Oh Christmas pig, Oh Christmas pig!

Christmas Pig

"Christmas Pig" by Justin Belcher

Here’s a quick little idea I had that I wanted to share.

I have a routine where I empty my wallet daily and put the ones in a little box. I use the ones to pay the kids’ allowances. Sometimes, I have enough ones in there to pay allowances for a month and sometimes I have just enough for the week. It depends on how much cash I’m using, but it overall has helped me always have money on hand to pay them and that’s been a real sanity saver and guilt curber.

I’ve wanted to use more cash more often because I think it limits me better than a card does and I’d like to get in the habit of going cash only for 90% of my day to day expenses.

Now, I have an incentive to do that.

I have a piggy bank.

Every time my wallet looks huge and gross, I empty the coins out into it. I wasn’t really sure what to do with the money this year.

But now I do.

I came up with a little incentive to dump my change into my piggy bank. My change is going to buy my Christmas present to myself. It’s not going to go towards my Christmas present, it will pay for my Christmas present in full.

What’ll it be? Depends on how much money my little piggy’s got when I cash it out at the end of the year.

I figure this will help me in a couple ways.

1) I want to use cash as much as possible as we head into the chaos of the end of the year. I behave so much better when I know I can only buy x amount of dollars worth of stuff because there’s only x amount of dollars in my wallet. With the little plastic card thing, it gets fuzzy. I know I only have x amount of dollars to spend on y thing but I don’t know know, you know? Anyhow using more cash inevitably leads to more cha-ching, cha-ching for the little piggy wiggy.

2) It’ll curb satisfying the wanties. Or at least delay it. And then I won’t be dipping into any other type of money to satisfy the holiday wanties. I think the reason the wanties really kick into gear around the end of the year is because we get absolutely bombed with advertising and subconscious messages to want things that are shiny and bright. Not to mention, most of us shop for gifts and just in doing so we are exposed to things. I’m a sucker for things. Nice, pretty, lovely things.

3) I’ll be doing something for me and it’s not of negative consequence on anything else. Not to mention, I’m a single mom of three wee ones. If I don’t spoil me, no one else will and that’s completely fine with me.

So, I’ll be focused on feeding my pig and fattening him up for my totally self-indulgent Christmas slaughter.

Do you have any totally ridiculous silly little games you play to motivate yourself? Don’t you think my piggy bank needs a name? Should I take a picture of him to encourage a pig-naming brainstorming session?

P.S. Do take a moment to read the article I linked to up there. It is amazing.

27 thoughts on “Oh Christmas pig, Oh Christmas pig!

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  2. My dad had a huge coin jar, one day he decided to take it to the bank. There was so much he had to wheel it in a suitcase. In the end there was over a thousand dollars in coins. Good luck in your savings endeavors, I need to take some of your advice and become better with spending.

    • WOW!! That is pretty amazing. I think this year I may roll my coins. My bank doesn’t take loose coins and my local Coinstars don’t have the option for Amazon gift cards and the fee for cash is just too steep.

  3. I keep deciding to buy a house, and that I need to save up, and it is an amazing motivator for budgeting. Especially because I need to “practice” not spending anything in order to emulate what it’ll be like to have a mortgage and no extra wiggle room… and then I decide NOT to buy a house for various reasons, which is good for my financial health not to get that mortgage, but is not so good for my other spending, because then all of a sudden I think “Well if I’m not saving up for that, I could get a new computer” etc

    • That’s pretty funny– a bi-polar house buying disorder. You remind me of a gemini or a libra– back and forth, can’t decide! I bought a house once. Well, sort of. I lost it to foreclosure. And it’s honestly not on my radar for at least 10 to 15 years from now if ever again.

      • It’s ridiculous! Last week I decided that I’m not going to buy a house afterall, and what do you know, all of a sudden I’m going out to eat all weekend… buying foods I don’t need at the supermarket just because I want a treat… The “Saving up for a home” thing really helps me out.

  4. Good idea with the ones. I regularly forget to get cash for toothfairy and other things. I never keep cash and wonder if your theory on spending less would work. I still somehow manage to accumulate hundreds of dollars in change because I never use it or take it to the bank. Don’t ask me how. All I know is that trying to shove a bunch of quarters under a pillow does not work.

    I think I’ll treat myself too. Single moms don’t really get Christmas presents so we may as well buy them ourselves.

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  7. I do much better with the money up front. I like the idea of whatever is in the piggy that’s what you have to spend. AND IT’S ALL FOR YOU!!!

  8. I absolutely LOVE the idea of the “piggy” being for YOU! What a great idea, and I agree, it’s easier to use cash around Christmas…otherwise it can get WAY out of hand!

  9. Since I am not an American citizen, when I was in grad school I used to to online surveys for some extra cash. At that time, they paid fairly well. Now, I don’t have the time to do them, but I’ve kept suscribed to the company that actually pays (or used to pay decently). It might take a few hours a week overall, but I only cash out before Christmas. And I usually have around $200, which makes gift buying easier.

  10. This is a great idea! We also do this and it does add up, but we don’t use a piggy bank, we use a box. We also stash our change and DH rolls it up and exchanges this at the bank, this goes into the box too!

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