We all find loose change lying around. Why not collect it and treat yourself to something special?

A Penny Goes a Long Way — Save Them and Treat Yourself

A Penny Goes a Long Way — Save Them and Treat Yourself

CEE Standard: Saving

Students might be surprised to see how fast their loose change can add up. Show them how this teen saved her change — and how they can use their pennies to pay for the things they want.

One of the favorite traditions that my mom and I share is saving up loose change. It has taught me how every dime and quarter adds up when you consistently save your coins.

Now, every single penny gets put away — no exceptions! We love doing it so much that my grandparents gave me an electronic change jar that automatically counts how much we put inside of it. You don’t need one of these, but they cost less than $10 if you want to get one for fun.

The jar holds about $100, and it’s fun to see how fast we can fill it. But what really motivates me is what we do with the money once the goal is met.

After taking our change to the credit union to exchange for cash, my mom and I head to the spa for some pampering. One of my favorite things to do is to get a pedicure, especially since I love rock climbing, which can be rough on the feet.

But at $30 to 40 a trip, a pedicure is not something I can let myself get very often. Instead, saving up for it makes this splurge even more special because it was earned.

Want to fill your change jar? Here are three ways that you can find and save up your cents.

Go On a Change Hunt

The first place I look for change? My purse! I’m always finding pennies or nickels at the bottom of my bag. At the end of the week, I turn over my purse and let the coins come to me. If you don’t find any change there, check the couch, your pants pockets, or even the laundry room. Get your whole family involved if you want even bigger savings! Lots of people throw change into a compartment in their car or toss it on their dresser.

Use Cash

So many banks now give teens debit cards to access their bank accounts more easily. But I know that controlling your spending is tough when you can’t actually see the money in your hand.

That’s why I use cash to pay for just about everything. The bonus is that, if you use larger bills instead of paying with exact change, you’ll always get some change back. This is a quick, perfect way to make the coins add up in your jar.

Reward Yourself

Have a bad habit you want to break? Take a couple of dollars to the bank and ask for it in change. Reward yourself every time you avoid temptation. For example, give yourself 50 cents every time you make it to the gym. If you stick with it, that change jar will fill up quickly and you can reward yourself with awesome new sneakers or a trip to an athletic store for new workout gear.

We know a family that does this in a big way. They all save their change in a huge jar in their living room. When they go on vacation, they use the change as their spending money. They usually have hundreds of dollars to take along with them! Normally, they use it to splurge on something special that they wouldn’t normally do.

Check List

  • How much do you think you could save just in coins?
  • Where can you store your loose change?
  • Would your parents be willing to toss in their spare change?
  • What will you buy with your coins?