There are a lot of different options when it comes to saving. And while it can be more difficult to save if you don’t have a substantial income, it probably isn’t impossible. 

The jam-jar method of savings helps a lot of people visualize their money better. Many years back, most people would only deal with cash. As time has gone on, more of us are using bank accounts and credit cards. Which makes it difficult in some cases to truly grasp saving and spending. Until you see the dreaded minus figures appear on your account. It is crucial that you know where you can get fast cash for emergencies too. 

The jam-jar method is simply where you divide your money into different pots and make sure the money is used exactly as you need it to be. 

So let’s tuck into it. 

Budget

For this method to really work for you, you should have a clear idea of your budget and what is coming in, what is going out –  for each month or week. Whatever works better for you. 

Once you have a full budget written up, you can start making some changes, savings, and cute pots. 

Priorities

There are some things that you can’t skimp out on. Some things will come under want, and some will come under need. You should make room for both because depriving yourself of wants all the time isn’t great!

  • Needs – mortgage or rent payments, utilities, school fees – anything that is basic and a need. Debt repayment will come under need. 
  • Wants – hobbies, long term goals like Christmas savings, holidays and going out

Once you have totaled everything up, you’ll have two round numbers at the end. Break this down into months, or even weeks to make it less scary. 

Get your jars ready. Many people also enjoy using envelopes. This works very well too. 

Containers

There is no reason for your containers to be anything other than fantastic to look at. It is essential that you feel good about saving. And the start of those good feelings can be in how you choose to decorate your jam jars. If you don’t like the idea of having cash around the house, then, of course, you can use different pots in your bank account. It is about what works for you. 

Real jam-jars are great to use because you can see what you have left for each area. For example, if you have run out of cash in your petrol or ‘fun’ money, don’t be tempted to pull extra from another pot. Consider that once it is in there, it is destined for that area only. 

Label the tops so that no one else will get confused, either.

There are pros and cons to doing this. So let’s take a look. 

Cons 

cash isn’t always convenient for you or the company you need to pay

you’ll need to step up security and keep your jars hidden and secret

you will have to manually pay your bills, and if you forget you will incur charges

Pros

When you can see your money coming in and going out, you are less likely to spend extras

If you get paid weekly, but more significant bills are monthly, putting the money away will make it easier to stay on track 

Banking

You can always choose to bank this way too. It will knock out some of the cons of using jam-jars in the house with cash in. Use different accounts to handle separate bills. You can group specific bills into single accounts. Here are some great examples:

  • House – mortgage, council tax
  • Car – insurance, petrol, repayments
  • Bills – utilities, recurring entertainment subscriptions
  • Food 
  • Wants – holiday cash, Christmas, other

Once you have set up all of your different pots, you will need to calculate how much needs to be transferred from your main account into which pot. Your bank will be able to set up standing orders to ensure the money is where it needs to be. And then make sure each of the direct debits will be hooked up to the right accounts. 

There are pros and cons to doing this. So let’s take a look. 

Cons

  • You will need to manage your accounts carefully, and make sure the incoming and outgoings are in the right places
  • Multiple accounts might impact your credit score

Pros

  • You can spread to costs of more significant purchases much easier over time
  • You can spend freely from your main account once all of the ‘jam-jars’ have been filled correctly

The Right Account

You’ll need to make sure that the accounts that you open all have the ability to have direct debits and standing orders. To make sure there is a smooth flow of cash. And, it is worth reading the small print, so you don’t need to have a minimum amount going into the account to keep it open. 

And finally, don’t feel like you have to rush to make these changes, it is more important that you take your time and get them set-up correctly. 

This is a collaborative post.