Do pennies really "add up?" - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are trying to save up for a VW camper van. Dd wants to start a piggy bank to help. She counted out 42 pennies to add to the fund, sweetie that she is.

Have you ever had pennies amount to anything substantial? Does it take a lot of work to roll them and cash them in? How do you do it? I am certainly encouraging dd, but has anyone had any success stories with actually pinching pennies?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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My dad gives us jars full of pennies sometimes. I was bored once and rolled them all up. I had a box full of rolls. I think it came to $125.

I did make dh go in and deposit them though because I couldn't lift the box. So yeah, it's worth it, but it's a pain to roll that many coins. And our bank won't give out the rolls anymore so you had to buy them.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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I've never rolled pennies, but my kids like taking their change to the coin star machines at the grocery store. They watch it add their money up, print out a receipt, and then they know how much they have to buy something (or get cash from the clerk).

ETA: I think it depends how often you use cash and have spare change - as far as how much it really adds up to. I almost never have money, b/c we tend to use our debit card for everything.

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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When I clean out my purse or the car, I dump all the change in a jar in the kitchen. It's a pretty big jar. About once or twice a year I take it to one of those Coin Star places and get enough to do my grocery shopping for the week.

So I say it certainly can't HURT.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do those of you who save spare change piggy-bank-style keep JUST pennies, or do you lump everything together? We do use debit a lot, though we started out with the envelope system. Once we got that down and could trust ourselves, we put more categories together in the bank; but still carried on the program. So now we have less change, but we still have some. Dd enjoys it, so it's worth it just for that. But I'm curious if it adds up to "real money."
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Well, it wasn't all pennies, but last time I brought my change jar to the bank I had $120! My bank will dump it all into their coin counting machine at no charge to me, so check with your bank before you bother rolling coins.

If you remember to put every penny you "pinch" into the VW fund, it could add up. Probably not to the full cost without some extra "dollar pinching" as well...

Edited to add: I miss my old '74 VW Bus camper!
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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Just counted our change jar...admittedly it's been about 18 months since I have counted it. It was $345!!! Awesome, really came in handy!

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Old 08-16-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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My dh got about $10 this morning at the bank with a bunch of old medicine jars filled with pennies.

My dad also gives us jars full of change every few months. We get sometimes up to $100 in them, usually lots of quarters in those ones.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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When we used cash more, it definitely added up. (Our bank has a change counter that's free for everyone, so check there before paying the 9% at CoinStar.) Now, we rarely use cash, but we still have a change jar. I find that I dig through it for various things, though, like quarters for the car wash or the $1.80 for a cup of coffee at our fave coffee shop.

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Old 08-16-2010, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For an anniversary present one year, I actually made a VW van piggy bank for dh. My friend owned a paint-your-own pottery studio and I spent hours on it. I even carved out the "VW" crest on the front and painted it silver. It was white with green. I always meant to make curtains for it, but I never got around to it. If I can finally figure out how to take and post pictures, I'll put one up. I was really proud of it, though it's hardly an artistic masterpiece. So that's where we're starting to save our change.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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That's a cute idea! When I was a kid, we bought my dad a "ciggy bank." It looked like a huge pack of cigarettes and was meant to help him quit smoking. The idea is that you put what you WOULD spend on cigs each day into the bank instead of buying the pack. We helped him a little bit by giving him our change now and then, and after a year, he had over $300 and bought himself a shearling coat.

Using the bank as a visual will definitely boost excitement toward reaching your goal -- put it someplace prominent, like the front hall table or the kitchen counter, or wherever the mail is. Then when everyone comes home, they see the bank and empty their change from their pockets right into the bank every day. (Or you could use a big glass jar -- the kids will love to see it filling quickly.)
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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How can any of you afford to save extra change in the first place?

When I get change, it goes into the change section of my wallet. When I buy something that isn't an even dollar amount, I'll pay out in exact change if I have enough coins to do so (at least if it's under 75 cents.) I have, at times, paid for necessary items at the end of the month with a few singles and over $1 in coins!

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I purposefully do not use change at the store and instead use cash. When my purse gets too heavy lol I go through and put the change in a baggy and go to the coinstar. Last time I had $67 in change.

