Our car is approaching 100,000 miles and is almost 7 years old.  I know we will need to replace it in a few years, and I don’t want to take out a loan when that time comes; I want to pay cash.

Likewise, we want to buy a house in the next 4 to 6 years, and I would like to have a 20% downpayment.  Even if we plan to buy a house under $200,000, we are looking at $40,000 down payment.  We have no money saved for this currently.

We have these two large savings goals, but right now our income is stretched and we are not always meeting all of our monthly expenses.  Now that my husband has a full-time job and I am bringing in more money, I expect that we will be able to meet our monthly obligations, but there isn’t much room for extra savings.

So, I have decided on this unusual savings plan:

All change will go in a jar and be saved for a new car.

All $5 bills will be saved for a down payment on a house.

I will report back weekly on how much we are saving this way when I report back for my Where Does Our Money Go Challenge.

I know we can’t buy a new car based on saving change, but this is a way to start saving, even when it doesn’t currently look possible in our monthly budget.  I am hoping in the next six to twelve months to add a line in our budget for each of these savings goals.  But right now, at least we are starting to save.

What unusual savings methods do you use when money is tight?

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