For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved vacations.
I love the going.
I love the doing.
I love the exploring.
I love the bonding.
All of which I’ve passed on to my daughters… A good thing except for the fact that vacations aren’t free.
[Enter Stage Right:] The Money Jar.
We’ve officially commandeered a plastic Disney cup for the purpose of this year’s vacation fund. I told my girls I’d find a way to get them to the beach for three nights this summer if they’d help me save some fun money.
Gone now are the days of finding coins mingled with wet laundry or scattered across the floor of the car. So, too, are the stray pennies and the renegade quarters at the bottom of my purse. Instead, each and every coin that finds its way into our home ends up in The Jar.
Every once in a while, when it looks like we can fill a roll, we do—$10 in quarters, $5 in dimes, $2 in nickels, 50 cents in pennies. Coin by coin, roll by roll, we’re saving our way to arcade games at Barnacle Bills and rubber frogs on the Boardwalk.
And you know what? Somehow, in the past month or so since we started this little pact, the process of saving has become a very real part of the fun. In fact, I get almost giddy when I realize we have enough of a particular coin to fill another paper wrapper .
Little by little, coin by coin, we’re getting closer. Closer to the going, the doing, the exploring, the bonding, and three whole nights that never looked so good.
So how about you? Have you ever coined your way to something special? Is there something in particular you’re looking forward to right now–coins or no coins?
Bought a wedding ring that way…
by Joe on April 1st, 2008 at 12:17 am
Saving is good.
As for something to look forward to? I just figured out my next book is going to have to be set in the south of France, and that will mean another research trip…
by Tasha Alexander on April 1st, 2008 at 2:15 am
Okay, Joe, THAT is sweet!
Tasha, the south of France? It’s just weird the way that stuff works out, isn’t it? I wonder where I should set MY next book?
by Laura on April 1st, 2008 at 5:58 am
Tasha, I think you need a research assistant. And I’ve been there, too, so I can also serve as your guide.
I’ll start my own penny jar, now.
by judy larsen on April 1st, 2008 at 7:17 am
I’ve been saving coins for over a year now to help finance a trip (Hawaii or France–haven’t decided) for my daughter and me when she graduates high school. Seeing as how she’s not yet a teen, I’ll be keeping track of coins for a long time to come!
by Heather on April 1st, 2008 at 8:41 am
I bought a little parlor guitar with money I saved that way. Sadly, I sold her a few years ago and now wish I hadn’t. She was a sweet little thing.
by David Terrenoire on April 1st, 2008 at 8:49 am
I coined my way to a really cool power tool. Technical Term - Thickness Planer
I didn’t really save the coins. It was excess poker money. I get lucky in cards sometimes.
by Will Bereswill on April 1st, 2008 at 8:52 am
Cute story from a few years ago:
The neighbors across the street had a 7 year old son, Billy. One day, Billy’s brand new bike was stolen, and Billy was devastated. Billy’s dad had just been laid off, and they really couldn’t afford to buy him a new bicycle. So Billy went about collecting loose change for over a year in order to buy himself a new bike. Although his parents were too proud to accept money from us, neighbors would give Billy any spare change they had. About a year later, Billy announced that he had saved over $400 in loose change, and was going to buy himself a new bike. The night before he went to the bicycle shop, Billy went to bed, and dreamed about his new bike. While he as asleep, a thief broke into their house, and stole Billy’s $400.
The next day, Theo bought himself an XBox 360. The end.
by Theo Epstein on April 1st, 2008 at 9:04 am
Judy, EXCELLENT point. I’ve always longed for a research assistant…..
And, honestly, Laura, I had no idea it was going to work out this way. You have to let the book take you where the book wants to go….
by Tasha Alexander on April 1st, 2008 at 12:13 pm
When I was engaged to my then-future wife, the ritual for a day included emptying pockets of change.
Flatware, a TV and some other items got bought out of that before we got married. Years later, it helped pay for the only brandamnew motorcycle I have ever owned.
by Bob on April 1st, 2008 at 12:42 pm
I love penny jars. Well, ours is actually a Pringles can, minus the Pringles. We fill it up and take ourselves out on our anniversary.
by Sara Rosett on April 1st, 2008 at 2:59 pm
My daughter and I are going to Vegas next month, so I’m saving for the one-armed bandits and a spending spree at some of the little boutiques.
My savings cup is a big plastic cup from a pizza place in Columbia, MO. It contains an assortment of foreign coins, too. The remants from various trips we’ve made. My hope is to someday go back and spend it.
by Tricia S. on April 1st, 2008 at 5:28 pm
We are putting away the coins as well but I think we will pull them out for the Vegas trip in 16 days (but who’s counting…)
I also have a plan to get somewhere on the beach this year, South Carolina, etc just so I can recharge.
by Lynn on April 1st, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Judy, perhaps Tasha could use TWO assistants! We could bring a little “jersey girl ambiance” with us! And we’d have SUCh fun!
Heather, a graduation trip???? Hmmmm. Sounds great!!!! I have one graduating the same time, you know…
David, maybe you could buy her back?
LOL, Will. No comment. Other than a power tool?!?!? Men.
*Shaking head at Theo*
Tasha, think I can make my book take me to Hawaii?
by Laura on April 2nd, 2008 at 10:09 am
Bob, sounds like your coins have done well! I suspect I will keep this little project in use long after this particular summer vacation is gone.
Sara, that’s cool! After a year, do you get a pretty nice dinner?
Tricia, I have to ask…Is it Shakespeare pizza by any chance? Cuz if it is–you can now find it in St. charles!
Lynn, can I come? To the beach?
by Laura on April 2nd, 2008 at 10:11 am
Laura, I’m currently saving my coins for a new camera. That’s no surprise, huh?!
by Texas Lynn on April 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm
No way. Shakespeare’s is in St. Charles. Ummmmmm… My pizza detector must be broken.
by Tricia S. on April 2nd, 2008 at 6:05 pm
They have it at The Wine Bar in New Town!
by Laura on April 2nd, 2008 at 6:37 pm