Guest post from reader Lara Casey: I think we all could use a little extra help this coming year with saving or paying down debt. This is a great way to tuck away some money for Christmas shopping, paying down a mortgage, for medical expenses, or just a rainy day!
I started my “Never Spend a $5 Bill” jar on the first of January in 2013 in the hopes of saving enough for our family of four to take a trip home to California for my mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary in 2015.
The concept is pretty simple: whenever you get a $5 bill, you put it in the jar and save it! For example, if someone gave me change from a $20 bill, and there were three $5 bills, I would put all three bills in the jar.
This year alone I have saved $890! I can’t wait to start again this year and I’m adding another jar as well. My husband gave me a couple of $5 bills that I put in the jar, so I’m excited to think about the savings if both of us were adding to the jar, or the whole family for that matter!
Here are some helpful tips to get started saving:
- Start saving on a much smaller scale: If saving $5 bills is a bit much for your budget right now, try starting a loose change jar! Toss all of your loose change in the jar and watch how quickly it all adds up. Many grocery stores have a CoinStar machine where you can trade in your change (you don’t even have to count, separate, or roll it) for cash or gift cards.
- Get kids saving: With younger children, they could start a “Never Spend a Quarter” jar and save up for that special toy or activity they have been wanting.
- Be a blessing: Use the “Never Spend” jars as blessing jars and use the money to donate to a favorite cause or charity.