to save money and as you'll probably be waking up/falling asleep next to it each day it'll always be the first thing you think about when you wake and the last when you turn in at night.
This bank really is an ATM. I mean sure, it's not connected to a real bank or anything but who trusts them with money nowadays anyway?
I was given this money box by a friend who was always getting cross at me for not 'looking after my pennies'. I would have little piles of money around the house and loads of twos and ones at the bottom of my bag and so one day out of the blue and for the main reason of that she found my loose change habits highly irritating she bought me this ATM machine money box.
It looks like a mini 'hole in the wall', it comes with a bank card that you need to use with a pin number to access your 'account'. You can deposit coins or notes into the machine and it will automatically add the funds to your balance. Likewise you can withdraw money and it will deduct it from your balance, just like a real bank.
The ATM bank allows you to set your own saving target, I set mine for £500 the amount I had left to pay for our holiday, at the push of a button you can see how much you have still got to save, it is a very motivational saving tool, I went all through my old coat pockets and under the sofa etc just to get the figure down a little (£3.42). It also makes me have my target at the front of my mind, so when I am thinking of buying something I don't need I think "oh that could be a tenner off the target" and more times than not I will put the thing back on the shelf, unless it is Chocolate :-0.
The money box also has a working calculator and an alarm clock, it really is the jack of all trades.
The ATM is really easy to use, you set your pin number at the beginning and you will need to use this when withdrawing money, checking your balance or target or to change the time, target or pin number. You can add money without using the card or pin, just post it through the slot and the bank will do the rest, it recognizes all UK coins, including the £2 coin. To check your balance or target you simply press a button and it will come up on the screen.
These banks cost about £20, my friend bought me this from boots and she said it was part of the 3for2 range. If you are trying to save yourself it might be better off putting the £20 in a jam jar, but it is a really fun and great way to save and see your money mount up. Would make a brilliant present.
Just a bit added on as someone asked for more information, the money box is fairly large about as tall as an A4 piece of paper and at its widest point approx 15 cm wide. I am not sure of its exact capacity to hold money I suppose it would depend on what coins you were putting in but I have £240.28 in mine and it is about halfway full. It is very strong and hard wearing and not at all flimsy.