Teach Your Kids to Save Their Pennies The Old School Way

Save Your Pennies Old School

When I was younger, I remember my grandmother would put her pennies and extra change into these little paper cylinders and then stack them up in a box. I was always astonished at how quickly a few pennies could add up!

Teaching kids how to save their pennies is one of the most empowering skills to instill in our children. Learning the value of a penny will go a long way. So, I decided to bring back my grandma’s good old fashion way of saving! Anya and I have made a pact to be intentional about saving our pennies and loose change. Just from emptying my purse and car, we already have about $25.00! Can you believe I had $25 extra bucks just hanging around and didn’t even know it?

I was also inspired by listening to a podcast from Donna Otto. She started saving pennies and eventually saved enough (over a 100,000 pennies) to pay for her daughter’s wedding dress! That’s amazing! So, we decided to save all our loose change until Anya graduates from high school which is another six years. We haven’t decided on how to use the money, but some ideas have been to put the savings toward a European mom/daughter trip, a cushion for her to use at college, or a mission trip.

Wrapping your family’s pennies is a fun way to collaborate on a project together that not only teaches them the value of saving but saving and reaching a goal.

Here are 5 Simple Steps to Get Started:

  1. Purchase Some Coin Wrappers: We bought an assorted bag from Walmart for about $1.50. You can find them at the Dollar Store,  Target, or office supply stores.
  2. Go on a Change Hunt! When you first start saving go on a fun change hunt with the kids! Look everywhere for loose change, the car, purses, under the bed, in the couch, in coat pockets, or anywhere you can think you can find some pennies!
  3. Created a Designated Change Jar: After your change hunt, put all the change in one jar. Make it a practice every day or at the end of every week for everyone to put their loose change they have or find in the jar.
  4.  Insert the Change in the Wrappers: This is the fun part! Give everyone some change and let them put it into the wrappers!
  5. Decide on a Family Goal: What will you spend the money on? This goal should be agreed upon by all your family members and motivate you all to get saving!

Keep a running tally of how much you save every month on a chart so you can measure your progress. This will keep everyone inspired and excited. Not only will your kids get into the habit of saving money, work toward a family goal and learn the value of a dollar or should I say penny!

Happy Saving!

My Debt Free Journey Continues!


My journey to becoming debt free is continuing and progress is being made! Basically, I’m plugging away and trying to zero out my smallest bills first and applying those minimum payments to the next bills. It feels great to pay off these bills! My struggle lies in making sure every dollar has a place to go and making sure it gets there. I also need to take a more realistic look at how much can go into savings and how much I spend on food and other items.

Here is my progress for July (this is also an overall snapshot) :

  • 5 Credit Cards Paid off for a Total of $1992.00
    • In the Amounts of $357.08, $280.18, $232.00, $668.00 (July), and $454.86
  • There is an extra $180.00 freed up to apply to other debt
  • Decreased  other debt by$1673.00 (including tuition and ballet classes)
  • Added an extra $115.00 to savings

I may also be adding another source of income which I plan on pouring into savings.

I’m still planning the August Budget but my Goals are to:

  • Pay off a credit card of $653.58
  • Pay off additional $1840.00 in debt
  • Save $300.00-$400.00

What’s Helped:

Wish me luck!

8 Steps I’m Taking to Get Debt Free!

Proverbs 22:7

“Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Most people view finances as either a blessing or a source of anxiety. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve experienced both sides of the coin. As a single mom, finances have really come to the forefront in my life. As the primary person who is responsible for taking care of all the bills and my child’s needs its important that I strive to become debt free, have savings, and an emergency fund. I’ve become determined to get debt free so I’ve been exploring different tools to aid me along the way. Here is how I’m tackling my debt:

  1. Extra Income: I needed to bring in more income. So I’ve taken a part time virtual job so I’m still home and it has made a huge difference.
  2. Breaking Down The Bills: I had to get in the nitty gritty of reviewing  my balances, the minimum payments, how much I’ll pay if I only play the minimum (which is ridiculous!), and how many  month it will take to pay off the balance.
  3. Paying the Debt Off Strategically: I’ve been aiming to pay off any smaller balances in full then taking those minimum payments and applying it to the next debt.
  4. Creating a Budget: I am using a David Ramsey  budgeting tool called, Every Dollar. I love it! It is a super simple tool that keeps you organized and updated on your progress.
  5. Using Cash: Taking a specific amount of cash out helps me keep my spending under control. Once the money is out then that’s it!
  6. Tithing: This is an absolute must for me. I’ve set aside a certain amount of money for tithing and this makes me feel so good and determined to get debt free so I can give more to church and to other charities of my heart.
  7. Saving for an Emergency Fund: The goal is at least $1000.00 according to David Ramsey’s baby steps and I think that is a good beginning number for those unexpected emergencies.
  8. Investment: I’m doing some research, but plan to open a Roth IRA in the next week.

