Ways to Save Money #1: Save Your Coins
A short time ago, I wrote a review of an eBook called “Save to Quit“. Along with the book, you get another eBook titled “500 Ways to Save Money” that gives general saving ideas as well as ideas across a number of categories. I’ll be writing a series highlighting the money-saving ideas, one at a time. Note that I don’t get any referral income for these articles. Check out the rest of the Ways to Save Money Series here.
Just recently, I asked why anyone would pick up discarded pennies. For me, I just don’t see the value in picking up loose change unless it’s silver in color. Even then, I’ll think twice about grabbing a nickel off a dirty street or diner floor. I know, I know, every coin probably passes through the intestinal tract of some wild animal at some point in time, but it’s just the idea of picking up something I can see is dirty that gives me the creeps.
But the first way to save in this series is saving all your coins in some container. For us, even though we don’t spend much cash, we do keep all our change in either a small can, or in our swear jar (if I’m bad). We then use that change for tolls (but we now use an E-ZPass)
For our debit card purchases, we’re enrolled in Bank of America’s Keep the Change program (not an affiliate link). Basically, with the program, when you swipe your debt card for a purchase of $4.01, BoA charges you $5 and places the 99 cents in change into your savings account automatically. You still see the charge of $4.01 in your account, but all the rounding and transferring is done behind the scenes for you.
Also, if you sign up with the program, you’ll get a 100% match for the first 3 months. After that, it’s a 5% match per year. However, you have to wait a full year to get your match in a lump sum, and you’ll have to pay taxes on it as “interest income”, but hey, it’s “free money” if you think about it that way. I think we got about $50 match for the first year.
And of course, you can put all that dirty, nasty change you found in the men’s urinal into your change jar, and then take it into many banks that may or may not charge you a fee to convert it into dollar bills. Personally, I just use Coinstar because it’s very convenient. I’ll pay the fee once per year when we cash in the coins.
So even in this digital age where coins are slowly becoming irrelevant, we still have methods of saving our “change” and even earning a little bit more while we’re at it. And if you participate in the cash economy, then please don’t throw away your coins! Keep them in a jar, or at least give them to me! (but wash them first please. I don’t know where your hands have been).
See the rest of the Ways to Save Money Series here.