Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Lose Your Change!

Kids generally don't think much of loose change. You buy some candy at the store, hand the cashier a $5 bill, and pocket the change, only to have it get lost in the washer three days from now.

You may not know it, but continuing this bad habit will cost you hundreds of dollars overtime!!

Think of what you could do with hundreds of dollars - buy an IPod, open a bank account...start your dream business?

I'll admit, I haven't always been consistent with saving my loose change. That's why I decided to make a piggy bank. Well, it's not really a "piggy"'s a bottle I got at the store that I converted into a savings jar.

Fun to make, good for the environment (recycled), and an easy way to accumulate money!

What You'll Need
In order to make a savings jar, you'll need some type of container (a glass bottle, soda bottle, jar, ect) that you can close tightly and poke a hole in the top of, wide enough so that you can insert a quarter into it. I used a "Sweet Leaf" Iced Tea bottle (image to the right).

If you plan to decorate your bottle, you'll need paper, drawing utensils (e.g. markers, pencils, crayons, ect) and tape or glue.

Get Help From An Adult...
When using a bottle like the one I have, it's important to get an adult to help you poke a hole in the top. It can be difficult to cut the aluminum, metal, plastic ect with a knife or pair of scissors, and can be very dangerous if your cutting utensil slips.

Once you've got a hole in the cap, test it by slipping a quarter through the slit. If it fits, you can move on.

Decorating Your Bottle
In order to decorate my bottle, I carefully removed the "Sweet Leaf" label and traced it on another piece of paper. Then, I drew inside of the new label I traced.

You can decorate your bottle however you want - use dollar signs, butterflies, race cars...whatever! Make it look so awesome that you'll be motivated to drop your loose change inside whenever you get it. Trust me, you will be very glad you did.

I wrote The Kid Is Rich at the top of my label so that I would remember my goal to help other kids make money. Then, I wrote Lots Of Money at the bottom so that I could visualize how much money I'll have once my bottle is filled to the brim (roughly $10-$20). Finally, I added a somewhat cartoonish version of Abraham Lincoln (my favorite president!).

When you've finished decorating, cut out your label and wrap it around the bottle. Secure it with a piece of tape (or glue) where the ends of the label meet.

And you've finished your savings jar! Now go find your loose change and start depositing it!

What Do I Do When My Bottle Is Filled?
Create a goal for what you plan to do with your savings. Will you invest it into a business idea? Use it to pay for holiday gifts? When you have a goal, you will be more motivated to get to the finish line.

When you fill your bottle, you can go to the dollar store and buy a package of coin rolls (check image to left). Take them to the bank and trade them in for cash. If you bring your coin rolls to a coin machine at, say, Publix, you get charged a fee for trading your coins in for cash. The bank usually won't charge you anything (as long as your parents bank with them).

After that, start filling up your bottle again! Remember: "A penny saved is a penny earned." - Benjamin Franklin

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