Saving Money With A Change Jar
Brian and I have saved our loose change for years, ever since we were poor AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. For those that aren’t familiar, AmeriCorps is sort of like Peace Corps but in the United States. The purpose of the AmeriCorps VISTA program is to place volunteers in low-income populations to work on projects that stimulate the local economy. Volunteers are given a small stipend each month eqivalent to the poverty rate of the area. Brian and I worked at a non-profit in the poorest county in the United States. We each made $750 a month, and half of that went to rent. Those times were tough for us, but they taught us the value of a dollar (even a nickle, really) and we certainly learned to live on very little. Back in those days, it took us almost a whole year to save $30 in our change jar, and that $30 felt luxurious.
We’ve been saving our change ever since.
There were a few years when we spent our change jar money on date nights, then a year when the change went towards our wedding, then to buy a house, and now to save for our RTW. I’m addicted to putting money in the change jar. If I’m purchasing something, I’ll always pay with bills and sock away the change. I’m constantly raiding Brian’s pockets for quarters and he incessantly teases me about it.
Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I was itching to count the money in our change jar and make the first 2011 deposit into our savings account. I’m happy to report that we managed to stuff $125.50 into that little jar (some dollars too, not just change). One tiny step closer to our goal. Cheers!