About a year and a half ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted to eliminate the car payment, and so we employed all sorts of methods of scrimping and saving to do this, including reducing our grocery bill, eating out less frequently, and finding fun and free things to do.
One big step that got us closer to our goal of paying off the car loan was turning in all of our change. We had a few baby wipe tubs full of change, which we took, as a family, to the bank. We loaded the change into the change machine and wound up with more than $500! So, all of that change really does add up. It is worth saving it.
First, get a container for your change and put it in an easy-to-reach place. You want to get into the habit of dumping your change into it each day when you get home, so if you have it located upstairs, well, that just isn’t going to work well. Your container can be anything you want it to be, as long as it is visible. I’m not a big fan of those empty water containers that are often used. They tend to be heavy and unwieldly, and it takes too long to fill them up, so the motivation to save often peters out.
Next, make it a point to pay with cash whenever you can. Paying with cash generates change, so you will automatically be gathering and saving your money. Plus, when people pay with cash, they tend to spend less, so you will get extra savings right there.
Encourage other family members to dump change into your container to help your savings add up quickly. When it comes time to turn in the change, the whole family can be proud of the accomplishment.