I’m super excited about what getting debt free will mean to my family. As of today, I paid off 4 credit cards with a total of $1323.00 and I just started this month. I plan to pay off 3 more balances at the end of July beginning of August with a total of $2778.00 or 2 more balances at $1344.00. I’ll give you guys updates as I hit milestones and I’ll give a snapshot of what getting rid of debt looks like for me.

If you want to get pumped up about getting rid of any debt you have watch some of the debt success stories over at David Ramsey. Also, take a look at the Every Dollar Tool, I love it!

Big Sales Going on at Carter’s and Gymboree! Up to 40% Off!

Did the kids outgrow their spring clothes over winter? Now be a good time to stock up at Gymboree  Outlet Stores and Carters which are both having some pretty awesome sales!

Looking for Easter outfits? Go to a Gymboree Outlet where everything  is 40% off!

Find a Gymboree Outlet near you for these great discounts!
Find a Gymboree Outlet near you for these great discounts!

Carters has a bunch of stuff on sale for $10 and under! Get body suits, rompers and hoodies for$10 and under! They also have a 20% and 15% coupon for additional discounts on your purchases.


Update on My Car Pay Off!

Awhile back I had a post about a goal of mine to pay off my car by the end of the year. Well, I am working towards it and some circumstances have changed so I’m not adding as much extra money as I anticipated, but the numbers aren’t looking bad. Here is the snapshot of where I am currently:

July Payments
July 15th – $280.00
July 25th- $50 (extra)

August Payments
August 8th- $227.00
August 14th- $30.00 (extra)

Pay Off Amount
$1355.48 not including the payment added today

Basically, I need to pay roughly 332.50 each month to pay it off by December. I’m determined, but the fact that it is at this amount makes me happy and I see the end! I’ll keep updating you on this goal.

New Blog Radio Episode Tonight at 6:00 PM EST!

New Blog Radio Episode Tonight at 6:00 PM EST!

I got such a great response on my post 8 Tips on Teaching Your Kids About Money I’ve decided to do a broadcast on the subject. If you want to listen in please go to the link below at 6:00 PM ET. If you want to call in dial (646) 595-4374. Thanks! Call in with your tips!


8 Tips On Teaching Our Kids About Money!

Have you ever wished you had learned better money management skills at a young age? I know I do. I’ve gotten a lot wiser when it comes to money, but I still have a way to go to be debt free and in the financial comfortable position I hope to be in. One lesson I did learn that I’m being extremely intentional about is teaching Anya the value of a dollar, how to save and how to give it away as well. Teaching her how to be a good steward of her money at 8 years old will help her later when she’s an adult and in charge of her own finances. This picture is from last year when we took a Girl Scout trip to Hershey Park. My mom gave her some cash to spend and she was quite happy 🙂 She had a lot of fun spending that money and it was her free money which was fine, but I want her to understand that money can either enhance our life and the lives of others or we can become a slave to it. Of course I’m teaching her at a level her 8 year old mind can understand.

Anya gets money from our relatives and for doing chores around the house. There are chores that she doesn’t get an allowance for like cleaning her room. But, I want her to learn how to save money so she gets $2.00 a week which I think is appropriate for her age. Here’s how we break it down.

Free Money-15%

Now, she has money saved in her bank at home already and I have a separate savings account for her. So she gives the church a $1.00 on Sundays and she is very happy to put her money in the collection plate. She takes time to fill out the little envelope and it is so sweet what she will write which tickles me pink. I love that she is so cheerful to give her money to the church and she gives more than I’ve asked her to give and will often give to charity, so it probably is more than 10%.

Free money is money she can spend. Now, it doesn’t seem like much, but as I mentioned she has about $50 in her bank at home now. Tonight she took some of her money and wanted to buy an accessory for her doll. She ended up not purchasing it because she didn’t really love the glasses. She looked around and was tempted to buy a stuffed animal and a few other trinkets but instead opted  to pass  and said she’d rather save her money. I could see her figuring out in her head if the purchases were worth it or not. She ended up buying some glue for $1.98 for a craft she’s working on and was happy.

Savings is a big one! I really want to emphasize the importance of saving so I’m trying to model it for her and believe me it isn’t easy especially living in the expensive area we live in. But, I’m showing her each week the automatic deposit that is made from my checking account that goes into her savings account, my savings account and our Christmas club account. The idea is for her to visually see how the money eventually grows.

So my big tips for teaching our kids about money are the following:

1. Make them earn it! The best way to teach your kids about the value of a dollar is making them work for it. Find chores, errands or whatever you think is age appropriate and make them earn their money! Encourage entrepreneurship whenever you can! If they really want to earn more money challenge them to figure out another avenue to earn those dollars. This can spark all kind of creativity and it is always good to be resourceful.

