31 Ways to Save in 2011: Start a change jar!


Two years ago, my husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class and we have been using cash for all of our everyday purchases ever since.  Since we’ve been on a “cash only” system, we end up with a lot of change.  That first year, I mainly looked at it as a “bonus.”  I used it at the vending machine at work or to treat myself to a Sonic drink first thing in the morning or during their “Happy Hour” when they are 1/2 off.

Last year, we decided to do something different and we started a change jar.  Any time we would have extra change, we would toss it in there.  We started in January and by the end of May, it was full.  We were going on a family vacation and I decided to cash it in to use as “fun money.”  My husband and I each made a guess as to how much was in the jar:  he guessed $30 and I guessed $60.  We were both surprised to find out that we had accumulated $98!  Those pennies, nickels, dimes and sometimes quarters really do add up!

We filled the jar again by Thanksgiving and cashed out for an Amazon gift card which was used to help pay for Christmas presents. 

Even our kids have gotten into this and have started throwing and change they find into the jar.  After just six weeks, our jar is already halfway full!

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to save this year without taking money from your paychecks, a change jar is a great option!  It works for us.  I hope it will work for you, too!

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  1. I didn't take a class like you, but hubby and I now use cash (or debit) for everything! We've been doing this since August. It's amazing how much less you spend when you are spending your actual money in the bank! It makes me think twice about every purchase.

    This was the first year Christmas was paid for in cash. What a relief to not have to worry about extra debt after the holidays!

    I also started my jar on Black Friday when they had a jar bank 1/2 off that keeps track of how much you put in. I started adding to it right away and so did the kids (we always find change laying around)… we already have about $30 in that jar and it's not a big jar! It adds up quickly. My kids keep asking what the money is for… I keep telling them that maybe we'll take a vacation one day or something:-) They are excited because we haven't vacationed in years:-)


  1. […] Earlier this year, I posted about starting a change jar to save money.  When you “cash in” your change at a Coinstar machine and you choose a gift card option, there are no fees!  Right now, there is a promotion where you will get a free $10 iTunes gift card when you cash in at least $40! […]