Spare Change, It’s Still Money

This isn’t exactly a new savings trick, but a quick and easy way to start some extra savings is with your spare change. We all have this stuff floating in our couch cushions, or maybe in a neat pile on the dresser.

A great way to force some savings on yourself is to take all of the change in your pockets at the end of each day, and put it in a jar. When the jar is full, roll the coins and take them to the bank to deposit into your savings.

Many people save coins and take them to a Coinstar, but I recommend against this. Coinstar charges a fee for the convenience of you not needing to roll coins. The whole point of this exercise is the save money, so giving it away for a task you can easily do kind of defeats the point!

I’ve heard Coinstars also have an option of gift cards these days, but that’s even worse because you’ve now dedicated your savings to spending!

If you have children, this task can become a fun learning exercise. Have them guess the amount of change in the jar, and then let them help you roll all the coins so you can figure out how much was in there.

Counting out change for rolls teaches thrift and math early in life and gives an appreciation for how small sums add into large ones. You may even want to make your spare change into a savings account for your children.