Money Saving Jar Ideas For Children

This time of year there are lots of goals floating about and one of the ones you’ll often see on Pinterest is a money saving jar, where you save 1p on the 1st of January, 2p on the 2nd January and so on. I think this is a great idea, especially for children as they can clearly see how the savings are adding up. Of course you’re starting small so it doesn’t feel like much of a sacrfice initially, but as the year goes on, you head into summer months and later on towards Christmas, and having to drop £3 and more a day into the jar, it will quickly start adding up.

I know this wouldn’t work for me and the knowledge that I’d have to suddenly ‘find’ an extra £20-plus a week for the money jar is quite stressful for me, and I know I’d give up probably somewhere around the £2 a day mark. So I decided that we would try it, backwards.Money Jar Savings

That means that January, with it’s short, cold days, where we tend to stay in more and spend less anyway, is the hardest month for filling the jar. Filling your money jar backwards means that no day for the rest of the year will require quite as much money as today, or yesterday did. I find that quite positive and uplifting! My daily ‘sacrifice’ will get smaller, but my savings will be ever increasing.

Of course that means that by the end of February I’ve had to magic up almost £200 to put into the jar, but actually, it’s the perfect time. There’s no rule that says you *have* to put money in every single day, but if you’re decluttering the house, getting ready for spring, cleaning out after Christmas and so on, you can take that money and put it in the jar in lump sums as you receive it, just keeping track. Obviously that’s not the real spirit of the jar, but does it really matter? Taking a £5 note and breaking it on some sweets you didn’t need so that you could put £3.39 in the jar isn’t really saving.

Holiday Treats Fund

Holiday Treat Jar

Since for me this is an exercise in saving for the children, I actually did take a £20 and exchange it for £1 coins. I’m hiding the coins so that we can put one in the holiday jar every day. Of course if this was for me, I’d just do transfers from my bank account so that I don’t have the temptation of physical cash, and so that I could be earning interest where I can, but again since this is for the children, I think the physical visual of a jar (two in our case) is useful.

Christmas Penny Jar

Christmas Penny Jar

That means that January, with it’s short, cold days, where we tend to stay in more and spend less anyway, is the hardest month for filling the jar. Filling your money jar backwards means that no day for the rest of the year will require quite as much money as today, or yesterday did.

Because I’m a sucker for punishment  it seemed practical for us, we actually have two jars on the go: a Christmas fund, counting down from £3.65 and a £1 jar for our holiday in June. This is our ice cream fund, according to the girls. By the time we go on holiday, we should have £130 in the jar. Lots of ice creams for 7 days! It’ll be nice to have a little bit of ‘frivolous’ money though.

For the big jar, where you’re supposed to have over £600 saved by the end of it, we’ve set a date of 15 December, at which point we’ll add the last two week’s worth of coins on one day – totalling £1.34. That way we still have 10 days left to buy Christmas presents and food. I can see this as a really good way of making big things not break the bank when they come round – though I’ll probably just use my bank accounts for non-child projects!
Whichever way you choose to do a penny jar, it’s a good way to save some pennies and get the kids “hands on” involved too. And if we achieve it, we’ll have a financial stress free Christmas and a lot of ice cream on holiday too!

Making Money At Home (Part 2)

In part one of my guide to Money Saving at Home, I ran through a bunch of simple changes that together could add up to hundreds of pounds saved every month without any significant sacrifices or much real impact on your quality of life.

It’s all about reducing unnecessary spending, making sure you’re getting the best possible value for things you are spending money on, and eliminating waste.

However, clutter around the home represents another form of waste: wasted space. Most of us are guilty of hoarding to some degree, a point that has come home to us in particular recently with the arrival of a new face in the household a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday I wrote about saving money in your home. Today I want to look at a different approach to the same thing – making money with what you have at home. You can’t sell off everything – well, unless you are trying to – but many of us have a lot of clutter, and lots of stuff we really don’t need anymore.  That can all come in handy when you need a little cash flow boost.

  • About The PlayPennies AuthorsLook at your hobbies and see what you could turn to profit: sell paintings at a local coffee shop, grow something in your garden and join a co-op to swap food, use stamping to make cards, or beads to make necklaces – whatever you enjoy doing, look at it and see if you can turn it into a little bit of profit.
  • Getting rid of unused or unwanted clutter not only frees up valuable space, which is valuable enough on its own, but can also put some very real cash in your pocket, which could make all the difference in the world if you’re going through some tough times financially.Decluttering isn’t difficult or complicated, either: simply look around your house and see what you don’t need and don’t use. See what you can do without and what you wont even miss. As people we’re surprisingly good at blocking out problems we can’t solve, to look past, around or even through piles of clutter we don’t know what to do with. The trick is to take off these filtered specs, see things for what they are and be disciplined enough to say goodbye to all those things you’ve always said you’ll use “one day”, but never have.

    Look through toys, baby clothes and equipment and see what you can sell on ebay, at your local NCT Nearly New Sale, or Mama Markets. Use social media to find a local selling group (we have one on Facebook for our local area). If there isn’t one, start one.

    Look at your DVD and music collection, and use a website such as MusicMagpie to declutter and make some money too. I managed to sell my old dvds with musicmagpie which meant the pile on top of the DVD player is now in our DVD folders, and the unwatched films have a new life elsewhere.

It may not solve all your problems, but clearing out space gives you room to breathe and think and getting a cheques in the post won’t hurt either – even if you use that money as a ‘bonus’ to do something nice for yourself and your family, giving you the energy and motivation to continue being thrifty in other areas.

And I think that’s an important point – compare money saving to dieting. If you go ‘cold turkey’ you might find yourself binging a few days later, undoing all the good you’ve done to that point. Rather focus on specific areas, and go from there making money saving a way of life, rather than a crash diet.

Those are some of my ‘top’ tips for saving money and if you can, making money, and getting through the difficult months.

Now please, share some of yours with me?