With my income grinding to a shuddering halt by the end of October, I have to think wisely about where to place each coin. I am paying a price for my freedom, but as a girl of simple means, I plan to relish this challenge. It’s not completely foreign territory to me.
I have always had a penny pot. They have come in various guises throughout the years, from hand painted jam jars to decorative wooden boxes. My favourite was a large figurine of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, brought back from a trip to Disneyland Paris many moons ago. She is not retired, she is currently housing the household fund for our house.
My current penny pot was inherited from my mother, as the best things often are. It’s a retro HP edition, featuring cartoon characters from back in the day. It holds the required plastic bags as well as plenty of copper. I never keep pesky pennies in my purse, opting to purge them into the pot at the end of each day. Then, when it is too heavy to lift, I tip the contents onto the carpet and count it out into neat rows. It is bagged up, carried to the bank and transformed into gold.
I sometimes use the pound coins gathered to purchase some essentials – see Frugal Fridays #11. But most of the time, the coins tumble into here:
My piggy bank was a charity shop find from when I first came to live in Winchester. Even at the start of University, I knew I would have to save for those rainy days. This year, as I did last year, I’m saving exclusively for Christmas. When I unplugged it last December, the treasure found went towards stamps, wrapping paper and other such festive things. It was so nice to have a helping hand, all ready and waiting. I worked so well that I am repeating the exercise this year. I don’t keep a record of what goes in, it will be a jolly surprise when the time comes. It will roll around soon enough.
I have been saving in my piggy since June, but other Christmas preparations have begun more recently. I have kitted up several craft projects to make as gifts. I have dug out Christmas cards that were purchased in January, naturally. Lists have been drawn up to tick each person off when a gift has been found. Just a short list, featuring only those who truly matter.
It may seem unfathomable to mention Christmas already. But when you’re adhering to a budget, careful planning ensures a merry time for all.