- Personal Finance
How to Collect Your Spare Change for Extra Money
Spare Change Jar
What is Spare Change?
Spare change isn't extra money. It's always been your money. What you do with it depends on what it is used for. Spare change is something you can save to do something constructive with or to use on something more frivolous.
Learning how to save this extra change is important to using it in the future. You may have no idea how much spare change you may lose in carrying it around with you to fritter away. Collecting spare change can be a hard task, since it takes a long time to collect enough to be really worth something. This article covers how to do it successfully.
Do you collect your spare change?
Lots of Change
Places to Collect Change
Washer and Dryer
Pockets in Clothing
How to Collect Spare Change
There are a variety of ways to collect your spare change. Once you buy something using cash, the change is returned to you. The bills will be useful in other transactions, but the spare change will just be loose in your pockets or purse. Soon you will just forget about your spare change and it will become lost. Below are some tips on how to collect your spare change:
- Put your change in a safe place. Always stick your change in the same pocket each time, a coin purse in your purse, etc. If you put it in the same place each and every time, you will know where it is.
- Look at the ground for spare change. This is a way to find change that isn't your own. Times are tough, and every penny makes a difference. If you see coins on the ground, pick them up. Sometimes you may be lucky and find some bills as well!
- Don't use cash unless you have to. You should not purposely use cash just to get more change. This may cause you to spend even more money, making the spare change you are collecting worthless.
- Avoid machines that use change. Snack machines, soda machines, pay phones, etc. should be avoided if you are carrying spare change on you. That will only waste your change on something you probably don't need.
- Roll over your change on debit card transactions to a savings account. Some banks give the option to roll over the change you would have received from transactions to a savings account. For example, if a transaction is $9.27, $0.73 would roll to your savings. This won't be a physical way to save change, but will still help you save some extra money. In a way, it's a virtual way to save change.
- Keep change jars in a variety of places. For example, I have a change jar at work and at a home. Once I fill up the change jar at work, I take it home to combine it with the change I have there.
Tucked Away Coin Jar
Larger Coin Jar
Coins in the Larger Coin Jar
Containers for Spare Change
Choosing a container for your spare change can be the biggest decision when deciding to store your change for some extra cash. The following steps should be followed when deciding what container to choose:
- Start off picking a small container. You don't want to start out with a large 5-gallon container that water is normally held in. Start out with a small jar. This will be an easily obtainable goal. You will see your change quickly grow in that container.
- Place the container out of the way. You don't want to get the urge to dig into your change jar anytime you need some change. Instead, tuck it out of the way someplace where you won't see it often, but know it's there to put your change away. I have mine in a cabinet in my breakfast nook. I know it's there when I bring change home, but I don't see it otherwise.
- Move on to a larger container. Once you fill up your small container, then you can move on to a larger container. As the photos to the right show, I filled up a small jar with my spare change. Quite an accomplishment. I then emptied my change into a larger container. Now I have a new goal in filling up that jar full of change. Continue to do this until you are satisfied with the amount of change you have saved up for the thing you need or want.
- Get a piggy bank. Or something else to store the money in. In most cases this hides the money from your view. Make it something that motivates you to save your spare change.
How much spare change have you gathered at one time?
Spending Your Spare Change
Once you have decided you have enough change to spend on whatever you want, it's time to prepare it. You have a few options for that:
- Roll it up. Obtain some coin rolls and roll up your change to turn in to your bank. Most banks require that you put an address label on each roll just in case there isn't the right change inside of the roll. Also, banks can also give you free coin rollers so you won't have to buy any yourself.
- Coinstar. This is a kiosk which you can count your money in a fast and easy way. No need to roll up your coins or to go to a bank. However, they do take a percentage out if you take it as cash. If the spare change is taken as a gift certificate or gift card, then the fee is usually waived.
- Take it to Vegas! If you take a trip to Las Vegas, you can cash your change in there free of charge. Casinos that don't use change may not have the machine to do it, but some of the older casinos do.
So what do you do with your spare change? How do you save it up? Share your thoughts in the comments below!