When did I start saving my change? I don’t know, probably sometime in my teen years. (As a kid I spent it all, once I’d saved up enough!)
For years it just accumulated, since I didn’t feel there was enough to have changed at Coinstar and I couldn’t think of anything to do with it in the interim. Once I married Micah, however, I began to learn all the things one could do with a coin jar (we combined our collections).
Things to do with your saved change:
1. Buy stamps.
Are they still $.41? (Micah buys them all.) If we need a stamp or two, we just dig into the coin jar. Stamps are particularly cool because they’re in odd numbers and help us use our pennies.
2. Pay library fines.
(It’s embarrassing, but I get them sometimes.) $.15 per day per adult book. If it’s just a book or two, using change is much easier than paying with a dollar bill. You don’t have to deal with the new change. And you really can’t write a check for $.15.
3. Pay small tolls.
Have you ever been on a trip where you periodically encounter $.25 or $.35 tolls? Not cool. If you know in advance, though, you can bring along a fair amount of change. Or bring a handful along and use it to pay odd numbered tolls (like when you’re on a turnpike and have to pay $1.65).
4. Vending machines.
I almost never buy from them, but sometimes I know I’m going to be in a situation where I can’t bring food and might need a snack.
DC Metrobuses accept SmarTrip cards, but sometimes you sit on them and have to buy a new one. Having change can help you ride the bus in the meantime. And if you want to use up a bunch of spare change, take it down to the metro station and add it to your SmarTrip card (though I don’t know if it takes pennies).
6. Cash ‘em in.
CoinStar is pretty cool. Sure, it takes a portion (does anyone know of a type that doesn’t?) but it makes your money much more accessible. We’ll probably do this at some point with our pennies…which are harder to get rid of.
Plus: This gives us a reason to save our change or pickup change that’s lying around. It saves us a bit of money which we might have misplaced or ignored if we didn’t
From around the blogosphere:
SVB posted about a zillion cool piggy banks. I think a coin jar works better for my purposes (easier to get them out) but these are too cool to pass up.
(honestly, I couldn’t find other posts about coins/coin jars…if you have one you’d like included, please e-mail me or comment about it!!)
photo by me! (of our coin jar)