Last week only had 2 days in 2016, so I’m counting this week as the first week of 2016.
Here we go, 52 Weeks of Tips for your Homestead/Farm/Life!
Week 1: The Dime Jar/The Penny Jar
This week, because it’s the beginning of the year, I’m going to talk about saving money. There are a couple different ways to do this. Both of these methods are “passive saving”, which means they don’t require any thought or actual “pull” of money from your bank account. I prefer this method because I count everything, so I always know what I have. This way the money is out of sight, out of mind and can be saved without my sticky fingers.
The Penny Jar is a simple idea that I found on Pinterest/Facebook. It’s similar to the “52 Weeks of Saving” that came out last year, but it’s with pennies. The basic idea is that you put a single penny in on Jan. 1st, then two pennies the second day, three the third and so on. That means at day 100 you put in $1 and on day 365 you put in $3.65. That amount of money, every day, will seem like nothing. Even at $3.65 a day you are spending less than a couple sodas and a lot of people drink much more than that in one day.
At the end of the year you will have saved $667.95 OR since it’s a leap year, $671.61. I don’t know about you, but I could definitely use that amount of money for our homestead or we could make an extra house payment at the end of the year.
The only issue I see with this is that it puts the majority of the saving strain on November and December, during the time where people spend the most money for food, gifts and traveling. If I were you I would turn it around and count down or drop an extra $5 in a week to offset it at the end. It’s sort of a flawed system, but it will take the $90 strain out of December.
The Dime/Silver Jar is a lot more risky, but it pays out faster and with less effort I think. Clean and dry a 2-liter soda bottle or maybe and old coffee can. Cut a slit in the cap or lid big enough for dimes (and other silver change) to fit through(quarters won’t fit in a 2-liter, which is why I use an old breadcrumb can). From now on, when you make a purchase that is not a bill, use cash and save your silver change (or just dimes) in this container.
This has three fantastic effects. One, by purchasing with cash you keep your money closer and you spend it more wisely because it’s easy to count. Two, by putting in silver change you gain quickly. Three, because you aren’t following a linear system, there is no way for you to “add up” what you have and be tempted into using it(this is why I chose a non-transparent can as well).
A 2-liter bottle should hold, don’t quote me on this, roughly $450 in dimes from what I could find. When I was younger, our entire week-long summer vacations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were financed through coffee-can saving. I imagine it would be quite easy if you stick to cash purchases, to save upwards of $1000.
If you think about it, every holiday season charities at stores ask you to “round up to the nearest dollar” to make a donation. Make that donation to yourself! You’ll be saving money faster than you can imagine and you’ll hardly notice!
Try some passive saving this year and help your homestead/farm grow or pay off a much hated bill or credit card!
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Ben and Justin