How To Use A Swear Jar To Stop Cursing (+Extra Benefits)

Did you know that people have been using swear jars in the US (to stop swearing) since the 1890s? They were first called swear boxes. but up till today, the swear jar idea is still very valid. 

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A swear jar can help you to stop cussing (using bad words). You can also use it to discipline a child that just can’t get off the swears.

A swear jar can also be a good saving tool for kids and adults alike. Swear jars have been modernized, and are now available in better and more accessible forms. 

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This post discusses how you can use a swear jar to cut the cuss, save more and discipline a child. It also mentions some good swear jar alternatives that you can try.

What is a swear jar?

A swear jar, also called a cuss jar or a swear box is a tool that people use to try to stop swearing. They use it as an immediate punishment for saying a negative word by putting a certain amount of money into the jar whenever they say a bad word.

You can use a swear jar for yourself if you find it hard to keep the bad words off. It can also be a good disciplinary measure for a kid that you want to stop swearing.

People who use swear jars usually work together with partners that keep them accountable. These partners charge them a fine whenever they witness them say a swear word. This fine is usually pre-determined, and the offender will put that amount into the box. 

You can still use a swear jar without a partner, only that it will need self-determination to drop the money in there whenever you go off course.

For kids, you or their siblings can hold them accountable, hanging onto them until they pay their fines.

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Swear Jar as a Money Saving Tool

A swear jar is also a very helpful tool that can help you save money. You can use it to achieve two aims at once; stop swearing, and save more. People with chronic swearing attitudes can save a lot of money in the long term. 

However, you can still use a swear jar to save if you don’t curse. Here, instead of putting money into the jar whenever you say a bad word, you put money into the jar at regular intervals that you’ve set, or whenever you think about your saving goals.

You will enjoy this swear jar system if you constantly have recurring thoughts of your saving goals but do nothing about it. The swear jar rule pushes you to act.

Of course, it’s easy to give up and decide not to save anymore, but you will make significant growth if you commit to your saving goals.

There are different types of swear jars and you can use them to save money whenever you say a bad word or use it to keep track of how many times you say something bad. For each type of swear jar, give yourself a deadline for cashing out. This could be at the end of the week, month, or year.

One way to inspire kids to follow the swear jar rule is by giving them additional incentives whenever they don’t swear. That means having a second swear jar which you will use to reward them if they go an entire day or week without swearing.

How does a swear jar work?

A swear jar is as simple as it is. It helps you stop cussing by taking from your income whenever you cuss. For instance, if you choose to put $1 to the swear box whenever you cuss, you will find a way to stop cussing because it’s no joke to lose $1 every time. What if you cuss 10 times or more in a day?

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Swear jar rules

There are not many fixed rules for swear jars, so you have the privilege to set one that’s most suitable for you or your child. To set the most suitable rules for you, consider what you’re trying to achieve, or what you want your child to achieve.

Your swear jar rules should fit your personality, habit, and the goals you’re trying to achieve. For instance, if you swear less often and want to save a higher amount, you can make your fine for the swear jar more tangible, like up to $5 or $10. That way, you know you won’t be saving more frequently.

Nonetheless, some fixed swear jar rules that apply to everyone are:

  1. Set your goals

Your goals are the reason you want to use a swear jar. Do you want to use this box to save, teach your teenagers manners, or do you want to stop swearing yourself? Most adults use swear jar as a method of savings.

When using a swear jar to teach manners to kids, set small goals that they can reach daily. For instance, you can reward your child by letting them take money from the swear jar for extra treats like candies or chips on the days when they don’t swear.

Understand that cussing is a habit, and it will take time to break free. So be kind to yourself or your child.

  1. List your swear words

There are many swear words in English.  Some of the commonest swear words people use are f*ck, f*ck off, bloody hell, bugger of, etc. But you can’t just set penalties for every swear word on earth, especially the ones you don’t use. Identify the commonest ones for you or your child so that people can hold you accountable for them.

  1. Choose the penalty

The goal behind your swear jar rule would determine how much you choose as a penalty. You drop this penalty fee into your box whenever you say the word or speak negatively, depending on your choice.

Swear jar penalties are between one, $5, $10, $20, $50, or $100. Your kids can save cents. 

If your goal is to save with a swear jar, then adding $1 or $10 to your sweat jar may not give you the final amount you want to get. Also, contributing more tangible sums to your swear jar costs you pain especially when you want to stop swearing. This pain will make you give up on the habit.

