Friday, February 2, 2018

Saving Money By Keeping a Change Jar

In this tough economy, many are looking for ways to be more economical or save money in a manageable way. While many of us only use credit or debit cards to make purchases, there are still some people who prefer to use cash. If you are one of these people who prefer to pay cash, you probably end up with a lot of unwanted pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in your pockets or purses. So, my suggestion and money-saving tip is to save this change. It will add up more than you think over time.

All through college, I worked in a restaurant, which means I always had cash and plenty of change. Using a large plastic pretzel jar that I converted into a change collector, I would save coins for a few months. Once the container was a couple inches full of change, I would take it to a coin sorter. These machines can be found in Meijer and many other large grocery store chains. The coin sorter was great at first because it quickly counts the change, which can be a tedious process, however, I noticed that it was taking $.09 per dollar. While $.09 per dollar does not sound like a lot, if you do that math, it adds up. So, my solution was to instead roll the change myself.

Rolling the change took a while, maybe an hour or so when the large container I had was a couple inches full, but that amount of change was usually $100-$150. Change really can add up fast.

Once I realized how much I could save up by just collecting change, I started to use this jar as a money-saving device. It started with the holidays. Every year about six months prior to Christmas In addition to saving change, I would also save $5 per shift I worked at the restaurant in order to have money for gifts. I would work on average about five shifts per week, which meat $25 per week or $100 per month on top of my savings in change. This was always more than enough money for gifts and would help with traveling expenses, like gas, during the holiday season. I even later used this technique of saving money to equate enough funds for a mini vacation.

So, how can you make this method of money-saving work for you? I suggest starting by finding a jar or other container that you will use to save any coins. You will want something at least the size of a larger 24-ounce Ball jar, for example. Even if you more commonly pay using a credit or debit card, there will still be occasions where you will use cash, which means you will end up with some change. Be sure to put all coins you have into the jar. When you are making purchases, refrain from paying in exact change. Think of breaking a dollar as an opportunity to add more to your savings. When your container is full, or if it is a very large jar like mine, mostly full, rather than taking it to a coin sorter that will take money out per dollar, dump out all your change, sort it and roll it. Then, take it to your bank and deposit it in your checking or savings account. You will be surprised just how much money you can accumulate just by saving your pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

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