Big Ol’ Jar of Coins: The little things add up

It takes a long friggin’ time to roll two years-worth of spare change. My decision to suck it up and roll my coins last week was motivated by a few things:

  1. I don’t want to lug all my change with me when I move later this month.
  2. The demise of the Canadian penny inspired me.
  3. It was a great way to procrastinate from doing real work.

Since I don’t have a coin purse in my wallet, all my spare change invariably gets tossed into this big ass cookie jar I have on my desk. And since I typically use cash whenever I buy something I’ve added to this jar quite a bit these past couple years. Rolling coins is a real pain in the ass but I didn’t want a confrontation at the bank like George had.

When all was said and done and all the coins had been rolled, I tallied it all up.

That grand total? $863.50.

I danced a little jig, performed an air guitar solo, washed my hands, disinfected the kitchen table which had been covered in coins and headed to the bank with my neatly packaged payload.

Moral of the story

The little things add up. While my cookie jar approach is one way to go, a more formal, disciplined approach to saving is usually a lot better. Here are a few tips:

  • Setting aside even small amounts each pay cheque adds up over time. To make it easier, set up automatic bank transfers to move money into your savings account each month.
  • Pay off your credit card debts and other loans as quickly as you can. Those monthly interest payments may not seem like a big deal. But add it up over time and you can be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars extra in interest.
  • Trim your personal expenses. Just like the little amounts you save each month adds up, on the flip side, the little amounts you spend each month adds up in a hurry too. It’s easy not to notice how much a hit your bank account takes from spending $10 here and there on fast food, magazines or other miscellaneous nonessentials. Take a good, hard look at your personal budget, keep track of where you spend things and identify areas to cut back on.
  • Recommended resource: Ex-Consumer. Jenny from Ex-Consumer rocks. Check out her blog for practical, inspiring advice about personal finance, living debt-free and responsible consumerism.

What do you do to save money? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Got a lesson you learned from one of life’s absurd moments that you want to share? Click here to submit your story.

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Funny stories. Good advice. Check out my books, “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” and “Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance”. Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

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