Let’s be honest, everyone loves that magical moment when you find a random coin on the street. Do you smile and immediately think of what you are going to do with it? Or are the superstitious type who only picks it up if it’s on heads?
Spare change is great, but the real dilemma is what to with it.
My husband and I are big advocates of spare change jars. You know, the place you put any extra coins you find.
In fact, one of the things that connected Nate and I when we first started dating was that each of us had our own money jars! Isn’t that romantic?
Through the years, we have found our jars to be very useful. They have definitely gotten full over time, but it’s because we literally put every coin we have into them. Sometimes I get paid in cash and I will put that into them as well.
We like having the jars for two main reasons. The first is because I don’t carry a purse so I have nowhere else to put my loose change. And the second is because it keeps it organized for us. We know where our change is at all times.
Although we have these jars, it’s what we can do with them that matters. Here are a few ideas of what to do with a spare change jar.
#1 Save it for Vacation
Perhaps one of the most widely known uses for spare change jars are using them to travel. It’s my favorite, that’s for sure!
When your jar is full, you can take it to the bank to get counted. Then, you can either go on vacation and only spend the amount you have, or use it to supplement the total cost of your trip.
I have to admit, there is nothing more exciting than knowing you don’t have to pay for a vacation! Even if you choose to only stay one night at a local hotel, that time away from your home can do wonders on your mental health.
Allow yourself to have fun and relax while you’re gone. After all, you won’t get that time back and your body and mind will thank you later.
#2 Donate it to Charity
Whether you decide to wait until your jar is full or not, donating that change to charity is a wonderful way to spend it. Do you have a favorite charity or humanitarian organization? Now is the time to show it!
Think about all the good that can come from your donation. Every year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sets up vending machines around the world. However, these machines don’t give you food. When you donate to these machines, you are giving something to someone else.
You can choose from food, clothes, hygiene supplies, and even livestock! The cheapest option is $2, which you can totally pay for with change.
Plus, donating to charity is tax deductible. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone!
#3 Tip the Pizza Guy
You may want to laugh at this one, but it’s true! There have been many times when Nate and I have had to grab the change from our jars to tip the pizza delivery man.
Or the Chinese food delivery man, or the sub sandwich delivery man – you get the idea.
Sometimes we give them a tip in change and sometimes it’s in cash if we have it. We just like knowing that we will always have it.
#4 Emergency Use Only
Using your spare change jar for emergencies only can prove very useful. In fact, it has saved us on several occasions.
Nate and I live on a mountain so driving everyday can make our cars go bad faster and run out of gas. Instead of taking money out of our bank account to fix the problems, we take it out of our jars.
There are a lot of emergencies that can come up, the question is whether you are prepared for them or not.
The rule our parents taught us growing up was to have at least $100 emergency fund in cash (separate from your bank account). As we got older and had more money, that emergency fund grew.
Honestly, Nate and I use our spare change jars in each of the ways I described and we think everyone should have their own jar.
So go ahead. If you don’t have one already, start one today! Grab a jar, bag, cup, or anything that you want to keep your extra coins in.
Then take a picture and tag us (@our.money.mentality) in it! We would love to see how it helps you!