Couple Money

Counting Your Pennies Can Add up to Cash

save money with coin jar

Still time to open and/or make your IRA contributions for 2009!

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Last week I mentioned that my husband had some reward points to redeem with Wells Fargo, which is basically bonus money.

Now I wanted to mention another way you can convert what you have around the house and in your car for building your savings – coin counting.

Yep, the coin jar you may have started at your grandparents' house can be a nice little cash boost.

Set Up a Coin Collecting System 

The great thing about having coin jars (my husband and I have one each and our baby girl has one in her room). my system is pretty simple. Whenever I get change during the day I save the change in my wallet until I get home and then I deposit half in my jar and half in my baby girl's jar.

Any pennies or coins I find get deposited into the baby's girl's jar. It's not much each time, but it does add up fair quickly. typically when my small jar is filled it can be $50-$70 at a time.

Cashing in Your Coins at the Bank

One of the most cost effective ways to convert your coins to dollars is to go to your bank's local branch. However not all banks offer it a machine to count your loose change. Please call ahead before taking your loose change to the branch to make sure you can use their service and it's free.

Some banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of the America, and Citibank require you to roll your own coins before you can deposit them with a teller. When I asked the teller at the branch near my house she helpfully gave me some coin wraps to take home.

The big plus with depositing your coins is that you can then build your savings or you can use that money for other goals like paying down debts, investing more, or taking a debt free vacation.

Coinstar – A Good Deal?

Maybe your bank doesn't offer loose coin counting services. If so then there are other options that may be as close as your grocery store – Coinstar.

You can redeem your coins for cash, load it on their Green Dot debit card, or your can use one of their no fee options – gift certificates with selected vendors. If you go the cash route, there is a fee – 9.8 cents per dollar counted in USA and 11.9 cents per dollar counted in Canada. If you fill (or refill) the debit card or get a gift certificate, it's free.

Thoughts on Coin Jars

How many of you have coin jars at home? What do you do with the saved money? Do you take your money to the bank or do you use services like Coinstar to get your money converted?

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