"Change we can believe in." I believe in change just as much as Barack Obama or the American people. However, I believe more in monetary currency change rather than a revolution of governmental change. The pennies, the nickels, the dimes, the quarters, the half-dollars, the Sacajawea dollar coins that were given to me in middle school. This is the change I believe in.
Collecting and saving up coins and loose change is a great way to have extra spending money after a while of saving. Many people take coin currency and loose change for granted, and no I don't mean Loose Change the 9/11 criticism films either. Okay, enough unwarranted political banter.
I've seen people throw change away (literally), or drop it without a care in the world, or other unwise actions taken towards change. It's a shame, because change and coins can really add up big after a while. You can save hundreds of dollars just by saving the spare change you accumulate and find.
I liken it to this sometimes: I am an expeditor on ChaCha.com and make 2 cents a question. Yes. 2 pennies a question. For most people, this garners much laughter to my face saying how I'm essentially working for LESS than peanuts. Sure, it's not a full time job, but when you consistently answer questions, those 2 cents add up to a dollar, to 10 dollars, to 100 dollars. I typically make around $200 of extra money a month using ChaCha. 2 cents a question isn't all that bad in a perspective such as this.
Here's how to maximize your potential change savings:
The benefits are much more visual when you use cash for purposes considering you get change back from purchases. You will already be saving all of your change leftover from purchases if you use debit cards or checks.
Start off by finding a collection jar. You can use a pretzel jar, sauce jar, mason jar, sock, ANYTHING that you want your change to be held in.
- When purchasing an item or good with tangible cash, keep your eyes on the change you get back. Put the change into your pocket and immediately put it in your cash jar when you arrive home to it.
- Check your clothing washer and dryer (if you use one) for loose change that may have been unaccounted for. Additionally, before washing, make sure you clear out your pockets of any change that may have accumulated throughout the day. Note: Drying clothes in dryers wastes money.
- Check under the cushions of your couch, in the cracks, and under the couch as well for fallen loose change. Coins will often fall out of your pants pockets as you sit on the couch. If you cushions are pinned to the couch, check between the cracks for loose coins and spare change.
- If you own a purse, dig through its contents. I'm sure you will find some scattered change and coins floating around the space.
- Check every inch of your car's interior for coins and loose change. I can't tell you how often I found coins under the seats or between the seats.
- Check in cabinets and drawers for coins and change. Especially if you keep a drawer specifically for junk and other less important but still retained items around the house. Almost anything winds up in a junk drawer so it's not hard to believe that change will either.
- Check in storage boxes and other compartments in your basement or alternative storage area. I cleaned out a box and found $1.86 in spare change. It really adds up!
- Check soda machines and vending machines in public. Sometimes people don't take their change from the machines, and even more rare, sometimes when you press the change release button, you will get change. I did this once at a vending machine and it dispensed $1 in quarters to me.
- Check the floors for coins and change at any restaurant or coffee shop you may visit. Coffee shops are a good place for this since many people are often in a hurry and may be more quick to forget, drop, or lose their change. I've picked up more than 3 dollars in a few days at a local Starbucks. Retail stores also have their fair share of dropped change as well as mall parking lots.
- Scour the ground as you are out and about especially if you live in a larger town or city. You are bound to find some change on the ground, whether it's in plain sight or in the cracks of the pavement.
- Check for loose coins and change outside of kiosks and especially drive-thru windows at fast food restaurants. People have a tendency to drop their change when its handed back to them and often many won't care about picking it back up.
- If you live near a boardwalk or are vacationing in a town with one be alert of the thousands of tourists who are dropping their change.
- Visit arcades. Arcades run off of the input of quarters and many people will drop their quarters and other change without noticing. Get in their and scoop it up!
Those before us had a very perceptive outlook on the future. It's almost as if they gave us all of the knowledge and information we would ever need as a society even today. "A penny saved is a penny earned" - mouthed by the brilliant Benjamin Franklin understood the importance of saving your change. Do you?
If you're looking to cash in these coins check out a related post on how to cash in coins.