Take A Vacation On Your Spare Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, And Quarters.
"A penny saved is a penny earned," so goes the old adage. If this is the case, than why do so many of us discard our spare change as if it's absolutely worthless?
Take for instance what took place in Massachusetts in 1996.
Due to a shortage of pennies, banks were experiencing a massive shortage to the point that the Key Bank of New York offered 55 cents to anyone who brought in 50 pennies.
Though this may not have seemed to amount to much, in "Massachusetts (alone), one large garbage treatment center was reported to have collected $1,000 every day in small change - mostly pennies - by (simply) sifting through the ashes," so reported The Sunday Times of London.
This really makes you stop and think about where all that spare change we individually discard goes.
With money as tight as it has been, isn't there a better way we can make that spare change work for us?
* Get A Piggy Bank, Make A Vow, And Watch The Savings Pour In.
I've heard several stories where individuals have taken vacations funded by their spare change.
These weren't vacations of the substandard kind either. These were the type of vacations you'd easily give a four or five star rating to.
Curious to see for myself if this could be done, about a year ago at the very start of that year, my husband and I sat aside an industrial water jug, and vowed to put every bit of loose change we came home with in the jug - which was to be left untouched.
Anytime we'd break a bill, we'd put the change in the jar. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, it all went in that jar. Occasionally a dollar bill or two would get thrown in for good measure, but over 97% of the spare change that went in that jar was coins.
In addition to putting money away in our industrial water jar bank, at the beginning of that very year, we signed up for the "keep the change" program at our local Bank Of America.
This program helped us save an substantial amount of money - just electronically.
Each time we purchased something with our Bank of America Check Card, they would round up our purchase to the nearest dollar amount and transfer the difference from our checking account to our savings account.
* Break Out The Piggy Bank, And Let's Go On Vacation!
Well, the time had come to break out the piggy bank, wrap the coins, take them to the bank to exchange them for bills, and relish in our yearly savings.
How much did we save? - Astonishingly enough, in just a years time, we had saved over $700 in our makeshift bank, and a little over $350 with the "save the change" program, for a total savings of $1,050!
Now it was vacation time!
Our destination? - Orlando, Florida - with two toddlers in tow.
Since we vacationed during the summer, things were a little more costly than if we had gone during the off season. Nevertheless, here's how we spent our money:
- Approximately $500 went to our five day, six night hotel stay.
- $150 went to activities such as movies, museums, and other attractions.
- Close to $300 was used for eating out - breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- The remaining $50 for miscellaneous items such as snacks on the road, souvenirs, etc.
With all the major expenses taken care of, the only out-of-pocket cost we had to worry about, was about $140 used for keeping gas in the car.
Looking back, I'm pretty positive we could have made that money stretch a little further, but all in all, I think we were pretty successful.
* If We Can Do It, You Can Do It Too.
If a one income household can fund their family vacation on spare change, than anyone can do it.
As astonished as I we were at just how much we had saved, we were that much more surprised when we saw first hand, what our spare change could truly accomplish.
Think about it. With all that spare change just laying around, you could open up a savings account, catch up on outstanding debts, purchase groceries, even set up a trust fund. The possibilities are truly endless.
So the next time you think about dismissing that penny, nickel, dime, or quarter, stop and reflect on all the great things you can accomplish with all that wonderful spare change.
Who knows? You just may be able to take that much needed vacation - all funded by your spare pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters..
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