Save Your Change - it adds up
One very basic way of saving money is to save your change. As we make cash transactions, invariably there is change made in the form of coins. Pop these into a jar, and you'll have done something useful with coins that otherwise can get in the way.
If you think about it, it's an approach that is much like the bank account schemes of the past where computer programs were written to round off odd deposit amounts and place them into a separate account.
After many months and hundreds of thousands of transactions, those few cents here and there added up to tens of thousands of dollars for the thieves - right up until the time they got caught.
This way isn't quite as lucrative, but it's legal and easy to do.
The way I do it is to simply establish four gallon glass jugs - one for quarters, one for nickels, one for pennies and one for dimes. Instead of having loose change laying around, I put the coins into the jars. Over several years, the money can add up to hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.
How much you accumulate largely depends on how many cash transactions you engage in and long you let the coins pile up. Save your change in some jars and see how it works.
Martin Zellar sings in Cross My Heart
All our lives we've lived in debt
A jar of change our safety net
This hand to mouth is growing old
It's time to play your hand or fold...
When the chips are down, those jars of change might just get you out of a jam, so save your change if for no other reason than to have a tiny "safety net."
The drawback of such as approach is that the money is out in the open where you and others can see it and make use of it. If you're hoping to have an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to savings, then cover the jars with something so you can't see what's in there.
A word of caution, I've had someone help themselves to my coins on three occasions. It just shows you how low some people can stoop, and how tempting cash in plain view can be. Take appropriate precautions.
If you save your change, you get get yourself more than just a little savings in return. When you participate in something that requires quarters or coins, like a laundromat or fair, you have a ready supply of coins on hand.
I suggest you find a purpose for this cash. Perhaps it's your mad money for flowers or a night out on the town. You might just take it down to the bank every so often and have them sort it out for a "heavy" cash deposit in your long term savings account.
Regardless of why you save your change, I think you'll find it to be a simple and basic approach to saving little-by-little and it can be fun too. It's a variation on a piggy bank. Use whatever you think is an appropriate container.
Done with Save Your Change, back to Basic Financial Planning