When I was in my twenties, I saw a news piece about a local man who had been filling those giant, industrial water jugs with loose change. At the time of the broadcast, he had saved enough pennies to take a trip to Paris. After that, I saved my change in my own, smaller water jug. Though I did not make it to Paris, I was able to do a nice dinner every few months.
Flash forward many years and one Saving to Disney course later. The humble water bottle has been replaced by the tricked out Dimes to Disney jar. That’s it up top. You may think, like I did at first, “what is the big deal? Just throw your money in an old shoe, who cares where it goes.” This could not be further from the truth. Having a specific place to put your money makes it easier to develop the habit of saving . Experts say it takes two weeks to form a habit. The first two weeks of our Dimes to Disney jar, I put money in every day. Sometimes I had to search deep in those couch cushions to do so, but I did it. The important thing was to build the habit of loose change going straight into the Disney Fund. Not my wallet for a Starbucks later. Not my child’s dress up purse so she could play with it. Straight into my fund.
The Dimes to Disney jar can also serve as physical reminder of what you are working so hard towards. Ours sits on our bookshelf, and every so often my three year old will point it out to her little sister and whisper, “that’s where our castle money lives.” When I am hunting for coupons or working on Swagbucks, looking at the jar gives me a little thrill of purpose, a push to keep going. When my husband is eating turkey for the fourth day in a row because there was a crazy sale, he can look at the jar and think, “all this turkey has a purpose.” He can also thank his wife for finding many different, delicious ways to prepare turkey…but I digress.
If you’re a SavEar, you’ve probably seen posts of people’s Dimes to Disney jars. They range from a milk jug with a Mickey head drawn on it, to Etsy worthy embellishments. Each and every one is terrific. Because each and every one is helping a family achieve their dreams.
When we puts ours together, we made a family craft out of it. The most popular receptacle seems to be the gallon soda bottle, but we didn’t have one of those on hand. We substituted a Clorox wipes container, which worked nicely for decorating. The smooth, uniform surface made it accessible for our littles to be involved.
We used Modge Podge crafting glue. If you haven’t used Modge Podge before, it is easier to use than your typical Elmer’s glue. The glue spreads under and over your project, almost like a paint, and dries clear. It’s also pretty strong; peeling isn’t as prevalent an issue as with other adhesives. If you don’t have Modge Podge, other glue or tape will work just fine!
I save every piece of Disney mail we get. You never know when you’ll need Disney stuff for a crafting emergency. Wondering what to do with all those Disney Movie Club flyers? Here ya go!
As for technique, we used the old turn system. As in, we each took turns picking out which character we wanted on the jar, and then found a place to put it. Not a highly sophisticated method, but our girls loved it. While we crafted, we explained what the jar was, why we were making it, how important it was for all of us to save. Fun family time and life lesson? Check!
Joy, Wreck-It-Ralph and Vaneloppe, and the Toy Story crew on the bottom.
We’ve got some Wall-E, Perdita, Ariel, Flynn and Rapunzel…oh, and see those people at the top center? That’s us! I used a Shutterfly proof to add our family to the magic. My littles think it is a hoot that they are up there with Sofia and Tinkerbell.
We’ve talked about saving smarter, saving with a purpose. The Dimes to Disney jar is an extension of that. You might be inclined to brush off change as no big deal, but when we realign our thinking we discover that even pennies can get us to Paris.
Do you have a Dimes to Disney jar? I would love to see it in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure