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Saving Change

May 3rd, 2007 at 10:43 am

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.

6 Responses to “Saving Change”

  1. carol Says:

    Ziplock bags are good, and another idea I have used
    in the past is those empty prescription bottles, or
    any small empty bottle(labeled with what type coins
    are in each bottle. That's worked well for me in the

  2. Carolina Bound Says:

    I like to use up change by feeding it into those self-checkout kiosks. Of course it has to be at a time when there are not people waiting in line behind you. The machine doesn't look at you funny, it just counts up the change!

  3. LdyFaile Says:

    My bank (Wells Fargo) doesn't charge to count the change for me. So until it does, I'll continue to collect it. Although, I do need change for laundry but not much ($0.35 to wash and $0.25 to dry) so I have another reason to collect it. I've started paying for gas with cash and in Oregon you can't pump your own so when I know I'm going to be getting gas I pull out three quarters, two dimes, one nickel, and four pennies to put in my ash tray. Most of the gas stations I visit you pay the pump attendant and they tend to top off because they don't want to deal with having to give back change so I like to make sure I have enough change that they just have to give me bills. Any change amount is covered that way. Plus it's handy to have some change in the car in case I need to feed a meter. I'm saving up all my change this year and going to see what it amounts to. Although I must admit, it's been pretty slow going.

  4. daylily Says:

    My bank does not charge me to redeem my coins. In fact, I just took the coins in yesterday. It was around $57 and it went straight into the money market account.
    I'd shop around and find a bank that will accept your coins.

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I don't accumulate change, but spend it as I go. Some change is handed over nearly every time I make a purchase. I don't think that affects how much I am able to save.

  6. Nic Says:

    Like Joan, I too use the coins for purchases so it doesn't tend to grow into a large amount in my $$$jar. The clerks at the Dollar store here appreciate it since they tend to run out of coins.

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