Putting the Lid on Cash Flow

“Putting the Lid on Cash Flow,” Ensign, Aug. 1993, 65

Putting the Lid on Cash Flow

Cash has a tendency to disappear before it has done all it needs to do. Being short on cash can create headaches and problems.

We solved our cash problems when we began to use “the jar” to help us. We put enough cash in the jar to take care of our basic cash needs—incidentals from the grocery store, lunch money, and school supplies. We included a pencil and a ledger sheet to account for money taken from and returned to the jar.

When cash is taken from the jar, the family member writes down the date, how much he or she took, and what it was spent on. When change is returned to the jar, the family member writes down the date and how much he or she returned. We appoint a jar custodian to periodically add or subtract the totals since some of our children are not old enough to do that for themselves.

The jar is a proven method for keeping cash readily available around our home. It complements our efforts to teach family members responsibility; the ledger in our jar encourages us to account for the cash we spend. When we see where the cash goes, we can find ways to improve our family spending patterns.

The presence of the jar reminds us that everyone is responsible for the overall success of the family. The money is shared. Each family member does his or her part to contribute, and everyone thinks carefully before spending cash in the jar. Within the limits of the family budget, the jar makes cash available to all family members and acknowledges that the family is a unit working together toward common goals.—Merle L. Keller, Salt Lake City, Utah