Friday, November 09, 2012

Saving The Change

One tidbit I took away from reading Money Saving Mom's book earlier this year was her suggestion of saving $1.25 each week.

She explained that while $1.25 only adds up to $5.00 a month and saving $5.00 a month equals only $60.00 a year, it's getting into the habit of saving money. Typically, once you  start seeing a little money start to add up, you will look for other ways to increase your saving.

We are already in the habit of saving pretty consistently but I decided to take her challenge! Even an extra $60 a year sounded good to me! And I knew that we would be needing to purchase some furniture before too long and some extra cash to set aside for that would be super nice.

 I began by adding $1.25 to the fund each week by using some change left in our grocery envelope.  At the end of each month, I went through all of our cash envelopes and saved the change. I also began to save half of my "play money" ($10) each month and added that to my little stash  as well.

As our pile of change began to grow, we dubbed it "The Couch Fund" as a couch was one of the first items we needed to purchase.

We started our little fund in March and by July we were able to purchase some furniture off Craigslist-- a couch ($85), patio table ($60) and 4 patio chairs ($15).

I will note that we had also stashed the earnings from a spring yard sale (approx. $150) and also $100 we made by selling an extra lawn mower that was left for us by the previous owner of our house. These two "deposits" helped to beef up our little fund a lot!

We're still squirreling extra change away regularly hoping to purchase a new-to-us dining room table and chairs soon.  We continue to watch Craigslist and thrift stores/yard sales and while we wait to find just what we're looking for, we continue to add to our savings!

Once we purchase a table, a vacuum cleaner (new or factory-refurbished) is next on the list!

I like that we haven't had to add another category to our budget to save for these things but have been able to squeeze some extra change out of the existing budget instead. 

Yes, this takes more time than putting a purchase on the credit card! But it is so rewarding to see your savings grow and then to be able to pay with cash.

We started filling this jug with our extra pennies back in 2007. We wonder how long it will take to fill!

**This post is part of Frugal Friday over at Life As Mom.


Rhonda said...

Good job. A little planning and discipline can do big things.

We have a Dyson vacuum -expensive but really keeps up with the dogs shedding.

Jean said...

Visiting from Frugal Friday. I just took our change jar which was actually an empty dishwasher tab container to the bank today and was shocked at how much change we'd saved! One thing to watch though was that one of our banks wanted to charge us 10 percent to count it. Thankfully, the other bank did it for free.

Wendi said...

I keep a pint jar in one of my kitchen cabinets. I put all the loose change in it and a dollar or two now and then. I am always amazed how much is that little jar once it is filled. We could use some new living room furniture. It is a great idea to use this jar to fund it!

I hope you will share some pictures of your new to you stuff. I am always inspired by these post!

Melanie said...

I'm happy for you, Mary Ann. Yes, it feels good to be able to just buy something for cash. I think it can get way too easy to just put a purchase on a credit card.
I think almost all our furniture is 'new to us'. We did buy a new recliner when my husband had back surgery a few years ago. We've been fortunate to have friends and family give us their old furniture when they've remodeled.
Hope you enjoy your Sunday. Take care. :-)

Laura said...

Good Morning Mary Ann!

I was visiting Melanie's blog and I saw yours on her sidebar...thought I'd stop over for a visit!

I can vouch wholeheartedly for this idea...we have several jars in our house just like the one you pictured. My youngest son (17) puts all his change each day in his...he has a part time job in a local garage...he took it to the bank the other day and had almost $100! What a "hands-on" lesson for savings!

I will be back to visit again...have a wonderful day!

Sweet blessings,

Anonymous said...

We do that too! I would like to see your new to you couch!