MoneyMindedMoms: Change Can Change Your Life

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Change Can Change Your Life
Feb 10 2011 08:00 PM | Vicky Collins  in Erasing & Managing Your Debt -----
You have probably heard that the best way to save is to make it automatic. It sounds great in theory, but with many families barely getting by, saving for a rainy day seems impossible.

If you feel like you literally don’t have an extra dollar to save, then don’t. Instead, start saving your coins.

The key here, though, is to use only dollars when you shop. Even if you buy a pack of gum and it costs $1.07, hand the cashier $2.00 in bills and pocket the change.

Do this all day long and at the end of the day, put your change in a large container that is easily accessible to your partner or roommate or anyone else you live with.

Encourage them to do the same with their coins.

You will be amazed at how much money you will save up at the end of the month. On average I save about $50/month just in coins.

At the end of the month, take your change to a Coinstar (found in many supermarkets) or your bank, if they count change for free, and get your bills.

Deposit the money directly into your savings account. Your goal should be to have about a six month emergency fund. It may not seem like a lot to deposit $50/month, but keep at it and before you know it you will have a substantial savings account.

The greatest part about starting small is that it usually gives you the encouragement to work toward bigger goals.

When you see your efforts paying off, you will be amazed at how you can resist all the little purchases.

Saving can seem impossible, but start small with the change bucket and commit to the adage that a penny saved is a penny earned. Everything adds up.

Vicky Collins is a Jersey Girl who relocated to Austin, TX. She has been married to Shawn since May 1996, and they have four children (Caity, Lexie, Kerri, and Jack) and a shelter dog (Mattingly). Through a recipe of discipline and various financial strategies, she has not carried credit card debt since the mid-90's. Vicky preaches to her friends and occasional strangers that it’s imperative for women to understand and be involved in family money matters, and blogs about it at Follow Ask the Mama on Twitter and Facebook.


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17 February 2011 - 07:34 PM
We place all of our leftover change in a change jar and by the end of the year we take it to the coinstar machine and deposit the total in my daughter's account every year we are plesantly surprised.


22 February 2011 - 11:33 AM
The coinstar machines charge a percentage of your coins to sort your money. Consider going to your bank, getting free coin wrappers, and sort/wrap the change with your kids. You will end up saving a couple more dollars!

Poor Mama 

26 February 2011 - 12:54 PM
If you have a TD bank in your area (not sure if you have to have an account there), they have a machine similar to Coinstar, but they don't take a cut.
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