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Archive for May, 2007

Saving Change

May 3rd, 2007 at 05:43 pm

Some time ago, I read an article by Jeffrey Strain entitled "The Money Jar Trap", which appeared in an issue of the Dollar Stretcher e-zine. The article is at http://www.stretcher.com/stories/06/06apr17b.cfm. The article suggests that saving pocket change in a jar and then regularly depositing the money into a savings account may actually cost you money, since many banks and machines at grocery stores now charge for counting and taking the change. Instead, he suggests in the article, it's better to save not the coins, but the dollar bills you receive in change. I took to this idea with great enthusiasm, and have been saving most of the dollar bills I receive in change for cash purchases. I recently noted a savings tip from somewhere out on the Internet that suggested saving $5 bills whenever you get them in change. I like both ideas, and it's certainly easier to deposit the funds into savings when the jar gets full (or in my case, to dip into the dollar jar for a very special occasion).

I'm still left with the puzzlement of what to do with the coins. It takes so long to count out exact change when I buy something that I usually take the change rather than hold up a line by fishing for pennies, nickels and dimes. I also keep a eye out for older coins (dad was a lifelong coin collector and I still have the habit of watching for the older ones), so it takes a while to verify that the coins you're carrying around are OK to spend. I am thinking of using very small ziploc bags (found at craft stores) to sort a standard amount of change that I can have ready to put in my purse when I leave the house, but otherwise, I find myself throwing the coins into a coin jar after all because I don't have the time to go through them.