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Start thinking about (spare) change

3-minute read

A plink in a jar. An alert on your smartphone. Collecting loose change is a veritable symphony of satisfying sounds. The money you save can be pretty satisfying, too.

Coin collecting

Coins. They’re useful for drinking games, Pac-Man and the toss at the start of a footy game. Back in the days when you could buy five cents’ worth of mixed lollies, they were good for your dental bill, too. But these days, coins can’t buy you much. Most stuff is worth more than two bucks, meaning that we collect all this loose change, every day (unless, of course, you survive on a cashless diet of pure contactless payments and credit cards).

Open your wallet or tip out your pocket right now and count the coins within. It’s likely you’ve got a few silver coins floating around … if you’re lucky, there’s a gold nugget or two as well. Imagine if you tipped this spare change into a jar and kept adding to it, week by week. How much money do you reckon you’d have saved by the end of the year? $100? $200? $500? Or even $1,000?

There’s no doubt that spare change can quickly add up. You just have to think smart about how you go about collecting it.

Adding money to a jar is an easy, effortless way to save. 

Old-school savings

An empty pickle jar could be all you need to kick-start your spare change savings habit. Put the jar in the kitchen with a tempting label on it. Something like, ‘Feed me’. ‘If you fear change, leave it here’. ‘Summer holiday spending money.’ You get the idea.

Try to get into the habit of emptying out your wallet or purse every time you pass the jar. Or, set up a routine where the jar’s right next to where you dump your keys and wallet after work. Hey presto, coins go in! You’ll be surprised at how quickly they pile up, and you’ll also get a little addicted to that satisfying plink when you drop another coin into the collection.

To fast-track your savings and make things a little more interesting, you could add a ‘note rule’. That is, every time your wallet has a note of a certain colour (start easy, with a pink $5 note), then it goes in the jar, too. Seeing some banknotes floating around in a sea of coinage is sure to make you feel like you’re doing something right in the savings department.

Adding money to a jar is an easy, effortless way to save. In fact, the hardest part is counting it all up at the end. To make it a little more interesting, you could turn it into a guessing game with your partner. When your jar fills up, you could lug it to the bank and ask the friendly teller to deposit the money into your savings account, which you’ve already set up. Then, start all over again.

Cashless loose change

What do you do if spare change is a rare commodity in your life? How can you save your spare change if you don’t deal in cash anymore? You’ve still got options for squirrelling away your loose change. You might just have to be a bit more hi-tech.

You could set up a daily transfer of $1 from your everyday transaction account into your savings account. Or, more neatly, a weekly transfer of $10. Because, let’s face it, if you were spending money the old-school way, that’s probably about how much spare change you’d amass.

Whichever way you go about collecting your spare change, remember that it’s just one string in your savings bow. A year’s worth of spare change is unlikely to be enough for a house deposit or a round-the-world trip. But it could help you take small steps towards a bigger goal. So what are you waiting for? Eat those pickles, empty that jar and start saving today.

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.