Having always been a fairly good saver at home in Australia, I was quite concerned (or, alarmed) at how much money I was going through in London.
In an effort to curtail my reckless spending on travel, I decided to allocate myself a wad of cash each week. This would cover groceries, meals I ate out and about, drinks at the pub, etc. Let’s say I’d allocate £100 to this cause each week. I DON’T REMEMBER THE SPECIFICS OF IT.At the end of the week, I’d roll over whatever I had left over into the next week’s funds, so this all worked fine. The problem was, I was accumulating stacks of coins, which became quite cumbersome to carry around town. Particularly the thick and heavy one and two pound coins.
We had a big, empty mayonnaise jar sitting on the kitchen counter, so one day I grabbed that and started putting my spare change into it. And that was all of my spare change. Not just my pennies, five and ten pence coins. Any change that I’d accumulated over the course of the day went into the jar.
In a couple of months, the jar filled to the brim. So, I took it to my local Metrobank branch. They’re a bank chain in the UK, who have money-sorting machines, available to the public.
I tossed my coins into the machine, which made some concerning noises and then spat out a receipt.
I grabbed the slip of paper, looked it over and gasped. Over the course of those few weeks, I managed to put aside £199.50. I was free to spend this on whatever I wanted.
So, I took my boyfriend on an all expenses paid day trip to Brighton and made him accompany me to a zero waste restaurant I’d been wanting to try there. The leftover money I spent on a ticket to see Groundhog Day: The Musical a few weeks later at the Old Vic.The next time I filled my jar, I took my fella’s along with me and pooled it. Despite the fact that he had socked away more silver coins than gold, we had over 400 quid. We went to a Michelin Star restaurant and had a lovely evening (also, lol at my past attempts to blog about food… will never be a food blogger, that’s for sure).
What I like most about this method of saving, is that you don’t notice it at all. I used to get very excited about growing my savings account (something I’m hoping to get back into, soon) but the temptation to spend the money was always there.
However, the coins are essentially forgotten money. As they were included in my weekly funds, I’d already allocated them elsewhere in my head. It was a bit like finding a twenty dollar note in the pocket of your winter coat when you put it on a year later. You’re like “flip yeah, I’m going to spend this on something fun! Like chocolate, or a brand new book!” I’m easily pleased.
So – do make sure you do spend it on something lovely! Use it to fund an adventure you were rather keen to take, but couldn’t quite justify the cost of.
Do you have any kooky money saving techniques that you swear by?