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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Total thread hijack but...we want a VW camper van too and it looks like a lot of you have had one. We saw one for $4200. Good price? And are they expensive to fix if you have a break down (engine and/or camping features)? Good to commute in? Feel free to move if this is not ok here.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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I keep all the change in a jar that we ocassionally cash in and use it to pay the kids allowances. Or for their special vacation money, stuff like that.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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We save spare change. It's not normally much (like Ruthla I use what's in my purse to actually, um, buy stuff...lol), but when I'm tidying up I normally find a few coins and toss them in a bank. And a few times when we've been desperate at month's end, that bank has been very handy. I like to think of it as like the widow's oil that never ran dry. The times that I have counted it out there has been $20-50 in it. Lately we've not deposited much, I'm not sure what it has now.

One time DH emptied it and there was $85 in it! He just took the jar to the bank and they dumped it in their change machine for free. He left some change as "seed" money. We have a superstition about emptying it all the way.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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How can any of you afford to save extra change in the first place?
We usually use ours too but we end up with a lot of pennies and I don't like counting them out. My father oth hates keeping change and always throws it into a jar or if we are out he just hands it to me. Usually he gives it to us for fun treats with the kids like movies or the arcade or something.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure how we end up with so many pennies. There's not a lot of other change around here. I keep bus tickets in my purse and am usually cursing when I run out and I'm looking for bus fare...so, there's not a lot. But somehow, we end up with a lot of pennies. Sometimes repetitive tasks are fun, though; so I don't think I'll mind rolling. And to dd, I still haven't quite gotten through the concept that although there are A LOT of pennies, it's not necessarily A LOT of money; so she thinks she's helping tons with her contribution.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:27 AM
 
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I keep the change, at the end of the day it all goes into a jar and when the jar is full I either 'roll' it or take it to coin star - the coinstar by me gives no fee amazon.com gift codes.

I also try to save $1 bills as my 'emergency' cash. Last count i was up to about $150.00.

So, I guess I save 'change' and $1 bills. Its more of an out of sight, out of mind process for me. I dont think about spending the change or using the single bills. I come home and when I organize at the end of the day those are just another thing that gets 'put away'.

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Old 08-17-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
How can any of you afford to save extra change in the first place?

When I get change, it goes into the change section of my wallet. When I buy something that isn't an even dollar amount, I'll pay out in exact change if I have enough coins to do so (at least if it's under 75 cents.) I have, at times, paid for necessary items at the end of the month with a few singles and over $1 in coins!
This is where we are. We have no change to save.

:Mama to 2 :
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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At Christmas last year, Coinstar gave an extra $10 free if you gave them $40 in coins and got a gift cert. On the gift certs you don't have to pay the nine cents on the dollar fee. They have Amazon, starbucks, and a few others. Our xmas presents came from Amazon.

We keep the piggy bank out visible, and the grandparents and aunties usually throw in a little when visiting. Also - I tell the Grandpa's that cuss words cost 50 cents in our house, and they humor me and and pay up! I tell them I need to pay for college somehow!!

Every couple months I dump the change from the bottom of my purse and the kids put it in the bank (which plays a song for them for each coin.) Daddy always has change, doesn't carry it in his pocket for more than a day.

Before we go to coin star we go all thru the house collecting. The laundry room, the junk drawers, the consoles in the cars, etc.

It is more than pennies, but it definitely adds up. It had been a couple years, but we got $345! My jaw just dropped!! I split it between the kids and started their savings fund. (minus my $40 Amazon.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I am inspired. It may not be THE ANSWER; but combined with bigger things (I will not buy magazines), it will help build the excitement and maybe buy us a bumper.

I have a nasty confession to make. I have, on more than one occasion, vaccuumed up pennies. I stopped the last time I did it and asked what that said about my attitude to money and the blessings I have. That's probably part of what prompted this post. Dd was so excited about her pennies and I treated them like garbage.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
How can any of you afford to save extra change in the first place?

