Why I choose to save my pocket change
Saving Pocket Change
by Rich Finzer
6 Squirrely Ways to Save
Saving a Dollar a Day
Small Start, Big Finish
From 1916 until the mid-70s, my mother's side of our family ran a German restaurant and tavern called Rhinehart's. Before it was sold, my Uncle Mike was the last Rhinehart family member to run the place. Uncle Mike was a colorful character and a born saver. As a kid, I can still remember him saying, "Richie, you take care of the nickels and dimes, and the dollars will take care of themselves." That was good advice to a little boy in the 50s and it's still good advice today. It means by diligently saving pocket change, your savings can rapidly add up to a large stack of dollars.
Nickels and Dimes
I rarely carry coins, preferring to shop solely with paper currency. If I redeem beverage containers for the $.05 deposit, leverage my $.21 senior citizen discount at the pink and orange coffee place (you know the one), or end up with loose change from any other purchase, it all goes into a tin box. From time to time, I count up what's there, roll the coins, and redeem them for "heavy paper" when next I visit my bank. Periodically, I exchange the smaller bills for portraits of my favorite President, which is General Grant.
Taken at face value, my little regimen is actually pointless. I could just as easily set aside a fixed amount each month. Basically, I'm playing a game with my own money, pretending it's "free" simply because it's initially in the form of coins instead of "quiet money." But, it's fun and helps me focus on a long-term goal. Besides, now that I'm semi-retired and living on a relatively fixed income, it's a method of incremental saving that never breaks the bank.
Does It Work?
I think my little system works just grand, but ultimately you'll be the judge. Just after last Christmas, my wife announced that her heart's desire was to own a new DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera). Knowing the things were brutally expensive but also knowing that prices would be dropping as the holidays approached this year, I kicked my nickel and dime saving strategy into high gear. On her birthday, I presented her with a quintet of "General Grants." On our wedding anniversary, I presented her with five more. And in a few weeks, just before Santa begins waxing the runners on his sleigh, I'll present her with the balance of the $750 she'll need to purchase the camera of her dreams.
Now, in truth, I'm still gifting her with $750. There's no getting around that. But by diligently saving relatively tiny amounts on a consistent basis, I'll hardly miss the money. Will this system work for you? Well, I couldn't say for certain, but you'd be a fool not to try it for yourself. So thanks, Uncle Mike!
Take the Next Step:
- For more saving strategies, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library.
- Are you getting the best CD rate? Use our simple CD tool to find out. It's completely private, easy to use and you'll know what rate is available to you in seconds!
- Get the interest your deserve! Compare money market rates with our best rate finder. It only takes a minute and your privacy is completely protected.
Discuss "The Saving of Coins" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- How to become a millionaire in 7 easy (hah!) steps
- 5 poor ways to save (and how to do better)
- 10 places to look for $500 in savings
- 9 savvy strategies to save for a rainy-day fund
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- How to stop credit card offers in the mail
- What to do when frugal fatigue sets in Readers' Solutions
- Putting last year's Christmas bills behind you
- Reduce your debt with this free debt course by The Dollar Stretcher
- Reduce your debt payoff time
- Find a better credit card rate
- Get better savings & MMA rates