Friday, 27 October 2017

The Sealed Pot 2017 ... and It's History


We've been taking part in a Sealed Pot Challenge since a blogger called Julie (SFT) started it back in 2011. 

The basic idea is that you have a pot of some description that you can't get into and put all your spare change or specific coins that you like to collect into it and empty it out at the end of the year, using the hoarded cash for a treat or something specific for yourselves.  Having it sealed or stuck up in some way really does deter the checking of amounts or pilfering of contents so your little cache builds up nicely and also gives you a lovely surprise each December.

The date for opening of everyone's pots was always Julie's birthday the 3th December, which rather nicely for us coincided almost with our wedding anniversary which is on the 4th, so it made sense even when Julie stopped blogging and running the challenge for us to continue with this as the opening date.


We have had many variations on the Sealed Pot, the first was this lovely number ...


.. which I bought for half price because of it's shocking Day-Glo colouring and painted up to match our farmhouse kitchen. 

In this one during 2011 we managed to save £258 in £2 coins and we used the money to buy Oxfam gift packs for family members for Christmas (goats, safe drinking water, hygiene kits and tools etc).


The next incarnation, for 2012 was this one ... because we obviously had to smash the first one to get at the coins.  This netted us £480 again all in £2 coins, which spawned a shopping challenge to see how long we could make it last as housekeeping money which we called 'The £2 Housekeeping Challenge' ...to make us focus and spend as little as possible only the actual £2 coins were used to buy shopping ... we made it last until the following July. 


We were obviously able to seal this one up again and during 2013 we used it again managing to save £371.27, this time in a mixture of small change and with fewer £2 coins.  This money spawned a whole new Challenge, indeed it spawned a whole new blog '365 Days - £365'.

Sadly though, as you can see in this picture, after emptying it and just before we moved to this house the Sealed Pot had a very unfortunate accident.  It fell off the windowsill and broke into many unrepairable pieces  :-(


A new pot had to be found!!

Enter into the picture the tin we are still using to this day. 

The first year it was in a pristine condition and when we opened it in December of 2014 to find a smaller than previous total of £61.21.  This spawned a 'mini-challenge' to see how long we could make this last as housekeeping money.


The next year, 2015, saw it a little bit battered (that double sided sticky tape is a b*gger to get off)
but over the course of the year we had managed to save a grand total of  £328.71 which spawned another stand alone blog for 2016   'A Year Without ...' when we used the Sealed Pot money along with Nectar points, coupons and vouchers to pay for our daily housekeeping


The same tin was used, in it's now even more battered state, all through 2016 to save up again, but in December of that year I decided to close both blogs down and give up blogging for good.  Although obviously as you are reading this it turned out to be a temporary thing ;-)

For a change we decided to spend the money on ourselves, we had a grand total of £449.60.  We split it down the middle, I bought a dress and a couple of pairs of shoes for myself and Alan treated himself to a new power tool and it's accessories, the leftover cash paid for a nice meal out for us both.

Of course even though I thought I wouldn't be blogging anymore we are so used to doing this after all these years, that the tin was resealed and was back in use immediately .  Over the course of this year it has been fed with all sorts of coins, including once again a good number of £2s.  I was sorely tempted to open it up the other day, as it is so full that we have to give it a little jiggle to get any new coins in, but I fought the urge and decided to weigh it instead.


My normal scales said "err... get off you're too heavy".

(It means error really!!)


 I got out the other scales.  It turns out we have almost 6kg of money, I wonder how that will convert to actual hard cash?

So what are our plans for this cash?  Well we are in the early stages of thinking up a Challenge for next year, something along the lines of the previous ones, as we need to have a real cash saving, money scrimping year next year with the idea that we can then pay off the small mortgage that we raised on this house which we took out to buy our investment/retirement property eighteen months ago.

Fingers crossed that 6kg of coins is a good amount then ... and roll on the 4th December when I can finally prise the lid off and see what we actually have available.

How many of you joined in with the original Sealed Pot Challenge or do something similar now?

