Things You Can Do With Loose Change
Kid Finances 101
In our present economy, change has taken on a new dimension. No, not the stuff of political campaign speeches, but the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters that rattles around in our pants pockets and the bottoms of our purses. Nowadays we only care about the green stuff, we have forgotten how those little, round metal pieces can add up.
If you grew up with everything you ever wanted, you probably will not appreciate this article. However, if you were a kid that had to have a paper route, rake leaves, and clean the house for extra money you'll understand what I'm talking about.
When I was a kid, I knew my parents could afford whatever I wanted, but my dad made me work for things that were 'wants' as opposed to 'needs'. I had to be creative. I knew that Dad always carried a lot of change in his pants pockets. He had also taught me that pennies add up. Never being a snob about monetary denominations, I knew enough pennies would still get me what I wanted. Dad had his favorite reclining chair in the den where he would go after a long day at work. I discovered that when he reclined all the way in the chair, the change would fall from his pocket onto the carpet under the chair. What a deal! After that, I always made sure Dad relaxed. Did he realize I was doing this? Dad was a smart man. I'm sure he realized he had empty pockets when he took his clothes off, but he never said anything. He never stopped sitting in the chair and reclining-all the way back either. I can't believe how much that loose change added to my allowance.
My kids are just as resourceful. They learned early on that change worked just as well as dollars. They also knew their dad was a tightwad, yet saw no value in loose change. In fact, he saw it as a pain-in-the-neck. Instead of asking him for money, they always asked if they could have his change; smart kids.
Whenever I see a penny on the sidewalk, or in the parking lot, or on a floor, I always pick it up. I call them "pennies from heaven". They have come in handy over the years. Like at the check stand when someone needs a penny to finish their purchase, or my child is twelve cents short of their bus fare -- little things, but important things. Pennies add up very quickly, and two rolls of pennies equal a dollar.
As A Fundraiser
I know, you are wondering what kind of fundraiser you could have that involves loose change. Stop looking at me like that; I'm serious. Let me give you some examples:
Set aside one month (or any other length of time) to receive a "Change Offering". For the entire week have the congregation -- kids too -- collect all of their loose change. Then on Sunday bring it to church and give it during the special offering. Do this each week for a month. You will be amazed at the amount of money you will receive, and it has not added a burden to your members. A great time to have this kind of offering is in conjunction with raising money for your building fund. Another is to use it to raise money for scholarships to youth camp.
Can you imagine how much money you would be able to raise with all of the kids and their families saving their loose change? You could probably do away with having the students going door to door, or bugging family and friends to buy the same cookie dough and magazine subscriptions every other child is selling. Not to mention the meager percentage the company gives you to sell their product. This way 100% of the money is yours. There is less stress all around -- teachers, kids and parents.
Would you like to be able to enjoy yourself on vacation and not have to worry about every penny? Get a huge jar and have everyone in the family put his or her loose change in it for a year. Use the money to help with the cost of your next summer vacation. It may even help you upgrade your travel, or hotel.
Everyone always seems to overspend during the holidays. If you start saving your loose change on January 1 and save all year, you can pretty much put away your credit card over the holidays, and you will enjoy them so much more. Think of all those day after Christmas sales!
Your extra change can go a long way in buying someone a meal. How often have you said you would be willing to help those in need if you just had some extra money? You don't have to try to feed a multitude. Just one person will help. Just think what would happen if each of us who could feed just one person. Use your change to buy a little extra food when you grocery shop, or buy an extra dinner when you go out.
You didn't have to go into your wallet, it was just your loose change. You do reap what you sow. Most people always associate this Bible verse with money. However, it is quite literal. If you sow kindness, you reap kindness. If you sow compassion, you reap compassion. If you sow love, you reap love. These things are of much greater value than the little bit of change you spent, and there will come a day when you will need these things to come back to you.
Do It Yourself
I know that wrapping your own coins can be boring. You can use Coin Star, but remember, they charge a 9.8% fee to count your money. That money could be in your pocket. They make their money on human laziness. If you are a group or organization, this is especially important. The fee could add up to many dollars. You can just round everyone up and make a party out of wrapping all the coins.
Whatever you decide to do, this is a great way to collect and save a sizable amount of money without hassling family and friends, depleting your bank account, or putting yourself under a lot of financial stress. Try it. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- Penny Jars: From Loose Change to Big Money
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