Make Your Family Travel Plans Happen with a 52 Week Savings Jar

by , posted on January 13th, 2015 in Traveling With Kids

how to save money for travel

Happy New Year to all! As usual, I wish you a year full of new travel adventures and memory making with your families.

Last year was a great travel year for us. We had an adventurous trip to Morocco that involved 10 hour hikes and surf lessons, a short and relaxing visit to England where we visited the iconic Stonehenge monument and filled up on delicious fish and chips. And we ended the year with a two week trip to India (more on that soon). I am so grateful for all of it.

For my first travel post of the year, I thought I would pass along my all-time favourite way to save up for travel adventures. I mentioned it in the Traveling With Kids: Making It Affordable post a few years ago, but now I want to explain in detail how much I love it and how well it has worked for us.

Every January, we start our traditional Travel Savings Jar. It’s so simple, but it helps so much in putting aside extra money for our trips.

When we first started our Travel Jar, we would throw in any change or extra money we had laying around in our piggy banks. It worked really well, but there were a few things I didn’t like about that method. I had no idea how much money was in the jar and it drove me mad to have to count and sort all that change at the end of the year.

So last year I tried out a 52 week savings plan. I found a big mason jar and sealed it shut with about five rolls of washi tape. I wanted to make sure I couldn’t get it open if I was caught at home with no cash and needed to pay the piano teacher. Next, I printed off a 52 week savings sheet (you can find them here on pinterest). I taped the sheets on the outside of the jar and made sure to check off our progress.

It works like this, you put the amount of money in the jar that corresponds with the week of the year. For example, on week 1 of the year you put in $1, week 2 you put in $2 and so on until week 52.

We started doing it that way, but noticed that sometimes we had more to put in than we were supposed to for the week (plus I refused to put coins in!), so we put in what we wanted and crossed off the week that corresponded. If we had $35, we would cross off week 35 even if it was week 12. Or if week 35 was already crossed off, we would cross two other amounts that equaled $35 (for example week 20 and week 15).

We were also quite relaxed about when to put the money in. Sometimes we’d make a few deposits in one week and other times go a few weeks without putting anything in the jar. Our only goal was that all weeks had to be crossed off by the time we left for India, which, was December 19th.

And in the end we succeeded and had more money in there than we were supposed to—a few times we must have forgotten to cross off a week or added an extra euro here or there. In any case, it was a huge help to have close to $1500 in cash to use as spending money on our big trip.

This past weekend we prepared our 2015 Travel Jar. I used fabric tape and glued on miniature pompom fringe. I figure if I have to look at it sitting on my kitchen counter for 12 months, it should be as pretty as possible.

52 week travel savings jar

So, are any of you on board to try out the Travel Jar? Or have you done something similar in the past that has worked for your family?

More family travel tips…
-the best apps, tips and tricks for family travel
-What to hit (and miss) on your Disney vacation
-Plan your trip to Paris

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5 Responses to “Make Your Family Travel Plans Happen with a 52 Week Savings Jar”

  1. Traveling With Kids: The Travel Savings Jar | Jillian In Italy Says:

    January 14th, 2015 at 8:51 am

    [...] and relatively pain-free way to save money for future travel adventures with your family.  The Travel Jar has worked for us for years and has provided spending money for some of our favorite trips around [...]

  2. Jennie Says:

    January 14th, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    What a lovely idea! Travel is always one of my top priorities in terms of money allocation, and this sounds like a lovely way to make sure that it gets put aside. Your jar is so pretty too, i’d imagine thats an incentive in itself to use it and get it filled up with money. I love that this is something you do as a family too, a really important lesson for children too, that these things don’t happen by magic but that they need to be planned and saved for!

    Jennie x

  3. Kanchan Says:

    January 15th, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Love your ideas Jillian! Cool!

  4. Giova Brusa Says:

    January 16th, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Love this idea. I have a friend that has a similar system for Christmas presents, but she only puts coins, no pennies though, and she almost always has 400 dollars.
    So what do you do when it is the 1 or 2 euro week? Or when it is 37 for example? Only fives?
    Knowing this household I’m pretty sure someone would attempt to open it before time. Me??
    Thanks for the inspiration Jill!

  5. This Weekend | Dejlige Days Says:

    January 16th, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    [...] How to save for holidays. [...]

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