When I get change, it goes into the change section of my wallet. When I buy something that isn't an even dollar amount, I'll pay out in exact change if I have enough coins to do so (at least if it's under 75 cents.) I have, at times, paid for necessary items at the end of the month with a few singles and over $1 in coins!
I hate having change in my wallet. So I dump it out into our change jar pretty frequently. Dh and I both have a compartment in our cars where we put change and those get emptied pretty regularly too. So the change jar adds up.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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We've got a change jar in the kitchen, and every night dh adn I dump whatever change is in our pockets/wallet/bottom of purse into the jar. Kids will dip into it occasionally for pretzels at school (quarter each for the soft pretzels, fundraiser fot eh student council) but otherwise it'll sit untouched until it's full. It's a big pickle jar, so takes usually 6-8 months to fill, and then I take it to the bank (TD Bank, used to be Commerce) and use the coin machine there, becuase there's no fees like with the coinstar ones. You get a printed receipt and take it to the cashier for the money - we've consistenly gotten between $80-100,which we'll then use to go out as a family - movies, dinner, bowling, etc.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I have a nasty confession to make. I have, on more than one occasion, vaccuumed up pennies.
me, too - I'm trying not to now. I bet if we finally emptied the canister in the garage it would at least buy us all dinner.

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Old 08-17-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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Okay, I am inspired. It may not be THE ANSWER; but combined with bigger things (I will not buy magazines), it will help build the excitement and maybe buy us a bumper.

Just put that magazine money right into the VW fund! It's very easy for a few dollars here and there to be absorbed right back into my regular budget: if I'm purposely sacrificing one thing to save for another, I have to be sure I put the money aside right away.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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OK, I'm writing very small because this is a guilty thing. Well, first, the clean thing: we don't use much cash so we don't have many coins, but I do roll up about $18 worth every few months. Not bad for a family that doesn't use cash.

But here's the shhhhhh part. (Checks to see if DH is around). Um, ok. I have started swiping the bills he lays around. Again, we don't typically use cash and in fact DH's current wallet doesn't even have a cash compartment, just cards. So on the rare occasion he gets cash, he'll just stick it somewhere, like on top the dresser or on his desk. I used to move it to our change jar so at least it was all together and not getting lost. But now I've been squirreling it. I have almost $60 that I've just lifted from here and there, and it's only been about 2 months. DH DOES NOT NOTICE. Which in turns makes me do this even more boldly. Because if he's not noticing, then the money is getting lost one way or another anyway (either literally lost or just blown on soda or whatever). He has never once asked me - "hey, did you see the $5 I had on my desk recently?"

I'm squirreling it for us, for a rainy day or savings or maybe it will be the last payment on our student loan or something. So he'll be happy when he finds out. In the meantime I'm being quiet about it. Except for, you know, posting this for the entire world to see, lol.

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Old 08-17-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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My 5yo is obsessed with saving change. She regularly cashes it in at the coinstar machine. Last time she had $25.

Last time I cashed in my own change I had over $500! (probably about 5 years worth of change)

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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My parents have a large piggy bank. My mom only puts small change in it (quarters, nickles, dimes and pennies). My dad will sometimes put $1 and $2 coins in it, but not often. Before my dad retired it took about four years to fill it, but they usually got around $500 when it wouldn't take anymore and they rolled the money.

In Canada we have a store called Canadian Tire that gives a small percentage of cash purchases back to you as Canadian Tire money. It's usually a few cents worth of coupons, but if we have a major purchase to make at Canadian Tire we can typically scrape up between $50 and $100 in Canadian Tire money to put toward it.

I haven't rolled coin in a long time, but when I go through the whole house and roll all of it I usually get between $50 and $100. We use a lot of cash though.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good point about not letting the money just go back into the general account, its_betty. With our system, my magazine purchases come out of my allowance, so they'd be going back into my personal mone; but I often spend that on "too cute-but-not-necessary" clothes and such for dd. I'm very happy for that cash to go to the VW. I can't believe it's about $35 per MONTH. Never mind the pennies, I realized that's where my money goes. I will never cook the 50,000 recipes contained in those magazines.

And laohaire, you are brilliant. I re-read your post and I really don't see an ethical problem here. It's not like you're buying Godiva chocolate or anything (not sure I could muster up much judgement of that either, mind you). I think I might begin to sneak a little here and there, too. We waste money here. I know we do. That's another thread I'm really not courageous enough to start. You know, true wastage; rotten food, overdue library fines, clothes that don't fit not being returned in time for a refund...

But I am seriously trying. We are so frugal in other ways. The truth can be so painful.
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