Monday, March 3, 2014

"Pennies from Heaven" Money Jars for Kids

This DIY is more for showing you the materials I used to make these money jars,
as well as the concept and purpose of them. It takes just THREE steps to make them!
Create your own or purchase them at!

- - - - - - - - - - -  HOW TO - - - - - - - - - - -

Materials needed (all came from Paper Source):

- 3 Mason Jars : The ones I have came in a box of 6 for about ($14)
- Printer type lowercase stamps ($15)
- Metal Rim tags (Pack of 25 for $9)
- Ink Pad ($7)
- Twine (500 yards for $8; you don't need this much though :) 

- - - - - - - - - - -  STEPS - - - - - - - - - - -

S T E P   O N E   
Stamp 3 labels with the words "Give," "Save" and "Play" 

S T E P   T W O   
Cut string off of the tags and use the twine you bought instead.
I used two strings for visual aesthetic and pleasure to my eye :)

S T E P   T H R E E   
Loop it around the jar and tie it

- - - - - - - - - - -  THE STORY - - - - - - - - - - -

Most of my friends are becoming parents or, like me, not a parent but at a stage in life where — if we haven't started already — we're realizing its time to begin considering how to manage our money.

aah! I know. It's not the most fun topic ... but it can be!

Of recent I've started paying more attention to messages about money management and thinking about the things I've learned from my parents growing up. (Read more about this here.) I was watching a message by Andy Stanley about financial habits and he summarized it all by these three words: Give, Save and Play.

*ding* Oh my goodness. When I heard this a light bulb went up.

I was thinking, "Everyone needs to hear this," and "I have to do something with this!"
So this is where the idea behind these jars came from.

Can I tell you something? I secretly get really nervous to check my account sometimes! Just being honest. But I recently began facing that fear. I learned through Marie Forleo that we should have a relationship with our money and not fear it. We should check up on our money weekly so we have an understanding of how to go through that week, knowing what we have/don't have to spend for that week. This may be common sense but I have not been living this way! David Ramsey — a super money manager guru who has become famous for it — says that we have to tell our money where to go. Gosh this is so important! He's basically saying that when we get paid, we have to delegate every penny to the bills we know we have to pay, rent, upcoming celebrations we know we'll need gifts for, gas, tithes, savings, charity, groceries, etc. And if there's leftover, we have to know where that money will go, too! (In your savings perhaps or maybe to treat yourself to drinks if you didn't think you had money for that at first!) And if you're in the negative, time to cut from some area where you don't need to be spending as much!

Through my parents actions and words I was shown in big and small ways what I should do with my money. Faith and spirituality was important in my house, so most of my principals came from those found in the bible. I always heard that I should tithe growing up, and that even if I have a penny to give I can give it and God honors that desire of ours to give. I shouldn't look at tithing or giving like, "ooh man, I HAVE to do this?!" but "oooh man, I GET to do this." I have something to give to God or the world that is a gift from Him anyway!!
But my parents often reminded me to tithe. My mom would often ask if someone I knew needed anything. Once I could drive my mom would get me to take a check to pay off a credit card to show me how credit worked. There was one Christmas when I received a bit of money from family and had it sitting in my room. When my mom saw it she was like, "Whaaaat! It's time for a bank account." So she took me to the bank and helped me set up my own account. I think at this time she said I should open a savings as well and helped me get it started by putting a little cash in it.
When I was fifteen I got my first paying job and that summer I saved almost EVERY bit of it and put it into my savings. But I was also in an interesting/weird phase in my life where shopping didn't matter much. So I spent almost no money, my parents were taking care of my basic needs, and I ended up with $1000 in my savings! I'll just admit this is one of my most proud moments.
As I got older I became humbled through the things I learned at church, understanding that the things we have are not our own and we should be willing to sacrifice and give and try not to worry too much because God is taking care of our every need. I also learned that God isn't expecting much from us .. just to honor him in even the smallest of ways and acknowledge Him in the smallest ways, and He will honor that in unimaginably unexpected ways. And I've realized how your perception of life changes when you are able to acknowledge and appreciate these little/big blessings.

I think these jars can help kids (or adults) begin thinking about and learning this basic lesson about what areas to delegate our money to. And also that its not all meant to be spent now or for ourselves, and that we can still treat ourselves and have fun while being smart about money.

You can make these jars any way you'd like! Use a shoe box divided in thirds or three shoe boxes and label each secton/box with the words the words "give," "save" and "play" on tape. Buy jars and put tape labels on them. So many things you can do for cheap. But again, the most important thing is that we teach them now before it is too late.