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Penny Jars: From Loose Change to Big Money
Do you spend all your change or do you save it? Some people think that saving their change is a waste of time and would rather spend it. I, however, think that saving my change is a great way to save some extra cash. It really does add up quickly if you make a point to never spend it.
The first thing you need is a jar (or a few jars) and your loose change from the end of the day. Each night put your coins into the jar or jars. Some people save each type of coin separately, with each jar designated for a different purpose. I just dump it all in together. Some days I don't have any to put in, but that is OK, because it means I haven't spent any money (usually), which is always a good thing, right? Some days I have a couple of dollars to put in. It varies from day to day, but it does grow.
I just rolled my coin a couple of weeks ago for the first time in two months. I had $47 and some change. I immediately deposited this into my savings account where I have a separate section for a beach vacation I have been dreaming of. We do not have the extra money in our budget to pay for a beach vacation, but saving my change has allowed me to do just that. It has not been difficult to do at all, I do not ever miss it and I now have around $250 towards my vacation, all in about a year.
If you need motivation towards a goal, tape of picture of it on the jar. Every time you look at it, you will be encouraged to save your change for that item. Maybe you want to use it each month to pay extra towards your debt, or maybe you are wanting a new pair of shoes, or a date night with your spouse - whatever it is that you never seem to have the money for - this is a great way to start working towards that goal.
Maybe you want to invest that money. For awhile we saved all our change in my son's piggy bank and always deposited it into his savings. There are many savings calculators out there that can help you see exactly how your savings will grow, if you are really wanting to just save the money. On this one, I input information that I was saving $35 a month, starting with zero, for 30 years (when we are looking to retire) and at a rate of return of 7%. According to this site I will have $16,481 in savings. Saving my change each month can really add up!
Some people take it a step further and save all change as well as all one dollar bills. This could be a much greater amount of money by the end of the month. Other people I know save $1 each day for the whole year and then at the end of the year do something special with it. Maybe it would help cover the high cost of heating your home during the winter, maybe it will help pay for Christmas gifts with cash, or maybe you can buy yourself a Christmas gift. Or better yet, save it and see how it will add up in the long run.
There are many ways to save your change and even dollars. Getting creative with how you save those small amounts can be fun, challenging, and very rewarding. Think about it - do you really want to lug all that change around all the time? Do you really want to stand at the checkout and count out pennies while everyone behind you gets impatient? It is easier to just take it home and dump it in a jar - and a very easy way to save big money.