Spare Change

Spare Change

by Lora Fickett

Decades ago when people payed for items with actually cash, they would collect their spare change in jars and that was a savings habit for them.  Now many people pay with debit or credit cards and the idea of spare change is a thing of the past, but how do you develop a similar savings habit in the plastic age?  There are sites that promise to invest your spare change or donate it by rounding up your transactions, but what if you want that money for yourself or your own charities?  Here are a few suggestions:

If you use credit cards and pay them off every month, when you are paying your balance, round up to the nearest hundred and pay the card the amount you owe and the difference goes into your “spare change” account.  So if your balance is $1,245.25, you pay that amount to the credit card company and when you round the total up to $1,300, you pay yourself $54.75.

When you need to pay your mortgage or other loan payment, round up to the nearest dollar and use your spare change for the difference.  It’s a little, but over years it adds up just like the last generations spare change jars grew bigger and bigger.

If you use a debit card, you can actually take cash back on every transaction and put that in your spare change fund, or at the end of every month, pay yourself a flat $0.50 for every transaction you made and put that in your new spare change fund.

The key for all of these is to develop a habit of saving, you can use that saving for vacations, build up your retirement fund, invest in assets that bring you cash flow or whatever you like.  Once you start saving, you may enjoy it and you may want to do more and more of it.  That’s when the habit starts to snowball.  So many people live paycheck to paycheck and it’s all about doing something different, breaking your cycle and starting to improve your situation little by little is better than nothing.  Start saving spare change today!

lora fickett

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