Save The Change: A Simple Coin Jar for Simple Savings

Some of the simplest ideas have endured because they work so well.

The wheel. A hammer and nails. A lever. Hugs.

One of my favorites is the humble change jar.

At the end of every day, where do you throw your change?

Sometimes simple ideas beat more complicated ones - use a change jar for small time savings!Try a change jar.

Use it as a way to save up some cash to buy something small that you might need. Maybe treat you or a loved one to a little treat.

We throw our change into a little change box in our detritus drawer (my lovely wife doesn't like calling it a junk drawer :)).

When it gets kinda full, we bring it to a local Coinstar machine (kiosk finder) and turn it into an Amazon.com gift card. From time to time there are promotions, like an extra $5 if you pour $20 in coins, and we'll sometimes wait for those promotions before cashing them in. They'll count your change for free if you turn it into a gift card.

If you want cash, skip Coinstar and their 10.9% fee. Call your bank and ask if they will count coins for you. Some will do it for free, others will charge you a fee. Call to find out what your bank will do.

Then spend it! (or save it, whatever!)

Not everything has to be complicated. It's nice to keep things simple. 🙂

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

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  1. Miss Mazuma says

    Ohhhh – I never knew Coinstar offers promos for gift cards. I have to add this one to my list! I have been saving my coins in the same mini Carlos Rossi jug for the past 10 years! I usually just take it to the bank for free, I never saw the point of paying someone else to count my change, but now I’m going to hold out for a promo. Thanks!!

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