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July 24, 2008

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I'd probably save about $100 in 3 years with this method since I use credit cards for everything. Whatever works I guess!

I used to save all the nickels I received in a large carafe. When I cashed them in it was something like $75.

Yikes! That's an average of over $80 a week in $5 bills! How much cash do you have to spend to get two $5 bills a day in change?

I'm not particularly creative. Just 401(k) withholding and direct deposit to various savings and investment accounts for me. But if something tricky like that helps someone get started with saving I say five on!

Saving change in a jar adds up quickly for me. I use cash almost exclusively, since it helps keep me on budget (when it's gone, it's gone). I also use automatic withdrawals for the big savings (401k, emergency fund, Roth IRA), but the change jar is just a little "extra" that I can use to fund my pedicure habit. :)

I pay cash for nearly everything, check card or direct debit for everything else, so at the end of the day I empty my pockets of the loose change I collected. Every couple of months I cash in the coins and it adds up to about $100.

I also use B of A's Keep the Change program, which rounds check card purchases up to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to my savings account. This amounts to about $20 a month.

I heard about this method two days ago and decided to try it for myself. Already I've saved $20 that would have been spent otherwise. I don't pay cash all that often, so I won't have nearly the same savings level she did.

I've begun pretending that I still have a pack-a-day cigarette habit. I put $5 and whatever change I accumulated the previous day aside every morning (if I don't have any cash on me I do a $5 transfer online. I figure I can get my annual vacation money this way.

We have a vending machine at work. Everything is 50 cents, so I pocket the change and use a new dollar every time I want something. I have been in the habit of saving every penny, nickel, dime, quarter, etc. of change that I get and I have trained my wife to do that as well. It pays off to the tune of several hundred dollars a year.

I have been saving all my change for a quite awhile now, in a big peanut jar (one that you would get at like Sam's or Costco, so not huge but big), so it has taken me awhile to fill it. I don't use cash as much as I use to, but when I do I always save the change. I actually "hate" making exact change, just so I have more to put in my jar. I also save a random dollar bill (or five/ten/twenty), especially if I find it in a pair of pants or hidden among receipts in my wallet. I know I have $100+ in just bills. It's almost like a little game, to see how quickly I can fill the jar.
I can barely lift the jar now, and since I am moving I have decided to cash it in and use it for furniture and other things I need for the new apartment. I'm excited to see how much I have saved, but also little sad that my change is going away.

As interest rates in South Africa are really high I pay extra into my home loan each month. I've brought my repayment period down from 20 years to 11 years. I also have a jar and put everything under R1 into that. I don't know what it comes to but everytime I fill it I give it to a begger (We have them at most major traffic intersections) The third thing I do is keep every R10 I get in change, not sure how much I've saved I only started this at the begining of the month.

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