Sue xx

31 comments:

  1. Hello Sue, I remember that challenge and we joined in too, but only for ourselves as the blogger didn't allow Anonymous comments so never mentioned how much we'd saved. As I save £2 coins seperately they were never put into our pot, but anything from 20ps down and the first year we saved about £110, which we used for that Christmas. Since then we have carried on saving, but haven't got anywhere near our first amount. We'll be opening our 'pot' at the end of the year, but maybe just carry on until it's full.
    We use a tall plasticky container that has written on the side 'Save £1,000 in £1 and £1 coins'. Surprisingly, it is still in pristine condition apart from marks left from parcel tape we first used to seal it.
    Good habits are hard to beat. Well worth doing.

    Joan (Devon)

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    1. That should read £1 and £2 coins.

      Joan (Devon)

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  2. I put 5p's into a tin just because they are so annoying in my purse as they get wedged in the corners. Now the bank won't let you change money without paying it in it just goes in the bank before Christmas each year.
    Wonder what happened to SFT- Saving For Travel? Still traveling I hope

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    1. I tried to find her blog but it says it's private now. I hope she's still having frugal fun and travelling the world.

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  3. I save £2 coins in a jam jar and small change in another jar. Both have been dipped into this year repeatedly though a fair amount still remains in both.
    I'm tempted to invest in a sealed pot to stop things going missing next time.
    I'll see what I can see in the poundshop/charity shop next week

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    1. They did have some tall 'sealed pot' style tins last time I was in, with various dog designs on them. I might have to invest in one for us if we spoil the lid on this one getting it off this year. It's very battered and weak now.

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  4. I keep 5ps and 2ps, and occasional pieces of silver, in a cupple of money boxes. Hopefully will get £30-40 nearer xmas time.

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  5. I save coins under 50p value so never have big amounts. Just enough for a wee treat usually. Remember the old style round pound coins are no longer legal tender as of the start of this month. Not sure if banks are still accepting them but BBC Children in Need are looking for them

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  6. I have a crock that I put all change into and empty when it geta nice and full. I usually get $300-$500 out of it but it takes a couple years at least since it is just me contributing. P.S. I started reading you only last year and was bummed when you quit, so I'm glad it was short-lived.

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  7. I collect £2 and take them as pocket money to the Padstow Christmas festival to buy treats for us . Usually about £80 . The stall holders love the loose change �� please. PS. I'm really interested in your mortgage challenge idea. It would be great if you blogged it too ������

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    1. Ps. The question marks were smiley faces ...

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  8. My hubby ribs me for having money boxes but is always amazed at the amount I save every year . I have 1 for each of the 4 grandchildren which they get to open to use as spending money for their annual holiday and a pot one for me which is going to take quite some time to fill.

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  9. I have a glass jar that I put change in, I don’t seal mine as I use it for kids lunch money (very occasionally) or if they need change for school. It was very full recently with small amounts (5, 10, 20 cents) so I took it to the bank and deposited $175. Not bad for loose change. I divided the amount between the kids bank accounts.
    Melissa

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  10. Hi Sue, I'm really looking forward to seeing what next year's challenge is going to be! I need to have a low spend year too so will join you if that's OK? It will motivate me. Love your blog by the way.

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  11. Glad to see you are going to do another challenge - I always like reading about your challenges.

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  12. that a good idea, especially if you have a mortgage to pay off. i have a rather small tin on my desk here that i put small silver coins in (5c, 10c, 20c) it takes a while to fill it up but it's almost full now. don't get many of these coins. would be a good idea to do for a fundraiser too, might get a second tin going for that, seeing as my DD1 is now a foster carer for cats.
    great idea
    thanx for sharing

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  13. I've got a penguin money box (which always raises questions when I bank the bagged coins as I tend to write 'penguin money' on the bank paying in slip and the cashiers always ask what that means!) that all loose change goes into. Plus, I don't do the 'stupid tax' aka the national lottery but on a Wednesday and a Saturday I put £2 (current price of lottery ticket) into the penguin. Every so often the penguin gets full so four times a year he gets emptied (don't ask, I just know it's a 'he'!), the loose change comes out, gets bagged into bank placky bags and whatever amount has been taken out in coins, gets put back in notes. I never take the notes out during the year, that's only done on 31 December. Those notes then become my grocery money for however long they last in the New Year. Usually get several hundred pounds as £4 a week 'lottery' money plus my loose change soon adds up. Feels like 'free money' at the beginning of the year and saves me hitting the bank account for quite a few months.

