Monday, January 2, 2012

CHANGE IS GOOD


I never have MORE than $2.00 of coins in my purse or on my person at any given time. It weighs me down and I don't like handling it. So I have a variety of places I put all my spare change in. A floppy wicker basket. A jar. A ceramic cat. A flower vase. An old teapot. Just to name a few. The other day I noticed these places were getting kind of full, so I decided to empty some of the coins into one big container, instead. I had a plastic shoebox, on hand, so that's what I used. My husband took a wild guess about how much money was actually in there. He guesstimated about $250.  I laughed at him. "Your estimate is way too high," I told him. But he insisted it wasn't. Wanting to settle this debate once and for all, I decided I would CASH this PART of my STASH in. I still had other collections of coins, throughout the house, that I was saving.  But I didn't want to ROLL any of them. It was time consuming and the bank always gave me a hard time when I brought them in. There was a COINSTAR machine up at the local grocery store, that counted coins, so that's where we headed. 
                   
Never having done this COINSTAR thing before... it proved to be a bit of a challenge. You have to pour your coins, very slowly into this little basket, on the machine, that siphons them through the machine to be sorted and counted. Of course, you don't get to see this actually happen... you only HEAR it. Believe me when I tell you, it makes quite a racket. And sometimes it gets backed up. Then you have to wait for it to catch up.When the last coins are counted and it's finished... it spits out a receipt telling you, what's what. You can click on receipts pictured here to make them bigger, so you can see the breakdown of the transaction. It shows you exactly how many nickels, quarters, dimes, etc. that you had. Kind of cool, isn't it?


But also notice that COINSTAR isn't FREE. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! They take a processing fee of about 9%. That was cause for pause, when we realized it. I could have rolled the coins myself and had about $23 more. But the deed was done. I had almost $209 in my pocket. I was impressed. My hubby's estimate wasn't too far off. So I decided to go back home and get the rest of the money I had been saving and bring it back to be tallied up.

This time around the plastic shoebox was even more full of coins. Once again my hubby took a wild guess. He said there was $500 in there. I guesstimated about $300. So we let COINSTAR do the work.


I had an additional $336.42. This time I had guessed the closest. I was so excited. Add that to the original $208.47 and the GRAND total of my COIN STASH was $544.89. Of course that's not including COINSTAR'S 9 %. But still... It's not a bad day's work for someone who doesn't collect a regular paycheck. I think I will put this money to good use. I'm SAVING it for a rainy day. But CHANGE IS GOOD. Maybe I should consider SPENDING it? Did you ever notice dollars burn a hole in your pocket, but coins accumulate?

29 comments:

Forty Pound Sack said...

We have a big "jar" - looks like one of those cookie jars that has a flat spot on the side so the opening is in front rather than on top. Anyway - Walker wanted it because it has a digital counter on the front, and watching how fast those coins add up has him diligently plugging his change in every morning. We put all our change in our vacation account. We average $50 a month. Adds up fast!

Lucy said...

We have change in various places and various holders. I want to cash them in and Joe says he wants to look at the coins first to see if there are any valuable ones. I say put what we have to good use. Haven't won yet.

That corgi :) said...

That was a great investment you had laying around; almost like saving for a rainy day and you didn't realize it at the time how much was accumulating here and there with your coins! I'm with you, save it for a rainy day down the line, I think it was a great gift for that!

We do have those Coinstar machines here too and it is fun to hear them being put to use by others. I do remember rolling coins one time and taking them to the bank to redeem. I had marked our account number on all of them (I now have it memorized from that, LOL). I remember the teller who processed me being really kind about it. I even wrote a letter of thanks to her and her bank manager for her kindness in it all :)

I figured pennies would win in the final tally of the most coins processed!

(BTW, I like your word for the year of hope, that was my second choice between seek and hope, I was debating between the two but seek kept speaking more to me :)

It will be a great 2012 I do believe!

Happy New Year!

betty

Angela said...

I've wondered how those machines work... have heard the racket before, but never stopped to check it out. I save our change through the year and use it for school supplies (although now that the kids are older and almost finished, that cost has went down). For me, it's rewarding to sort, count, and roll... but then again, my top dollar is usually around $200-250.

And random note, I hate the way handling that change makes my hands smell. Crazy, huh?

Here's to good things in the new year!

Tami said...

I did Coinstar one time. The machine is in our local grocery store. You are right about the racket is causes. Everyone (well, it seemed like everyone) looked at me as I dumped the coins! I was not as lucky as you and only got about $50.00 - but HEY!, it's extra, right?

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That loose change does add up. Isn't it nice that you've discovered so much money saved without really trying. I used those machines at the grocery story for a while then found out that my bank will do it for free. The last time i took my stash in I got 47.00. Nothing like what you had at your house, but still it was nice! Hope your Monday is a wonderful one!

jack69 said...

Sherry loves to save change. (Or did) She saved all change for the year and let the grand kids count and roll it. They got to divide it for their County Fair trip for their 'extra money' spending.

One year our house was broken into and someone took her little wicker basket of change, that hurt.
Enjoyed the entry.
Note: You could smile big, instead of being so deep in thought, with your crown on!!!! But then Queens have so many decisions to make. LOL

Ina in Alaska said...

I am impressed with your cash out totals!

