Saving money is easier said than done. You open a savings account and say you will deposit money into it each month. Your intentions are good but things come up and month after month your savings account doesn’t grow. I am going to share a simple savings plan with you. One that is so easy a child can do it. We have practiced this method in our house for years. This is how to save $500 a year without even feeling it:
How To Save $500 A Year
- Find a jug, jar, bottle or container. We use a 5-gallon water jug. Place it somewhere in your house. A countertop, a corner, a specified room, closet, whatever works for you.
- Never give exact change when you make a purchase. If your total is $2.11 give $3.00 and pocket the change. This is so hard for me to do. It goes against every bone in my body and my detailed, precision-based personality to do this. The rewards can be great though. So if you are like me, please resist the urge to pull out the eleven cents. Pay with bills and take the change. My husband on the other hand is master of this. He won’t even break out a penny if the total is $2.01. He will pay with $3.00 and pocket the .99! Do this with any cash purchases you make throughout a day.
- Always pick up change you see on the ground or laying around. Put it in your pocket. Every penny truly adds up.
- At the end of the day throw all your pocket change into the jug. Empty your pockets of all that change. Just throw it in the jar. You’ll love the sound it makes.
- Do this every day for a year then count it. That’s it! Five simple steps. You will be surprised how much change you accumulate with this method. Count all the change yourself and roll it or you can take it to a coin counter and pay a small fee. You will easily have $500.00, maybe even more!
Places other than pockets to store the change- Both my husband and I store change in a console compartment of our car too. This makes it super easy when you make a purchase at a drive-thru. Just pay for your order with bills then drop the change in that cup holder, ashtray or compartment. I don’t always have pockets and pockets can get pretty heavy with change, so I also keep it in the change compartment of my wallet. We transfer the change from these areas when they are full and throw it in the jug.
A little side story, while I am on this topic. Keeping change in your car can be a lifesaver at times too. One night my husband was in Los Angeles and stopped for gas. He reached for his wallet and discovered he didn’t have it with him. The car was just about out of gas. There was no way he would make it home without getting fuel. He then remembered his change stash in the console. He found over $15.00 in change which purchased more than enough gas to get him home.
Save for longer than a year- Go beyond a year with this method. You will be so surprised at what you saved in pocket change.
Multiple contributors- If you are a couple and both of you practice this method your savings will be even greater.
Take it a step further- If you are able, throw $1.00 bills into the jug on occasion. Let the change bury them. If you ever feel like adding larger bills do so. This will compound quickly, yet you are only stashing a small amount that doesn’t affect you at the time.
Teach your children this method- Our kids witnessed our change savings through the years. It must have impressed them. They had their own canisters and piggy banks (some we didn’t know about) in their rooms that they stored change in. We had no idea just how much change they had saved until they brought them out and asked if we wanted to buy their change. Each of them had a few hundred dollars in coins! Granted this was years worth of saving but very impressive for their age. I wrote more about teaching your children to save here.
Through the years we have cashed in as little as $500.00 to more than $2000.00 using this method. Our pocket change savings has funded vacation, Christmas, frivolous fun purchases, and even budget shortfalls or emergencies. So, what do you think? Are you ready to start saving some coin? The biggest key factor to this method is not giving exact change. Always pay with bills and pocket the change. You can save pocket change here and there, but it will never add up the same way it will if you never spend change. Give this method a try. It is so easy and you don’t even miss it. This is how to save $500 a year without even feeling it!
Saving For Charity & The Needy
Here is a completely different idea. Instead of saving for yourself, save your change for those in need. Do this January to December and give it to someone in need near Christmas. Save in a glass jar and decorate it. Or save in a Christmas canister. This idea is inspired by the book Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright. We have personally experienced this gift. What an amazing act of kindness and paying it forward! If you are unfamiliar with this book I highly recommend getting a copy. It is a short read and makes a great accompaniment to the gift jar.
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