Saving money is an endless struggle. I really do not know how other people do it. At work, I was recently enrolled in a mandatory pension program. This will ensure, when I retire, I will have some security and as I contribute to it, it is considered an asset. The only downside is that my pay has decreased somewhat due to the deduction I am required to contribute. I know I should be opening up other savings accounts and taking advantage of tax programs from the government etc but I just never feel as if I can get ahead and do so. I do have a small emergency savings account but feel I should be paying off debt first and foremost at all times rather than saving.
Well, a few Christmases ago, I purchased an electric “rainy day fund” coin jar which calculates all the change you throw into it as a gift for my husband. He did not end up using it all that much so I have used it to save up for spending money on vacations and just other things in general. Well, I started using it again at some point and now it is slowly filling up. Currently, it has about 300$ in it (I throw in some small bills as well so this is not just all coins) and I expect it to grow over the next while. I am planning to open it up around my birthday and spend it all! However, this time, I want to use it to pay off bills rather than on something like a vacation (which is not in the cards until at least autumn anyway). I am trying to be more disciplined to finally get ahead. One way I will do so is to make sure to save in this simple but easy way. Seeing it on the counter is a regular reminder for me. Hopefully by the end of the year I can report how I have done with this jar.
** UPDATE JUNE 2015: I withdrew 475$ from my coin jar in June and paid down debt with it. Not the most enjoyable way to use it but am sure feeling good about it!!