Piggy Bank, Money Box, Kitty, Coin Jar, Money Pot or, my personal favourite, Penny Jar; whatever we decide to call them, they all serve the same purpose: putting a little bit of money aside.
I keep hearing that people should save regularly, that we should all have at least six months worth of living expenses in the bank or even six months salary, that we should not spend anything until that magic amount has been reached and that doing so was irresponsible. It may be true – and, to be honest, it probably is – but it is also a pipe dream for a lot of people.
I should know because I am one of them. A few years ago when I had a steady job – not overly well paid but steady nonetheless – I used to save a nominal amount every month for a rainy day. Well, one day it started raining… in fact, it poured: in the middle of the recession the company I worked for went in receivership, I lost my job – along with another 120 people – and I was galloping towards a big landmark birthday. After a few months I was lucky and I finally found a new job….. part time….. minimum wage…. and…. zero hours contract.
I work hard, I have learnt to do all the different jobs in my department and never, ever refuse a shift so I do get quite a few hours which allows me to pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the fact that I was able to keep a roof over my head and food on the table but there is more to life than just that.
This where the Penny Jar comes in.
A few coins here and there don’t make a huge difference in my budget but, over a few months, they allow me the little treats that I could not otherwise justify spending on and these little luxuries make life so much better.