Jump Start January: Week 1 Day 3

Yesterday we looked at monitoring our spending, right down to the level of the tiniest pennies. Today we’re going to stay with the tiniest pennies and look at saving them up. Take care of the pennies…and all that.

Jump Start January 2015 Week 1 Day 3

Today, the simple task is to start a coin jar and also to decide what you’re saving up for. I’ve done this activity in the past without a plan or general intention for the cash, and it’s not as successful as when you have an end goal for it.

Your ‘coin jar’ can be anything: an old bottle, a sweet jar, a jug, a traditional piggy bank or whatever you like. Improvise something rather than buying it, if possible.

Next, decide exactly which coins you’re going to start collecting. For example:

  • All copper coins
  • All silver coins
  • Coins worth 20p or less
  • £1 or £2 coins

It depends on your income, spending habits and budget, so just go with what’s comfortable to you. Pick coins that you aren’t going to miss.

We actually have two coin jars here just like last year, one for coins worth 10p or less, and a piggy bank for 50p pieces.

Now, decide what the coins are going to be put towards on a specific date or when you reach a certain amount.

For example, we put the 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins towards groceries whenever the pot fills to the top. My 50p fund gets cashed in during November and is spent on a party dress, so that’s more of a treat.

I also know somebody who saves up every £2 coin they receive in change, and they put that towards their summer holiday spending money every year. Cocktails on the beach sort of thing. Very nice!

These are micro-savings that you aren’t really going to miss, but they can be put to some good use.

Now you have to commit to regularly adding the coins to the pot. If they don’t go into the pot as soon as they arrive in your home, they’ll probably get spent on something else instead. Come home, clean out pockets, purse or wallet, and relax.

You might also experience the bonus of selective attention, and start finding those particular coins in the street. They’re more likely to catch your eye.

What are you going to start saving, and what will you be saving it up for?

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  1. i save nearly all my change already but never get the real benefit of saving because whenever someone in our house needs some money they just get it out of my “Change pot”… So now I’m going to have 3 pots for 3 different savings projects…£2,£1 & 50p’s will go into savings accounts each month so I can see a difference at the end of the year, silver coins cashed in monthly and buy a family takeaway when I have enough.
    Coppers will be cashed in November and I will share between my 2 children….sounds like a plan !!!

  2. I had a tin by the laundry bin- all loose change from pockets has gone in it for 5 years- and I took my husband out for a meal recently with the £20 I’d collected. So lovely to be able to treat him x

  3. Hi Nikki – aaaah, you have pilferers! I have a quick suggestion that might help though: put a small ‘household fund’ pot out, with a budgeted amount of money in it each week. When it’s gone it’s gone. Then people can take for milk, bus fares etc and understand it’s allowed.

    Then put your ‘£2, £1, 50p’ pot somewhere secret (bedside drawer) and don’t tell people about it. Put the small silver coins in a sealed pot that can’t be opened without people noticing and a ‘Family Treat Fund’ label on it (try gaffer tape around the lid etc), and put the copper coins in an open pot with a labels with the kids’ names on it (if they take the money they’re taking it from themselves, and hopefully adults will feel too guilty to nick it too).

    Hope that helps!

    Penny x

  4. Hi Angela, what a lovely idea. I bet you’ve prevented a few £5 and £10 notes from being washed into pulp as well over the years. Might just have to take a leaf out of your book for that one.

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