Grow your Savings with a Change Jar!


A few years ago, my husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and switched to a cash budgeting system. For awhile, I would keep the change we got back from purchases in a Ziploc bag to apply toward future purchases. One day, we decided to start a change jar. The first time we filled the jar and went to cash it out, we were shocked! In a matter of months, by throwing all of our spare change in the jar, $100 had accumulated! We usually “save” $200-$300 each year by doing this.

If you decide to start a change jar, here are a few things you can do with your spare change:

Apply it to your emergency fund

Use it for a vacation (we usually use some money from our change jar as spending money/fun money when we go on vacation)

Use it for back to school shopping

Add it to your children’s savings accounts

Buy family passes for the zoo, a Children’s Museum, or an amusement park

Add it to your Christmas savings (at the end of the year, we always cash ours out for Amazon codes to use for Christmas shopping)

Plan a special family activity

Here are a few tips:

  • If you cash out for a gift card at a Coinstar location, there are no fees!  You can get gift cards for Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Toys ‘R Us, JC Penney, Old Navy, and even iTunes!
  • Check with your local bank or credit union to see if they have a change counting machine and find out if there is a fee.

Do you have a change jar?  What do you do with your extra change?

This is the 4th post in my 30 Days to a Better Budget series.  You can see all of the posts in this series here–> 30 Days to a Better Budget


  1. Lisa Landolfi says:

    Wow, I did not know that I could get a giftcard through coinstar! Thank you so much for the info! I too keep a coin jar, I call it my ‘mad’ money for my summer trips with my girlfriends 🙂

  2. I started doing something similar. I never pay with change, and I mean never. If my total comes to $13.57. I pay $14, and I put the change in my wallet, to take out at a later time. I keep the change in a ziplock bag, and forget about it. I’m hoping to be able to save around what your saving in just change!

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