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