I noticed the “need a penny take a penny, have a penny leave a penny” dish next to the cash register at the convenience store while paying for gas. My bill was $43.01, so I was tempted to take a penny so I wouldn’t be given back 99 cents in change. But at the last second, I handed the cashier two twenties and a five, getting back a one dollar bill and enough change to weigh down my pocket for the next several hours.
Why would I do that?
Why Everyone Should Save Change
Having a pocket of change at the end of the day means I get to make a deposit into my change jar. My change jar is a large plastic drink container I got at Animal Kingdom in Florida. It’s not too big that I can’t see making progress in filling it, but large enough that when full is at least $100.
Change jars can be used to collect money for almost anything, including:
- Create or increase the balance of your emergency fund
- Tropical vacation
- Big ticket item you dream about
- Christmas shopping
I use my change jar to help fund our yearly Memorial Weekend party. There always seems to be something we forget about that requires a little extra cash. Our change jar always seems to come through.
Many people try to minimize change, while I try to maximize it to help keep the fill line on my change jar moving up:
- Ignore the “need a penny take a penny” dishes.
- Never add change to a purchase so you get only dollars back
- Sometimes I even make several separate purchases to increase change
Saving change doesn’t have a significant impact on your budget. At most, you can get 99 cents on a transaction. But over time, that change adds up to real money. That chunk change will be a game changer for something when you need the cash.
How about you, EOD Nation, do you purposely maximize change to fill a change jar?