2. Teach by example. Show them that you know how to save even if it is $5 a week. Any amount you save matters. Be careful what you spend your money on and be generous with it as well. We are the best teaching tool! When they get older let them know some of your money mistakes and teach them what pits not to fall into.

3. Tell them to ask themselves a few questions before making a purchase. Is this a want or a need? Do I love it or just kind of like it? What else can I do with this money? Will I regret this purchase in a few days?

4. Encourage giving. Money at it’s best is used to further the kingdom of God and to help others. Teaching our kids to tithe and give generously ultimately leads to abundance. They are never  to young to start!

5. Save, save, save! Open a savings account for them and teach them how it works. ING now Capital One has some great features for kids to learn about saving or you can just give them a piggy bank. But teach them to save and show them the fruit of this habit by showing them their growing balance.

6. Let them spend too! We want to enjoy our money also right? So allowing kids to spend some of their hard earned money is only fair.  Believe me, they are much more careful when it is their own dollars they are spending. But let them have fund and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

7. Teach them to stick to a budget. This is more realistic when they are older. But again model for them what sticking to a budget means. If they learn how to budget their money sooner than later the better outlook they will have for their financial future. For example, Anya has a certain amount of money to spend today she understood that once she went over that budget there was nothing left and I wasn’t going to add any extra. That might sound mean, but I want her to learn that once the money is gone it’s gone. It really is that simple.

8. Don’t let them completely blow monetary gifts. When grandma gives $20 that doesn’t mean she gets to spend the whole $20. I expect her to do the same with it that she would do with chore money. Granted there are exceptions such as birthdays or special events, but staying consistent helps build good habits.

I’ll be posting more about money and will share with you some of the things I’m challenging myself with to become more financially stable. I would love to hear your tips on teaching kids about money so please share!

Let’s Get Practical With Money! Listen to Mary Hunt on Focus of the Family!

Money without a doubt is a major stress factor for single moms. Actually, money management can be challenging for everyone. Those challenges include debt, saving money, managing money, spending money, not having enough money and the list goes on. One of my biggest issues with money is saving it due to having to pay such a large amount in rent. It is something that settles uneasily in the back of my mind and isn’t easily resolved since I live in a state where the cost of living is ridiculously high and unfortunately moving would be difficult because of Anya’s routine. So, for the time being I am trying to make the best of it and find other ways to save a dollar.

Focus on the Family has a number of informative broadcasts that I often listen to and yesterday, Mary Hunt was on discussing how to Avoid Common Financial Mistakes. If you have some extra time, listen to this broadcast. She gives some practical information on finances that I think anyone would find helpful. Mary Hunt at one time had her own financial problems, she was was over 100k in debt. It took her 13 years to pay it off with hard work and also a lot of prayer. Her story will motivate and encourage you.She also talks about giving back which I think is key to successful money management. My hope is to come to a point of financial security where I can give back comfortably and generously, isn’t that the purpose of money? Let me know your thoughts on the broadcast and some of your own money saving tips.

Click on Focus on the Family Broadcast to listen to the broadcast.
Visit Mary Hunts Website Debt Proof Living for more tools and resources

Saved $65! How/ By Cutting My Own Hair!

Besides getting physically fit I’m trying to stay financially fit. I’m aiming to save moneywhich is requiring me to make some budget adjustments. For example, I’m bringing my lunch instead of buying it which helps a lot  and that isn’t so hard. But, then there are things like a hair cut that will cost me a cool $65.00. I just wanted my ends trimmed and unfortunately it is costly where I live to get a cut, plus I don’t trust everyone. So, I was looking at this blog yesterday and the blogger gave step by step instructions on cutting your hair, it was so easy so I thought I’d give it a try! All you do is this:

1. Dry your hair and make it as straight as possible.
2. Part it in the middle and put it in 2 ponytails
3.Grab a pair of scissors, preferably sharp and hold the ends you want to cut, then snip, snip!
4. Do the same on both sides and there you have it!

My hair feels healthier and I saved money! If I need those pesky ends trimmed I won’t be going to the salon I’ll be going into my bathroom!

Check out the site:  http://andthenwesaved.com/how-to-cut-your-own-hair-a-tutorial/

Start A Girlfriend’s Night Out Jar!

I have to give Anya a bath in about five minutes, but I had to share this great idea that my friend Alicia thought of that I think alot of us can benefit from. Alicia said she was going to start a ‘Girlfriend Night Out Jar,’ to put money aside for those special nights out with the girls. So instead of buying that third latte that you really don’t need from Starbucks put the $4 bucks in your Girlfriend Night Out Jar and plan a special night with the ladies! Gottta go but I love that idea!!! Thanks Alicia!!