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Penny Jars: From Loose Change to Big Money

Updated on March 27, 2007

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.


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    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 

      6 years ago from Cardiff

      My parents have always had 2 massive coin bottles in their bedroom for as long as I can remember. they were given to us by a friend who ran a pub, their 2 foot tall whiskey bottles. My mum saves 5p's in one and coppers in the other. She usually lets them accumilate for 2/3 years then uses the money for a big home improvement or holiday. When we were younger she waited until they were completely full and then we counted it all up and bagged it to take to the bank, she had close to £900 if I remember rightly and we went to Disney land. it is such a simple way to save the extra pennies, and since having my own home we have always saved our changed, then everey few months treated ourselves to a nice dinner or put it towards our home items. When I worked as a barmaid, I would collect all the lose change off the floor at the end of teh night, other staff though i was mad but after a week I could make anywhere from £5 to £15 just from other people dropping money! It really does add up

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't ever roll up all my change at once. I've got a good stash going. I find that looking at a big jar FULL of change helps me not spend it. I don't like to count it very often (time consuming) and you don't see the big savings from the last number you counted. I throw about 10 to 15 dollar bills in there each month and sometimes will ask for 10 dollars worth of the $1 coins so I can throw those in there too but not very often.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I to am an avid loose change collector . I never spend the change ND NOW HAVE ABOUT $6000 IN 2 5 gallon plastic water jugs. Iam 54 single ans now have my third jud abut half full. I will never cash it in and always use cash preiod.Glad to see im not alone

    • jacobsterling profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      I have these penny jars!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great idea! I just started this two days ago and already I can tell it's adding up. I don't just do the spare change I have in my pocket at the end of the day. I put any $5 bills and loonies I have straight into the jar and then I also put and spare change ( dimes, nickles, pennies, and quarters) in at the end of the day and it works amazing!

    • profile image

      Michael Roque 

      8 years ago

      This past year, I proposed to my girlfriend and I'm using loose change as a way to put in money towards our wedding fund. I'm already committing my first jarful to my personal savings account, ING, which I will use in case of emergencies.

    • Seen On TV profile image

      Seen On TV 

      8 years ago

      I love saving my change and for some reason I love to look at the dates to find the coins with real silver or nickel in them. Anything 1964 and earlier. But, even though I find quite a few, I never know what happens to them. I put them aside and they seem to vanish.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I started saving change over the summer. In fact, I refuse to spend it. This has proved to be an excellent way to save. About once a week I separate the change, count it and then place it in a different container by pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Every time I add more change I write down the amount and add to what was previously in the container. This makes it so much easier when counting. I know eventually I'll have to roll it. I was joking with my son and told him I'm saving until I get a a wheelbarrow full. Many years ago I saw a couple rolling their wheelbarrow full of change to the bank...they were making a down payment on a house. It pays to save change!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      each month i used to cash in my change and it was from 50 to 100 dollars but around march i decided to let it add up for x mas plus when i have a xtra 10 or 20 i turn it to change and know its realy addin up!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Saving change for a trip to Jamaica. Have about 1 1/2 years to go. drop in bills from time to time. Had hubby pain bottle black so neither of us can see what's in there. So far so good. Wonderful way to save extra cash.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I read a book called "Small Change" by Belinda Yandell. It tells about the great works of charity a lady did with the change her husband left lying around.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      All very good ideas. Once when I tidied up a car to sell, I found $40.00 in change in the glove box I'd forgotten I'd accumulated.

    • blessedmommy profile image

      Carisa Gourley 

      11 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      This is something that we do in our home too.  We have saved for various reasons through the years.  I have been saving dollars too so I'm anxious to see how that adds up.  Great hub!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Some good ideas here. I usually separate out my quarters (for work) and dump everything else in a sack at day's end. That loose change has bailed me out a time or two, and it makes a nice addition to the ol' savings account.

      Another possibility is using one of those change machines I sometimes see at grocery stores. Dump the sackful of change in, get a voucher, and use it toward grocery shopping. Sure, you pay for the convenience -- the machine keeps about six percent as a service charge, but for me it's like getting a week's worth of free groceries.


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