A mum has shared how she managed to save up enough money to help pay for her dream holiday to Hawaii – with a simple Coke bottle savings trick.
Teacher Chantal Llamas, 35, from Sydney, saved up $880 (£450) without noticing by filling an empty 600ml Coca-Cola bottle with $2 coins.
She says she started popping coins in a bottle after one of her students mentioned ‘the coke bottle trick’ that could give you $1,000 with barely any effort.
After telling her husband Daniel, 32, the couple decided to give the tip a go.
Starting out with $20 worth of $2 coins, Chantal found an empty bottle and put the coins inside – and was shocked at how little space the coins managed to fill.
From then on, any time they came across a $2 coin she put it in the bottle, which sat at the back of her wardrobe.
In just nine months, the couple managed to fill the bottle up and made an excited trip to their local bank’s change counter – and were elated after their ‘spare change’ amounted to $880.
The pair came up with the perfect way to use their money. Chantal searched online for bargain airfares and managed to bag super cheap return flights to Hawaii for herself, Daniel, and their son Zachary, for just $900.
Chantal, who is currently pregnant with her second son, said: ‘I teach finance literacy at different high schools, to help kids be more aware of the responsibility of money and smart ways to save.
‘I was telling them about different tips that I do to save money, and then asked them if they had any tricks. That’s when one student told me about the coke bottle challenge.
‘I didn’t believe just filling a 600ml bottle could give you $1,000 or anywhere near that. I told my husband about it, and he said “well let’s try it then, how hard could it be?”
‘We became really savvy at getting $2 coins. My husband would get a small coffee everyday instead of a large, so he would get change from a $5 note.
‘If I got two $1 coins, I’d always ask if they could please swap it for a $2. They must have thought it was strange.
‘We got so excited every time we got a $2 coin. The more we filled the bottle, the more excited we got and the more we wanted to top it up.
‘It seems easy, but then you realise how small the coins actually are.
‘It just became change in the back of our wardrobe that we didn’t care about it. We didn’t miss it.
‘Once it was full, we went to a coin counting machine and put it all in there. It was so exciting watching it go up and up.
‘Although it won’t quite get you $1,000, you can certainly get very close.’
Chantal said she and Daniel had been thinking about going on a holiday for a while, so when she found cheap airfares to Hawaii, they decided to book it
The couple managed to get two adult return airfares for $900, while their son Zachary, who was an infant at the time, could fly for free.
Chantal said: ‘It was amazing to see we’d saved almost $900 without even really noticing. We deposited it into our account, and that’s how we paid for our flights to Hawaii.
‘I’d recommend this to others for sure. It’s a great thing to try and save for a goal.
‘We did eight nights in Hawaii and it was amazing. We had a fantastic time.
‘It was a lovely first family holiday. It’s hard to believe we could pay for our flights with our spare change.
‘It’s such an easy thing to do. Even if you’re a terrible saver or don’t have a huge income, it’s very doable.
‘You don’t really miss a $2 coin. They’re just thrown into the bottom of a bag or on the floor of your car.
‘I hope this might inspire others to give it a go. It might take some longer than others, but when it fills up it will all be worth it.’