The Free Money Box

Stack of MoneyIn our home, we have a free money box. Thanks to this box, we have been able to afford things, both necessities and treats, that we might not otherwise have, or at least been able to justify.

To start our free money box, I purchased an inexpensive but sturdy cardboard box with a lid and label. I titled the label, and set to work.

I started by going through the house and gathering up all of the unused gift cards that we had from the many places that they were hiding: drawers, purses, bags, cards, closets, pockets, etc. All of those cards went into the box.

Next, I placed store cards or discount coupons that were for at least a $10 off purchase. (My hair salon mails me a $25 gift card on my birthday!) There were a few of those that we got in the mail or on a store receipt.

Finally, I placed in the box any actual cash that was given to us as fun money. My in-laws often give the kids $10-$20 a few times a year for ice cream or special treats.

The free money box is placed in a prominent place, in our kitchen, and we know to use it regularly whenever we want to make a purchase or have a need for a little treat. We also know exactly where all of those gift cards are located, so they never go to waste.

For example, today there wasn’t a lot of fun to be had, thanks to our seemingly ever present rainy weather.  My eldest son dipped into the box for a GameStop gift card he received and used it to purchase some discounted video games that are providing a bit of fun for all the kids in our house. The kids got some new fun, and I didn’t have to adjust the monthly budget.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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