Pennies Can Add Up To Thousands of Dollars

by Hank

My wife and I only use dollar bills when we buy things.  We refuse to use any coins we may have in our pockets to make purchases even if the result is getting ninety-nine cents back.  Then, when we receive a pocket full of change after our purchase, we save it all in a piggybank at home.  After a year of doing this, we usually have saved over $500 each year.  That’s a very non-intrusive way to make yourself save when you think money is tight at the end of every month.


This is a lot like the new debit cards that are out there that will round up to the nearest dollar.  These are great savings devices especially if you think that you do not have enough money to save for a rainy day.  One of my former Soldiers told me that they use a jar method like this, similar to envelope budgeting, where they save all their change throughout the year in a Mason jar in order to pay for their 4th of July fireworks.  He was also teaching his children to save for a goal.  The more they saved, the larger their firework display could be.


I have even heard of people doing this “save your change” trick with $5 bills.  Every time they received a $5 bill through making purchases, they would then set the $5 bills aside and collect them in a piggybank.  That seems a little extreme to me, but it would surely raise your savings rate dramatically in a very short amount of time.  I think that this same system will work wonders with $1 bills though.  Every time you make a cash purchase and receive a $1 bill as part of your change, save it.  Keep them at home in a piggybank until you get $100 or any nice round number and then deposit your spoils into your bank account.  Try it out for a month and see how it goes.  No cheating.


In fact, that’s a great idea.  I am going to start this plan today.  For the next thirty days, I’m going to save every $1 bill that I receive and put it aside.  I’ll keep you posted with a tracker here on the side bar of Military Money Might on how much I manage to save.

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{ 1 comment }

Jerry January 1, 2009 at 11:58 pm

This is a great idea! In fact, one of the banks in New England has a similar program… they round up for anything that you buy with your debit card, and the change goes into a savings account. This can lead to money that you didn’t expect, but I think I like the insurance of doing it with cash money and change.

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