Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wine Bottle Savings Account

The above picture is of my wine bottle savings account. This is the second time I have had one of these, and it has proven to be quite awesome.

Yes, I am aware that I am not earning interest on this. I am also aware that someone could break into my home and steal it at any time. But you know what? It's worth the risk, for now, at least.

As a professional child care provider (aka babysitter) on the evenings and weekends, I often get paid in cash. Normally a lot of that cash goes out the window--toward alcohol, dinners out, coffee, etc. It's fine--I am diligent about saving an appropriate amount of my normal paycheck, so this is my fun money. I get to be young and slightly frivolous.

But, I don't want to blow all of it. It's important for me to have some put away for a rainy day. Although, if I spent my wine bottle savings account each rainy day, I wouldn't have one, since I live in Seattle and nearly every day is a rainy one.

So, I save for vacation instead.

Vacation is a great time for me to have cash on hand. My current WBSA amounts to approximately $300. My last one was about $150. Given my current situation and my situation at the time I broke open my last one, I think that is a good amount to spend on vacation without feeling guilty.

I do, sometimes, spend more on vacation. I do things I normally wouldn't. I buy some clothes, some shoes, some little extras. I may go a bit over my current $300, and that's okay. But it's nice to have it there for little odds and ends. It's nice to be able to sit down in a San Francisco Starbucks and get a chai AND a pastry.

Basically, I do the following:

1. Start with an empty, clean wine bottle. Rinse it and LET IT DRY. (I didn't let it dry thoroughly enough the first time I did this and ended up with a moldy five dollar bill.) THIS IS THE FUN PART MY FRIENDS: IN ORDER TO GET AN EMPTY WINE BOTTLE YOU MUST FIRST DRINK THE WINE! PARTY ON!

2. Contribute a certain amount of cash every time you can. (I was doing $20 each time I babysat for a while, but then the babysitting died down, so I scaled back a bit.)

3. Keep track. Or don't. The first time I did this I did not keep track--and it was fun to be surprised. This time I have kept pretty close track and am also pleased with the results. Because you can't count it without breaking the bottle, I wrote what I contributed each week on the side.

4. Break it when it's time--but be careful.

5. Enjoy. This is mostly just a lot of fun. So.

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