Money in a Jar

Don’t think it’s worth it to keep a “money in a jar” account? Sometimes it seems hard to have any kind of savings but it’s always worth it! Today I’m sharing some examples.

Don't think it's worth it to keep a "money in a jar" account? Sometimes it seems hard to have any kind of savings but it's always worth it! Today I'm sharing some examples. #moneyinajar #coinjar

Money in a Jar

I know when you are worried about money, or living paycheck to paycheck, having a savings account is next to impossible or even out of the question. It’s not that you don’t want the security of having some money put aside, it’s that it’s not financially possible.

When we first got married I had a nice savings account. But after a few moves, deposits, and down payments we had used it up.

After being married for 3 years we finally got to a place where we can start putting away money again. It wasn’t easy and I could think of a million other things I could use the money on. But I knew, in the long run, it’s the best idea. It wasn’t a lot, but it was as much as we could wiggle out of our tight budget at the time.

To avoid the temptation of not putting the money in the savings account, we put it in by direct deposit, right from my hubby’s paycheck. I never got to see the money but I got to watch the savings account grow. It’s encouraging to watch!

For the first couple of our married years, having a savings account seemed like a distant dream. Whenever I thought about it I thought about how it should be a large amount and whenever I thought of the amount that I thought we needed in a savings account I was overwhelmed. I put off starting the account because I figured since I couldn’t put away very much money so it wouldn’t be worth it.

I finally put that aside from my mind and started to focus on a goal that I felt was reachable in the near future. $1000. It would be wonderful to have more than that but at the time, I thought only about getting to that $1000 and that’s it. It was hard to reach that first $1000, but once we did, things started snowballing from there! Now that we are debt-free, we’ve really been able to ramp up our savings just in case anything should ever happen or should we need to purchase a large item like a vehicle or a home again.

Starting Coin Jars

During this time of the automatic savings, I also found other smaller ways to put aside money for other bigger things I need so I won’t have to spend the savings in our account. I would take the coins or leftover cash in my wallet and put it all aside in a jar. I’ve saved up for things like a Bosch Mixer, a Blendtec Blender, and other neat things that I wouldn’t normally have the room for in our regular budget.

Another thing we are started was a chicken food jar. When our chickens were finally producing and I had eggs coming out of my ears, we decided that all the money we got from selling eggs will go into a jar. We could then use the egg money to pay for the chicken food (it helps to make sure it’s worth it to have chickens!) and then we can save what’s leftover after buying chicken food for other farm things we might need.

These are my small ways to save. I know that keeping money in a jar doesn’t seem like much, but it was comfortable and easy to do when we were getting our savings accounts started. We didn’t feel stressed out by the amount we were putting away and I loved watching the savings account grow and the jars filling up.

Need more tips on budgeting and saving money? Check out these articles!

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Do you have a savings account or a money saving jar? What do you think of the idea of “Money in a Jar” or slow savings?

This article on Money in a Jar was originally published on Little House Living in October 2010. It has been updated as of October 2019.

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12 Comments

  1. This is absolutly fab, Keep your goals and stay focused and all will fall into place. Of course there are bumps in the road. But I can tell you are straight on what you are doing and will do well with it. Remember Rome was not built in a day—– smile—
    Have a great day, Bonnie

  2. Yep, that's exactly it Bonnie. We have to take one step at a time. We can't climb a mountain in one leap, but taking small steady steps helps us see the goal and we can watch ourselves make it to the top.

  3. i know your pain and i do the same thing, every spare bit of change goes in a jar, right now it's for a kindle, i really want one. i just keep plugging away at it

  4. My goal is to just get out of apt living and into a house! That has been my goal since I got married 8 yrs ago. Now I have 4 children in very small 4 bedroom apt.

  5. I’m not at a point when I can manage savings at all (a PhD student; I wind up scrounging for rent money the month before financial aid comes through each semester)… but I have a micro-version of the money in a jar. Any quarters I get as change go into a jar for laundry money! (As an urban apartment-dweller, I need quarters to do the wash.) I only rarely have to withdraw quarters from the bank that way. It’s especially easy to do, since it’s any and all quarters. So even if I didn’t need laundry quarters, keeping that rule of not spending any quarters I receive could be a way to slow-save money in a jar for actual savings (or for a United Thank Offering – fellow Episcopalians will know what that is).

  6. We have a jar for our left over Sunday money. Each week hubby and I take our budgeted pocket money, on Sunday night whatever is left goes in the jar. At the end of the month it goes to make an extra payment on our debt. Easy and painless way to make extra payments.

  7. I had a 5 gallon penny jar. Everyday when I would come home from work any change I had went into the jar. After a few years I cashed it in and bought my husband for his birthday a new riding lawnmower, snow blade and chains. I only has to pay .21 out of pocket. He was so happy. We both were, he got something he needed and I got a good looking yard. Pennies do go a long way.

  8. How about when you save …say 10 cents on something on sale… when you get home put the 10 cents in the jar. If you have a coupon for 15 cents off on something …then when you get h ome put the 15 cents in the jar. If you have a coupon for 4 cents off on a gallon of gas.. do the same you will
    be surprised at how fast it actually grows.

  9. Several years ago I started saving $5 bills and any extra income plus $200/month in 3 envelopes – one for car insurance, one for homeowners insurance, and one for property taxes. When the end of the year rolls around, I no longer have to take chunks of money out of savings.

  10. For me, I am kind of the exception. If I have cash, it suddenly evaporates, so my system is different and works better for my situation. I have an automatic amount withdrawn from my checking account each month and transferred into savings account. Then any extra income- 20% goes back into business account, 10% for tithing and the remainder gets split in half- savings and debt reduction.
    At the end of the month, when our check comes in (regular job ) , I “zero-out” any remaining balance in our checking account. That amount, no matter how small, is divided in half- 1/2 to savings account, 1/2 to debt reduction. It is now to the point that our debt reduction is only our mortgage and in the past 3 months, we have been able to bring our mortgage down by the equivalent of 12 months through additional principal payments this way!
    For us, this has been a real blessing! So I guess, imo, no matter what system you find that works for you, don’t be discouraged or dissuaded because the amounts you put aside are “little”! Those “little” amounts really add up !!