16 pounds and 8 ounces. That is how much $193 worth of collected coins weigh between 2 full and 2 half full 24 oz. jars of spaghetti sauce. In the past, I’ve collected coins in a big plastic jug; but, what I didn’t like is that I had to sort through a large pile of coins before depositing them. It takes quite a bit of time just separating the coins in its respective denominations saving coins this way. I was happy at first that coin machines were available at my bank at select locations; but, they took that away and now I am left to sort through and wrap my coins, again. Is it worth collecting coins though? Yes!
In an effort to cut the time sorting through piles of coins, I opted to recycle 4 pasta jars, one for each denomination, and sort the coins whenever I empty my wristlet. It so much easier doing it this way. Easiest of course to just drop by a coin machine but it comes with a convenience fee. Later, when I’m ready to deposit, all I have to do is count and wrap them.
So, this morning, both hands cradling the 16.8 lbs of bagged coins, I finally deposited them. The bank teller counted the coins 8 times during the deposit process before it was finally finalized! Haha. I had 1 full jar of quarters, 1 full jar of pennies, half a jar full of nickels/dime. I didn’t want to wait until the other two were full because it may be a while before it is. Plus, I’m on a quest to tidy up and it also earns dividends in the bank, however small. I also didn’t want to have a table full of money jars, so whenever one is full, I go on ahead and deposit what I have. I usually go twice a year specifically for coin deposit.
Here’s the breakdown how much each jar held:
- quarters = $130 (full)
- dime = $40 (half full)
- nickel = $14 (half full)
- pennies = $9 (full)
Total of $193. Not bad for change, eh?! Seriously a week’s worth of grocery amount for me, and then some. (It took about 6 months to collect this amount – about $8 a week.)
What I’m saving it for
Traveling this summer. It doesn’t have to be far, just something – somewhere to do with the kids. It’s 2 1/2 months of idleness if I don’t get the kids out the house, so I am already starting to save up for some outings. Likely, I’ll have more saved up by then, just by saving coins. I certainly don’t miss it weighing down my wristlet.
- To avoid sorting through a bigger pile of coins, cut the time by using 4 containers, one for each denominations. I buy pasta sauce and so I’m never out of one of those. But really, after you have the 4, you can keep using the same four for a quite a long time.
- If you save coins, sort and roll them up yourself, you know that smell and film it leaves on your hands. It’s gross. I don’t even want to imagine where the coins have been before it reached my hands; but, I’m quite certain it has several types of bacteria lingering on it. I have to wash my hands several times to feel clean. If this is you, wearing gloves might help, those thinner types you see at the hospital. You can get them fairly cheap at the dollar store. There are also recyclable nitrile gloves available, which are better for the environment, and decently priced.
- Coin wrappers should be available at your bank; but if not, or if going to a branch will cost more in gas and effort, the dollar stores sells them for $1 for a 36 assorted count. (Assortment may vary.)
- quarter = 9
- dime = 7
- nickel = 7
- penny = 17
- *Yes, I am aware that the count = 40. Bonus I guess.
- Get the kids involved in sorting and wrapping the coins. It’s a great opportunity to teach about money. It cuts the time sorting and/or counting the coins when there’s help. Give them a tip after too for incentive.
- If collecting coins is not your thing, what do you do with your coins?, saving $1 bills is also an easy way to set aside some money. I like collecting the crisp looking ones – $1 to $20 bills – the ones that still feel, smell, and look new. Then, I give them as gifts throughout the year when possible because the teenagers I know prefer cash/giftcard more than any other material gifts.
Collecting coins is worth it, especially if using the envelope system. Over time, it really does add to quite a sizable amount. It’s a great opportunity to save without really feeling like you’re missing a chunk out of your budget. So, is keeping a money jar worth it? $193 in 6 months later, yes it is. In a year’s time, without much effort in saving, I have accrued $400 worth of coins last year. Individual results will vary depending on spending habits, of course.
Until next time.