The Swear Jar Rules That’ll Help You Stop Cursing (maybe)

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The good ol’ swear jar. Parting the potty-mouthed with their pennies since forever.

If colourful language is your swan song, but you have kids and don’t want them to sound feral, you might consider starting a swear jar.

Use a swear jar to help you or your partner stop using curse words. These swear jar rules almost make it a game, so it’s more fun to do!

One of the best ways to curb a bad habit is to establish a consequence immediately after it happens.

That’s the beauty of the curse jar. Maybe you’ve heard of one before but don’t know how exactly to do it.

That’s where I come in! Keep reading and learn how to set up your own swear jar and what the rules should be. 

What Is A Swear Jar? 

A swear jar is a way people try to stop swearing. The most basic swear jar meaning is that it’s an immediate negative consequence for using bad language.

Every time someone says a swear word, the person who witnessed it gets to collect a fine. The amount of the fine is predetermined by everyone that is working together to break the habit. 

There are a ton of different types of swear jars.

Some people put money in the jar every time they say a bad word.

Others keep track of how often they say something bad and then have to “pay out” at the end of the week. 

How Does A Swear Jar Work? 

A swear jar works the same way Pavlov’s dogs learned to drool when a bell rang. It’s just learned behavior.

If you have to lose a dollar every time you say a word on the bad list, you’ll stop saying it. It’s that simple. 

Swear Jar Rules 

Swear jar rules are going to be different depending on who you are, what you consider a “bad word” and whether you carry cash on you. 

Basically, it’s not like football. It’s more like fashion. You make up the rules to fit your personality and lifestyle. 

Even so, there are a few rules that remain the same for everyone. 

The most basic swear jar rules are: 

  • Make a list of words you consider “swear words” or “potty mouth.” 
  • Decide the penalty for saying that word. 
  • Stick to the amount of the penalty – no cheating! 
  • Every time you (or anyone participating) say that word, put the penalty in the jar. 
  • Decide what you are going to do with the money. 

Non-Cash Rules For Swear Jars

Even though the classic swear jar rules say you need to put a dollar in the jar every time you curse, there are other ways you can do it too – even without cash. 

Use a swear jar printable to keep track of each time that you mess up. Then, when you reach the limit on the printable, cash it out. 

There are also apps and virtual ways to keep track too. 

The most important thing to remember with non-cash swear jars is to set up a major consequence at the end. Then follow through with it. 

Swear Jar Printable 

If you have a vinyl cutting machine, you can make your own swear jar. If not, there are lots of custom swear jars you can buy. This personalisable swear jar bank is really cute. 

You can also download or print this swear jar bullet journal layout. It has lines so you can mark every time you make a virtual deposit into it. 

Swear Jar Ideas For Work 

Do you have trouble with swear words at work? It’s stressful and stuff, well, it happens. A swear jar could be a fun way to kick that habit to the curb! 

Plus, if you get your co-workers to join in, it could be a really fun way to get to know each other better and build healthy working relationships.. 

Office Swear Jar Rules

Office swear jar rules are pretty much the same as the swear jar rules at home. The only difference is that you might put the jar somewhere that your work colleagues can see it. Plus, they might even join you! 

Here are some rules to keep the swear jar office-friendly and effective. 

  • Make the jar office-friendly. This jar on Etsy is simple and gets the point across without being crass. 
  • Place it somewhere easy to reach. Make it easy to deposit the cash (or IOU-equivalent) in the jar. 
  • Decide on what you are going to do with the cash. If you are doing this as an office group, everyone should agree together on where to give the money at the end. 

Virtual Swear Jars

Another option is to use a virtual swear jar. The beauty of doing it this way is that you don’t actually need to carry around cash (such a relief!). 

The Swear Jar app (on Google Play) actually slowly destroys your wallpaper every time you swear. It’s so funny and pretty effective too! 

Another curse jar option is the Swear Jar Pro (on iOS). With this app you can track swear jars of each person in your family (or your friends group). Then, you can text everyone and tell them how much they owe. 

You don’t need an app if you use a prepaid card that is connected to your bank account. Just log in and transfer money to the card each time you swear. 

What To Do With Swear Jar Money

Alright, so you know what a swearing jar is and how to set it up, but what do you do with the money after you break the habit? 

There are two options – save it or donate it. 

If you save your money, then take all the money you paid in swearing fines and deposit them right back into your savings account! This can pay for anything – a weekend away, new computer, maybe even a day at the spa! The choice is up to you. 

Some people choose to donate the money to charity instead. This is also a wonderful idea and as you give back, you’ll feel like all your payments were worth it. 

Funny Bud Light Swear Jar Commercial 

What’s a guide about a swear jar without mentioning this epic commercial?

It never actually aired on TV, but it went viral online in 2016. This might be the wrong way to do a swear jar, but it’s pretty hilarious! 

Final Thoughts

What do you think? Will you set up a potty mouth jar?

It could be a really fun way to save up for something big together. Whether you really want to stop cursing or you just want a fun way to put more money into savings, these swear jar rules will help you along. 

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About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.