I keep a penny bank in my house, really it stores all coins, but who cares. Many of these coins are received when something is purchased in cash - an activity that is rare for me, but much more common for my wife. In addition to that, I have an eagle eye for anything that is remotely shiny and on the ground. If I were to say I had a super power, it is finding loose change. I was blessed with this ability at a real young age, you know when this kind of thing is cute, funny, and seemingly useful. Fast forward to my early 30s, and its not cute anymore. However, it is still hilarious. It has led to so many good jokes at my expense. The apex of this is an ongoing text conversation where I am asked if I would pick up a coin, and then the picture follows. Usually the coin is somewhere terrible - in an intersection, urinal, etc. Often I say no, but sometimes I say yes. In real life, if there is something socially weird or unsafe, no I touch that crap up, but otherwise - hell yes. Then that coin along with all the loose change in the house goes into the penny bank.
Once you have all that loose change what will you do with it? No one is going to roll those coins, no one has that kind of time. No one is going to go to a Coinstar machine and suffer a 3-6% fee ... OR will they? The thing I have discovered is Coinstar machines allow people to convert the coins, fee free, to give certificates for companies of your choosing. These include Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Walmart (WMT). Since my wife loves AMZN, the answer is clear. Recently, I tested this out by taking my coins to the local grocery store, and getting a sweet gift code for Amazon. The timing could not have been better as I had a necessary purchase to make at that time. Saved me a solid $85 that I would have otherwise had to take out of my bottom line - away from investments.
Coming full circle, one of my friends is the polar opposite with me when it comes to loose change. He literally throws it away, especially pennies. Sure maybe over his lifetime that will about amount to $20-30 total of pennies, but that is one extra hour of your life you need to work. Rather than doing that work, just save it. Every cent in your pocket is one more you can have working for you.
What do you do with your loose change?
- Long WMT