Every year, in December, I cash in all the loose change I saved for the year, at the Coinstar Machine and it is usually between $60 - $100. I probably would have more if I would completely commit to saving my change (if it is still in my wallet I may use it on purchases). I will challenge myself to save all of my loose change for the month in January and see what happens.
Anyways, for the first few years I would put the money into my son’s savings account. Then I shifted (I save a lot for my son during the year) and decided to use the money based on what I was focused on at the time, such as, purchases for Christmas gifts or pay down debt. If you save your loose change but are not sure what to do it, I have compiled a list of things you can do with the loose change you saved (this list is not in any particular order).
Pay down debt - Depending on the size of your jar, make it a goal to save your loose change as quickly as possible and once your jar is full cash it in and put the funds toward one of your debts.
Put it toward home repairs/upgrades - Add your loose change to your repair or maintenance fund, purchase some mulch or flowers for your yard, purchase new curtains, new lighting etc.
Contribute to your Traditional/Roth IRA - Save for your retirement, as long as, you meet the contribution eligibility.
Emergency Fund - Do you have 3-6 months of expenses saved?
Donate it to your church - Put the funds in the offering plate or contribute to a project. You can also just purchase an item that needs to be replaced and donate it.
Vacation fund - Where do you want to travel? Do you have a travel fund? If not, you can start one now or if your trip is already paid for, you can put your loose change towards your spending money.
Date night - Dinner and a movie with your significant other or if you're single, take yourself out for a night on the town.
Positive reinforcement (gift for achieving a goal) - If you have set goals for yourself like weight-loss, debt payoff, academic achievement, etc., put the funds toward your "reward"
Allowance/Commission fund - If you pay your kids an allowance or commission, you can put it aside to pay them.
Charitable donations - Give to your favorite charity or buy gifts for less fortunate children.
Savings (outside of your emergency fund) - if your regular savings is looking weak contribute towards making it strong.
Invest in home upgrades - It may not be enough to upgrade your home completely but you can contribute to your upgrade fund.
Start a business - Buy your domain, setup your LLC or Corporation. Invest in a MLM you believe in.
Peer-to-peer lending - Make the money work for you by funding a loan. It only takes $25 to start.
Invest in professional development - Take a course in a topic you have an interest.
Car maintenance - Need an oil change, new wipers, maybe one tire or two (if you're better at saving your change than me).
Spa day - Treat yourself to a massage and/or a manicure & pedicure.
Family dinner (put it toward) - Take the family to dinner or purchase groceries and make the family a big dinner.
New outfit/shoes - Sometimes you need to treat yourself.
Put a portion of the money towards your first life insurance premium - If you get a term life policy you should have money left over.
I'm sure there are many other things you can do with your loose change. If you have another way, let me know in the comments below.
What do you do with your loose change? Do you roll it or take it to the Coinstar Machine?