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    1. Putting 'lottery money' into the penguin is a brilliant idea. I think I'll do that next year into the sealed pot and stop myself being tempted to buy a lottery ticket. That way I get a definite 'win' in time for Christmas.

      And yes, I know if things are a he or a she :-)

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  14. I have a large glass jar that I use for all coins under up to $1 and I cash them in at the start of December to pay for Christmas dinner and treats and extra baking items. It really helps.
    I can't wait to hear about next year's challenge - I've followed all your previous ones and was always so impressed at how well you did.

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  15. We did the 1p, 2p etc a day challenge last year, and started again this year but of course had to open it to take out the old £1 coins! Love the idea of saving £4 a week as we never do the lottery either. I was also glad when you decided to restart blogging. Love your uodated photo with the tin. Catriona

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    1. I've vaguely heard of this. Does the amount go up in 1p increments so that by the end of the year you are putting in £3.65 on the final day?

      The poor tin lid is looking a bit battered now isn't it 😆

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    2. It does but I wuickly realised I would need to put it in weekly once the amounts became larger as I didn't want to spend time each day hunting for change. Catriona

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  16. I was going to say the same as Ali above about the 'old' pound coins being out of circulation. However I also noticed yesterday a large notice on our local Poundland stating they will accept the old coins till the end of October so if you have any and a need of any pound stuff you've not got long!! :D

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    1. Don't worry, we never put pound coins into the sealed pot. Banks will still let you pay them into your account so all is not lost if we do find a couple of stowaways 😉

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  17. I have been saving coins left in my purse after every two weeks for years. I started when our first son was born 41 years ago. The money has been used for various things, most often gift buying for Christmas while the children were young. One year (the year Harvey was out of work and Kurt was 2)there was enough in the jar to buy all the gifts for the extended family, the two children, and Harvey as well as buy all we needed for our Christmas dinner.

    God bless.

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  18. Have just read your blog for first time - great fun! you've got a new follower!! I have tried doing 'the skint dads' £1-a-day saving challenge, and keep the money in a charity-shop teapot. the teapot had to be emptied for an emergency last week but it had £100 in it, so just fantastic. Looking forward to joining in with your new challenge for 2018!

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  19. I have a gallon wine jug that I put dines (10cents) into whenever I get one in change. I have been doing it for fifteen years now and it is a little more than half full. I have no idea what I will do with the money when the jug is full.

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  20. I 've doing this since I read it on your blog @ 2014. this is our 3rd year. Both years we netted @ $100. Not sure what it'll be this year. We don't have a goal with it just fun.

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  21. I've been doing this on a far less grand scale, with coppers :) Any loose coppers I have go into an old jam jar, and when it's full I take it to the bank and cash it in. I made £5 last time I went, haha! Maybe I ought to scale it up to silver and £1 coins... although I need all the change I can get at the moment!
    I also do something called "skimming", where I skim my current account to the nearest number ending with a 0 or 5... so if I have £424.87, I put £4.87 into my savings account. It's amazing how fast the little bits of "change" can add up, and you can still budget accordingly.
    Anyway good luck with this year's ceremonial opening of the sealed pot! Not long now...

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  22. I used to do the sealed pot thing I still have my squid tin, it currently has all of the 'keys' that I have no idea what they are for but I darent throw them out. This post has made me think it needs to come back into action!

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  23. For the last few years I have been saving $1 and $2 coins in a ceramic vase. This gets just about full over the course of the year. I use the money for us to have extras at Christmas that don't fit into our normal and very tight budget. Any left overs is banked into our emergency fund.

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