I keep spare coins in an old Costco-size container of Coffee Mate. When it gets to feeling heavy I do roll the coins & take them to the bank across the street from my office. I am getting good at guessing how much $ in the can by it's weight when I pick it up- generally about $80+ or so. It all adds up. I actually just rolled up $25 of coins to use as spare cash for this week. Every bit helps!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We do that as well, I have a big baggie in our hutch that is getting pretty full. It does not fill as fast these days because we hardly ever use cash anymore. Mostly when we travel, I just throw change in a pouch on the carry-on.

Pat MacKenzie said...

I've been a coin saver for years - I put them in a large restaurant-sized pickle jar. I now have one filled and another half full. Here in Canada where we have $1.00 and $2.00 coins (loonies and twoonies) the cash value really adds up quickly.

I save American coins when we're in Arizona too and take them (in smaller bunches) to the coin star machine in WalMart. The money has to be spent in WalMart, but that's ok too.

It's like getting a bonus. I don't even mind rolling the coins to take to the bank.

RoeH said...

I do that all the time. I got $478.00 once and paid off a Visa bill and a month or two ago I got 360 or something like that. It's fun. BTW-- I had to create a new blog and kill my old one (All About Arizona..or not). It was the easiest way to fix a problem. Anyway - I like reading your blog and hearing from you so my new blog address is http://stinkeestinkee.blogspot.com/

Hollie said...

Wow!! Great indeed!! I have seen those machines, but I never knew how they worked. Thanks for educating me about it!!

Nelle said...

That was a great stash! I used CoinStar once and then found out a local bank (then Commerce, now TD Bank) had a machine that did it FREE! They also have you guess the amount and if you are close you get a small prize of a CD opener or something like that. My son often leaves here with quarters for the laundry room so I rarely accumulate change and at the store I search my wallet for coins to keep it light. Happy New Year dear friend. May it be a better one for all of us. Saying prayers for your hubby to feel better soon.

Funny in My Mind said...

There is a Coinstar at our bank and they deposit in your account with no fees.
We cashed in our change a couple years ago and had $1,800 and bought a new mattress.

Belle said...

That was a lot of money! Good for you. I throw my change in a drawer, but my grandson comes and takes the quarters once in awhile, (with permission) so it doesn't add up to much. I've seen those machines too. They are a great idea. I hate rolling change.

Buttercup said...

I save change,too. Sometimes I take it to the bank where they have a coin machine. I have a savings account there and I've saved a few hundred dollars doing this. I also take coins to Coinstar at the grocery and turn them into to Amazon coupons and they don't take a percentage. It's time to return to the bank and beef up my little account. Have a great day!

Bobbi said...

Haha! So true!! We have a plastic 'bear' that we toss our change in. We used to give it to the kids when we'd go on vacation- we'd take them to the bank where they'd throw it into one of these machines and do it for nothing. (they still do.. but you have to be a member). Anyway.. the kids would end up having like ... $400 between them.. pretty nice spending money if you ask me!!
So now, what have you decided to get with all your loot? I'm afraid a portion of that would burn a hole in my pocket... but I'd save a little for a rainy day. LOVED this post!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

OMG! You little hoarder! And how lucky for you that you are.

Healthier And Wealthier said...

How great! I was gonna do this but I keep reaching in and getting change to spend for coffee or whatever. My bank has a free coin machine. Love that! You, my dear, could have a nice weekend vaca! Sandra

Pam said...

We do that with my son's piggy bank about once a year, but we've never had nearly that amount! Our Coinstar will let you tale your money back in gift cards and then they won't take a fee, but if you want the money back in cash then they take the fee out. There's only a few gift card options and none are ones that we would use, so we always just do the cash option.

alphawoman said...

Wow. Now that is inspiring! If only I could keep my husband out of the change jar. lol.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

New Nuclear Plants: one in Georgia, on in South Carolina.

Lucy said...

I will see my family doctor the 10th and then they will set up an appointment
with the orthopedist. With the insurance I have now I could have gone straight in to the orthopedist with out seeing family doctor but he can get me in quicker. I am so glad that you are getting yours taken care of. Prescriptions are terrible. I took 4 in yesterday, when I went and got my hair cut. It will be 155.00 deductible and as of what I had yesterday 4 bottles of 30 in each, was 65.00.

Nezzy said...

I'm sayin'. I never spend my change. I just toss it in jars instead and am flabbergasted at the end of a year what a few coins here and there can do.

God bless ya sweetie and have a wonderful weekend.

BTW: Happy New Year too!!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow that is a haul......so cool! And honestly the time and effort to roll those coins would have taken hours compared to the minutes through coinstar! Worth the fee in my mind. Have a wonderful weekend!

One day at a time said...

Beautifull they all are, i spent a couple of hours at my sons house today. Taryterre i had a small breast cancer removed last november, it was found in such early stages and was localised, so i was able to have it removed. I felt shock,horror and terror.I have been so lucky in my treatment, but it teaches you how precious life is.I am going to love and adore my family even more, i want to be the best person i can be.x

Sheila Y said...

Woo Hoo! That was quite a stash. Don't spend it all in one place...ha. Those phone receivers are the neatest thing, haven't seen anything like them. Have a great week, Sheila

Lisa said...

Change can get heavy after a while, wow that was quite a big stash, Hugs Lisa

Harriett Faulks said...

You’ve saved a lot! Amazing! How long did it take you to save that much? Anyway, good thing there is a coin counting machine near your place. Counting and rolling them one by one is such tiring work. I’m so excited to open my piggy bank and find out how much is in there. I’ve been saving for a year now. So, I’m guesstimating it’s around hundred dollars too. ->Harriett Faulks