Have a Lot of Spare Change? Do This With It

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KEY POINTS

  • Many of us allow coins to collect in our wallets, cars, and couch cushions.
  • Collecting your coins in one place and then cashing them in can be a rewarding experience.
  • As a reward, you can save half and spend half to boost your savings and treat yourself.

Not sure what to do with all your spare change? Here's a fun idea.

Do you have a lot of spare change piling up in your car, purse, or in random places around the house? If so, you're not alone. Instead of ignoring your extra coins, you may want to put them to use. You may have a lot more extra money than you realize. If you're looking for ways to use your spare change, here's a fun idea you may want to try. It's a win-win solution that can help boost your savings and give you a nice reward.

Collect your coins

Instead of allowing your change to collect in random spots, designate one place to keep it all. You can use an extra jar, a piggy bank, or another container you have at home. Whenever you come home with change after making a cash purchase or find a coin while cleaning up around the house, go ahead and add it to your change collection.

Over time, your coins will pile up. It can be fun to see how long it takes to fill up your container. If you have a partner or other family members, you can get them involved in the collection process to make a fun game out of it. My husband and I do this with an owl-shaped coin container.

Cash in your spare change

Once you have a sizable collection, it'll be a good time to cash in your spare change. One option is to take your coins to your bank. Most banks allow customers to cash in coins, but many require you to roll them. You can buy coin wrappers or ask your bank if they provide them. Check with your bank first to see how they handle coin cashing to save yourself time.

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Another option is to use a coin cashing machine like Coinstar. You can find these machines at grocery stores and other popular retailers. Keep in mind that these machines keep a percentage of your money as a service fee -- so it will cost you money to use them. But if you value convenience and have many coins, you may not mind paying the fees.

No matter your method, take bets on how much money you've collected. You don't have to do this, but it will make the experience more exciting. You may be surprised once you see the actual total. I'm almost always surprised and end up with more money than I initially thought.

Spend half, and save half

You get to decide what to do with the money. But you don't have to save all of the extra money that you've accumulated. It's okay to treat yourself. If you don't want to put it all in the bank, you may want to spend half and save half. Put half of it in savings immediately, so you're not tempted to spend it all. Doing this will boost your savings account balance.

Then, permit yourself to spend the other half on something special. Maybe it's a movie night out with your partner, a cozy takeout meal at home, or a new clothing purchase you've wanted to make. Allowing yourself to spend half of it is an excellent way to reward yourself for continuing to prioritize your savings and personal finance goals.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to earn interest

If you're cashing in spare change, keep it in a high-yield savings account. You can earn interest on your savings contributions -- which is free money. If you don't yet have a savings account, review our list of the best high-yield savings accounts to find the right account for you. Saving money doesn't have to be boring. There are ways to make the process fun and exciting.

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= Excellent
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Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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APY: 4.50%

APY: 4.25%

Min. to earn APY: $0.01

Min. to earn APY: $0

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