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  1. Set clear expectations

If you are helping a teen to stop swearing, let them know what your stand on swearing is from the beginning. If you won’t tolerate swear words, tell them from the beginning. It works best that way.

After telling them what to expect, allow them to process this thought for some time to see what they make out of it. If an honest dialogue doesn’t work, then create some consequences.

  1. Stick to the penalty

It is one thing to start using this box and another thing to give up on the way. There will be times when you will feel like giving less than the amount you fixed as a penalty when there is no one watching. But sticking to the penalty gives the best result.

  1. Make plans for the money

Planning on what you intend to use the money you swear jar for will keep you going. Make it an important item and have a deadline for it. So that plan will push you to drop that dollar bill into the box against all odds. 

Swear jar alternatives

Don’t want to use a swear jar? No problem. Try the following alternatives:

Virtual swear jars

It will be difficult carrying your swear jar around. That is why you need a visual swear jar to keep track of how many times you have sworn. They work just like the physical ones. They are available for android and iOS.

  1. Swear Jar Pro on iOS

This app is so easy to use. You only open the app and tap the “drop coin” tab to save every time you swear. it will accumulate as “swear debt” which you will pay at the end of the day. You’ll keep adding your coins until you’re ready to empty the jar. Then you will use the “reset button” to go back to $0.00.

You can use this swear jar with your family to keep track of how frequent they are swearing. Text them how much they are owing when their swear debt goes up.

  1. The Swear Jar App for Android

You cannot use this swear jar to save money, but it is as effective as the Swear Jar Pro. You will customize this app to detect when you say a bad word and it slowly destroys your wallpaper for each bad word you say.

Swear jar printables

Another fun way to stop cussing is by using swear jar printables. Though this is not a jar, it’s a regular printable that you will mark every time you cuss. It will help you keep track of how frequent you’re cussing and how much your efforts to stop cussing are working.

Swear jar idea for the office

If the problem of swearing extends from your home and kids to the office and coworkers, you can team up and get a swear jar. The management can initiate a cool swear jar idea where everyone drops an incentive whenever they say a trash word. At the end of the day, the management will decide what to do with this money, whether to give it out to the charity or do something for the staff.

Another swear jar idea you could do is by teaming with someone in the office. You will be accountable to these colleagues and drop your penalty into a sweat jar whenever you swear. It works just like the home swear jar.

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Swear jar, no money? This is what to do

If cussing is not a problem for you or your kids, it can be difficult to get enough money into this swear jar. In that case, then you should find something else to help you save besides swearing.

You can use the meanness jar.

Children frequently act mean towards their parents and siblings, and you can use this to teach them how to act more kindly.

They’ll drop the accepted penalty into the meanness jar whenever they act mean.

You can use the same jar as the swear jar, only change the label. You can also change it from meanness to any habit that you want to cut off from your home.

What if I don’t want my kids to use a swear jar?

A swear jar is not the only way to stop your kids from cussing. You can choose to tell them directly that what they said it’s bad. For instance, when your child says a bad word, look straight into the eyes and say “that language is unacceptable.” 

If you had previously discussed the consequences of bad language with your kids, implement it immediately. 

However, a swear jar will also help your kids learn how to save while dropping the bad words.

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Does a swear jar work?

The swear jar works. It all depends on how much effort you put into it. It can help you save and cut off the angry words all at once.

People who get angry frequently will find swear jars very effective for managing anger. After losing some money to the swear jar, you’ll find ways to limit how many outbursts you have because you know this wager will hang over you.

Should 14-year-olds swear?

Swearing means different things to kids of different ages. For instance, a 5-year-old will only be repeating words they heard from you or others while older kids would swear to test your reaction. But the best answer to this question depends on your family values. 

When should I stop cussing in front of a baby?

The best time to stop cussing in front of a baby is when they haven’t started forming words. Your child will start to repeat every swear word you say in front of them, when they are up to a year old.

Psychology Today clearly states that swearing can be a form of harassment and verbal abuse. Children see it as a substitute for physical aggression. Hence, it can be potentially harmful to your child. 


It is a good idea to stop cussing. and if your child is doing it too, it’s high time they stopped it. A swear jar can help you do this. Plus, you will be grateful for the amount saved.

If a physical swear jar won’t work, try the virtual ones or swear jar printables. But remember that a person can only stop swearing when they set their hearts to it. Swear jar or no swear jar, getting off a bad habit starts from within. 

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