Creative Ways to Make Money: The Jar

1.  Find a jar.  The bigger, and clearer, the better.  None of this baby food jar stuff here.  You want something BIG that you can FILL UP!

2.  Write down what it is you are saving up for.  Vacation, kitchen item (ehem), new shoes, dinner at a fancy restaurant, charitable donation ... but be as specific as you can.  Attach it to the jar.
It would have been cool if I had written something less selfish on there.
But I didn't.  Just being honest, folks.
3.  Now, the fun part!  How will you get money into that jar?  Here are a few ideas ...

Any time you do something for yourself that you typically would have paid someone else to do, pay yourself.
Some examples:
- Mowed your own lawn?  $15 if you "mowed" ... $30 and up if you "landscaped"
- Cleaned out your gutters?  That's worth at least $25, right?
- Made your own doughnuts?  Those go for $8 a dozen, for the cheap grocery store kind.  You made good ones I bet.  How about $12?
-Shovel snow - you'll make a killing off yourself here.  Go ahead, rip yourself off.  Hourly wage for snow shovelers is at least $50 (I jest ... but sometimes I feel like I'd pay that).
-Cut your own hair - for the intrepid, yes.  Men: $10 in the jar.  Women: $40 in the jar.
-Change the oil in your car?  Look awesome, and pay yourself at least $25.99 (plus $3-$8 in fees you can't explain)

Collect all your loose change - from the couch, drawers, bottom of your purse, or the car.  Check coat pockets.  Or, start paying attention to the sidewalks where you live, like this family.  Seriously.  Every little bit helps.  And this could be a fun way for kids (if you have them) to participate!
I just found these in the back of my car.  $4 in pennies!
That is about 1/60th of my dutch oven.
Return things that will get you a little bit of cash.  Take your empty cans and bottles to a redemption center (if your state has them).  Return your purchases that have been sitting in the front seat of the car with the receipt attached - just do it!  (Maybe it's overwhelming to think about all the things you need to return.  What if you just do one return a week?  A quick Saturday errand, and boom - cash in hand!).  Don't get caught into thinking that it's not worth it.  EVERY. PENNY. COUNTS.  Every penny counts, people!

Siphon money away from your weekly grocery budget.  I know, I know.  You need food.  But just bear with me.  Let's say your grocery budget is $500 a month, and that you use a cash system for keeping up with grocery spending (if you don't, I highly recommend it).  $500 per month is $125 per week.  What if you siphon off $25/week for a month?  At a moment when you're not paying attention, just slip your hand in the little grocery envelope, and stick the cash in the jar?  C'mon.  You won't miss it.  You'll just peek in the grocery envelope and realize you'll have eggs for dinner instead of steak, and you'll make a salad with cabbage instead of artisan greens.
If your weekly grocery budget is less than this example, start by siphoning off $5/week - that's $20 in a month!  Celebrate the small victories, ya'll.  $20 is $20 towards your goal!

Once you start feeding the jar, you'll find it's a little addicting.

What would you write on your jar?

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