Money Jar Game

This is probably one of the oldest saving games around. Instead of spending the change you receive when purchasing items, you save it. When you purchase something and your receive change back, simply place it into a small change purse. You are not allowed to spend any of the change in that change purse. If you have $0.85 in the change purse and are purchasing a newspaper for $0.50, you take out a dollar, pay for the newspaper and place the other $0.50 into the change purse. This way all your change is saved.

The first step is to find a container (a jar, piggy bank, tin can or anything else) that can hold up to a month’s worth of change and place it in a spot where you can easily empty any change collected at the end of each day. For some, this will be near the front door entrance while for others it will be in the bedroom. It all depends on where you usually empty your pockets or place your purse after a day out.

Once you have your saving jar, your ready to begin. From now on, when you purchase something and you receive change back, the change is off limits for spending. If it makes it easier, get a small change purse or pocket pouch into which to place the change. You are not allowed to spend any of the change you receive.

Once you return home at the end of the day, take out all the change you collected and empty it into your change container. When you leave home the next morning, you shouldn’t have a single penny in your pockets or purse.

At the end of each month, you will take the change you have saved to your local bank. You want to avoid the convenience of using the coin changing machines at local stores since that convenience comes with a large fee. You can do the same deposit at most local banks at no charge. If your bank does charge, consider switching your business to a credit union or one that doesn’t charge for this service.

The change should add up quite quickly. If you average a mere $2.00 a day in change, you will have saved $730.00 in the first year. If you average $3.00 a day, you’ll have over $1000.00 at the end of the year. That’s not bad for pocket change.

ADVANCED VERSION: For those who have already established a money jar and have done it for at least a year, you can consider moving onto the advance version of this saving device. It’s important that you have already established the saving habit with coins, as having done so will make moving onto a $1.00 bill much less difficult.

The concept is exactly the same, but what you will be saving is $1.00 bills instead of change. You are not allowed to spend any $1.00 bills you receive, but in this version any coins you receive are fine to use. That means all purchases have to be made with coins or large bills ($5, $10, or $20 dollar bills). At the end of the day, you place all your $1.00 bills into your savings jar.