Ten steps to making your change work for you
- Always ask for your change: Quite regularly, we think that it is stingy to ask for our change or to point out we have been overcharged 30c for something. Ensuring you get the right amount of change is the first step in ensuring that your change will work for you.
- Put your change somewhere straight away: I put mine either in a small pocket in my backpack, in the glove box of my car or in my safe at home, depending where I am. The important thing is to get it out of your pockets and wallet so it won't take up space, or get spent.
- Collect regularly from your change deposit spots and move to one location: For me, I will move my coins out of my backpack, car, etc. once or twice a week and put them into my safe at home. This puts them out of sight, but also prevents me from losing a few coins.
- Forget about them: Instill these first steps into your mind and then forget you even have the coins, letting them build up over a few months. Ideally, only check your coin stockpile monthly (preferably quarterly).
- Get some coin bags from your bank: As your stockpile builds, you will want to get some bags to store it in, as bringing hundreds of coins to a bank without them organised properly can result in a potential miscount.
- Withdraw your money from the 'safe' location: Get the coins out, count them up and bag them accordingly.
- Count up the amount total: Write it down to take with you to the bank.
- Deposit money in the bank: It might cost a dollar or two in teller fees, but it is worth it. Put it in your savings account.
- Don't touch the money: Once it is in the bank, leave your change sitting their as dollars, earning interest. Don't move it unless you find an account that will give you a higher return on investment. This will allow you to start making money from your change.
- Repeat the process: Start back at number one and begin to start again. Do this several times a year, all while watching the interest build.
Assuming $300 a year at a bank interest rate of 6%, with another $300 added a year for 40 years (average working life span) then your coins will be worth $49,514.31 at retirement.
What could you do to improve the way your change works for you?