What to do with the money from the office “change jar”

Many offices have a system in place where certain words or behaviours are restricted from being said or done in the office. And should an employee go against these “rules”, they are to place a pre-approved amount of money in the change jar. Over time, one can imagine how quickly these spare change jars fill up and how much has actually accumulated.

And we say jars (plural) because it’s popular to have one per department so that the entire office can take part and hold each other accountable. Not to mention having multiple jars for different occasions such as an “I forgot to put my phone on silent” jar or an “I can’t” jar. The jars could be relevant to the behavioural problems of each department.

There are many things people could do with all that change and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Cook for the office

The department who’s jar is full first is responsible for heading down to the local grocery store and buying ingredients to make some food for the rest of the office. Either that or they are responsible for stocking up on office supplies and ingredients that can be used in the future for when there’s enough of everything to cook a large meal. Maybe for something like the end of the month get together?   

Find easy recipes that can quickly be thrown together to create something delicious for the entire office. A few ideas include:

  • Breakfast muffins: These are quick and easy to make and just require a bit of preparation before throwing it all together and placing it in the oven. You can use whatever ingredients you like, but most breakfast muffins include bacon, mushrooms, cheese and, of course, egg. The egg is what will hold it together when you put the mixture into the muffin tray holder and the result will be an omelette-tasting “muffin”.
  • Regular muffins: Then there’s also the option of baking treats for everyone and buying premixes for chocolate, vanilla and maybe some bran for the healthier employees.
  • Burgers: If you have enough money to make a proper meal, the team could come together and prepare burgers for the office. Buy some beef patties, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese slices, tomato sauce and anything else you’d like to add to the burger. Don’t forget some Maggi seasoning cubes to boost the flavour of the patties as you cook them. It makes it effortlessly delicious and is definitely one of those ingredients for the office to stock up on.

Save it for the next birthday

If the office is always “too busy” to spend a few minutes in the kitchen, the change jar money could be saved up and used for the next employees birthday. It can go towards balloons, a card, a cake and possibly a little gift as well (depending on how naughty or nice the office has been leading up to the birthday).

This is a great way to make their birthday a special and it guarantees everyone will at least get something from the office on their birthday.

Start an “office party fund”

As an alternative to birthday celebrations, you could save up the money in the change jars throughout the year and use what has been raised to organise a memorable year-end function. It will essentially be an office party fund to keep employees motivated and excited to do well and push on to the end of the year.

Another option would be to start an office entertainment fund and save towards fun gadgets, goodies and games to bring into the office. Think along the lines of a foosball table, table tennis or some really cool bean bags to set up a chill zone for the much-needed relief breaks.

Donate to a charity

The point of a change jar is to change bad or irritating habits in the office, so it’s only appropriate to use the change to make a change outside of the office as well. Use the money from the change jar to donate to a charity or a charitable cause. If, for example, there is someone in the office who is struggling financially or has undergone a traumatic experience, that money could be used towards helping them out.

The money could also, as was said, be donated to a charity of the offices choice. It could even be used to host a charitable event such as a soup kitchen, street store or blanket drive. Depending on the amount of money raised, it could possibly be used to sponsor an event or an underprivileged school.

There are so many benefits to donating resources to charities and, in any case, your company has a social responsibility to its community. And this is a great way of getting everyone involved. The problem comes in when people insist on getting away with inappropriate behaviour by justifying that “it’s for a good cause”. Employers might want to monitor that.