Pinching Pennies – A Tip for Saving for Vacation

A few months ago, I walked into a friend’s kitchen and saw a glass jar filled with coins on her kitchen island.  Since she is my craftiest friend,  I thought to myself,  “now isn’t that a cute way to fill those jars”.  She proceeded to tell me that her family dumps loose change in the jar all year in hopes of saving to buy something special on summer vacation.  I loved it!

I went home and that day pulled out one of the many glass jars I seemed to have accumulated over time.  I placed it on the kitchen counter and called the kids.  I told them to search the house for change, in desk drawers, nightstands, little bowls here and there and put everything they found in the jar.  After all, we had half a year to make up for! (This small project kept my six year old busy for quite a while, which was an added bonus).  Since then,  everyone threw loose change in the jar nearly every day.  While we did not fill it to the top before our recent vacation,  it looked like we had a nice sum. I told my three children they could split the money evenly and use it to buy ice cream and candy all week on their many bike rides to the market.

The day before we left, the kids and I poured the change from the jar into a large bag and headed to TD Bank in Chatham to visit the CoinStar machine.  On the way, they each wrote down their guess for the total amount.  I told he kids whoever was closest to the total would get a two dollar bonus.  That really got them going! They had a ball loading the machine and waiting for the grand total.  Not surprisingly,  my oldest son guessed closest to the total and scored himself an extra few bucks.  But they each left with close to forty dollars in their wallets and felt free to do what they wanted with it on vacation.  I loved this!  Not hearing them ask for $5 here and there all week was vacation for me.  They had to keep track of their own money, change, and even budget a little.  My daughter’s strategy impressed me most.  She rode that bike all over the place in the beginning of our trip,  scouted out the exact t-shirt she wanted, and spent only enough on ice cream and treats so that she could buy the t-shirt as well. FANTASTIC.

If you don’t already have one, pick up an apothecary jar at Home Goods.  They always have them, cheap and in all shapes and sizes.  PUT IT OUT TODAY! By this time next year, you’ll be good to go!

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Author: Jen Goetz

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