Everyone has heard and knows the adage, a penny saved is a penny earned. Why? Truth always rings true.
As children, we often saved up our pennies for that special toy or gadget desired. Some of us did extra chores, babysat, mowed lawns–donated blood/plasma in college. The principle remains the same as adults, perhaps with a slight twist.
Adventures, trips, a weekend getaway, a vacation–the “gadgets” often desired by adults but where does it come into your financial budget?
Budgets are always beneficial, as David Ramsey would say, budgets are telling your money where to go versus wondering where it went. Perhaps you already have a certain percentage automatically drafted into a special account, which is fabulous. An “electronic” piggy bank or special savings account, for many is simpler, as long as you don’t forget to deposit your earnings or to electronically transfer the amounts “leftover” from coming in under budget (see tips below) If not? There is an easy way to start saving in an “old school” kind of way.
First things first, figure out how much your desired adventure will cost–a weekend away for a cabin rental in the mountains, in which you can drive to and from yourself, will cost much less than a 3 week all inclusive cruise through the Caribbean. A bit of research will shed some light on the cost. This will be the budget for your trip.
Let’s go with the basic understanding that it takes time to save up for a really special adventure but the process doesn’t have to be exhausting.
Find a jar or jug, something with a lid and a fairly wide spout/mouth. It doesn’t need to be anything special or anything purchased. If you already own a piggy bank, perfect!!!
I personally repurposed a gallon mason jar that I had originally purchased–albeit full of whole dill pickles- at my local grocery store. Whether or not you decide to decorate the jar is totally up to you. I used a hammer and flat edged screw driver to punch a slot in the lid (with the pickle logo still on it) and screwed the lid on the jar–instant piggy bank.
Filling the jar: There isn’t a set amount in which your jar will hold but you can keep track by either keeping a chart of what you add or by counting it periodically.
A few tips on how to contribute to the jar:
Set aside a certain amount from every time you get paid–even $10 a paycheck adds up quickly. (It’s easy to set up auto-draft transfer if your “piggy bank” is a savings account)
Stay under your budget on common things, pay in cash. I.E. If you budget $100 a week for groceries, pay in cash, and whatever money you don’t spend, by staying under budget, put it in your jar. $100 budget- $95.75 actually spent earns that $4.25 gets put in the jar.
Host a yard sale or list items for sale you aren’t using or needing. The earnings go into your jar.
Cut back on “extras”, go out with friends each week? Consider going out bi- weekly instead or cut the event expenses in half. Movies and dinner? Choose one or the other and put remainder of the allotment in your the jar.
If you happen to work an hourly job, pick up an extra shift here and there.