Piggy Banks Aren’t JUST for Children

Ahh, the famous piggy bank. Call it a piggy bank, money box, change jar….whatever. The point is to put spare change from time to into this container for savings.

I think the power of the piggy bank is very underestimated. Take a look at MY piggy bank (Actually it’s a 3-year old Snapple bottle).

I stash away spare change AND SPARE BILLS. If I have five $1 bills, I will (without thinking) stash away two of them in the change jar. I do this all the time. I even stash $10’s and $20’s in there at times.

If you use a lot of cash or change, make a subconcious habit of putting some of it away everyday. DO NOT USE THE CHANGE JAR FOR SPENDING. This defeats the whole purpose.

Once, you’ve got a nice amount built up:

  • Go to a CoinStar or similar machine that gives you cash for change (at local grocery).
  • Get your ca$h.
  • Count all cash.
  • Deposit all cash into bank.
  • Keep 10% or 20% of the money for spending purposes (this will “reward” you for stashing money away).

Since January I will have “made” over $100 from my change jar. Not bad considering it would have just been money wasted in other places.

Also make sure to pickup EVERY penny, nickle, dime and quarter you see laying around. It truly adds up. I was once walking with a multi-multi-MULTI-millionaire who caught sight of a penny from the corner of his eye. Without breaking his line of conversation, he stopped, turned around, walked to the penny, picked up the penny and continued walking with me. He proceeded to carry on the conversation like nothing happened.

I understand why….it’s FREE money. No matter what economic class you are in, you’ve gotta like free money.

This has got to be the simplest form of savings possible. Do it…….NOW.

Blog posted on: April 28, 2005

21 comments on “Piggy Banks Aren’t JUST for Children

  1. Arthur Chaparyan

    I agree with most of what you have written. However, the picking up pennies from the street is a bit much for me. Yes, it is free money, but is it really worth the effort?

    Say you pick up an average of 5 cents a day. That’s pretty high considering it is for 365 days straight you find 5 cents laying around without looking for it. By the end of the year, you would have $18.25. Not bad. But is it really all profit? Count each occurrence at 5 seconds of your life. That’s 1,825 seconds, or half an hour. Then count the time to go to the CoinStar machine and get it back in dollars: Drive there, unload your money, drive back, etc: 30 minutes. So that’s 1 hour of work to get the money.

    But CoinStar isn’t free, it’s 8.9 cents per dollar. So you are left with $16.62 for a years worth of picking up dirty coins from the street while people look on in confusion. Is that worth your time and pride? For me, it isn’t. That might seen illogical, but it probably comes from my culture. I would like your opinion on that. By the way, I really enjoy reading your entries.

  2. Neville

    I guess this post was more about getting in the HABIT of adding money to the change jar.

    The CoinStar trip would most likely be taken care of when you are going to the grocery store anyway.

    But you assume that you will find only $.05 a day. Sometimes I find 2 or 3 quarters in a vending machine. It all adds up to a paltry sum, but at least it’s SOMETHING.

    I like how you ran such a detailed and analytical analysis of the time it would take to make $18.25, but when spread out over a year, that time isn’t much.

    For example:
    If I pee 3 times a day, 20 seconds each, for a year. I’d waste 21,900 seconds, or 365 minutes or 6.08 hours of my life! I better cut the peeing out!

    Thanks for the comment, look forward to more!

  3. mara

    community banks are usually friendly enough to consolidate all your coins without charging the CoinStar commission. my credit union has a self-serve coin sorter!

    now, if only I could convert *my* time in the bathroom to a useful moneymaking pastime… eh, nah. :)

  4. Cap

    hey Nev, savings aside (which is always a good thing to remind people to do)

    when did you add in that ads by google? lol.

    I remember u said u wouldnt long ago.

    not that I’m bashing u or anything, at that time, when I read that you decided u dont want to, I figure you really should. but I respected the fact that u didnt want to plaster the site with google adsense.

    anyways, just wondering. plus, I’m glad its still not plastered everywhere. good choice of location.

  5. Neville

    I was trying to quitely add Adwords as an experiment.

    I added them to another site I just started, FancyBlog.com which hosts free blogr templates. My post for Friday will be all about FancyBlog.

    While I think Adwords are evil, I get over 115,000 page views a month (and it grows rapidly every month), meaning even if I get no clicks, I’d still make $500+ with a big-ass Adwords banner on my page.

    I don’t think I could taint my site with a big banner…yet. SO this experiment will see how much revenue a small “button” banner can bring in.

    Results will be shared soon.

  6. Johnie

    I understand putting change/coins into a “piggy bank” but stashing a large amount of money is probably not such a great idea. I’m sure it’s insignificant, but after inflation, the value of your money will be much lower than if you spent it now or put it into a savigns acct.

    But I like your idea of stashing away change though. To counterpoint the other commenter, if a nickel or a quarter is insignificant to you [ie not worth your time to pick up] as your income and net worth increases, does the amount that you are willing to “risk your pride” to pick up also increase?

    I’ve read in a number of articles/books, and I think Nev also pointed it out, is that a lot of millionaires get where they are not from increasing their income but by savings and reducing their expenditures.

  7. Alpha


    Good post- I keep the same change jar, but I don’t put bills in it (I keep those for my weekly bank deposits).
    Also I just wanted to share something I’ve read, your millionaire penny story reminded me of it. I read in a textbook a few years ago, I think during the bubble years, that if Bill Gates saw a $20 bill on the floor it wouldn’t be worth spending the time to pick it up and put it in his wallet because of the time spent. I’m not sure how they calculated or what figures were used, but I thought it was interesting.

  8. Cap

    lol I see.

    well I read adsense’s terms and condition and yeah you’re not suppose to draw undo attention to the ads, plus u’re trying to do an experiment I guess.

    your site definitely qualifies for their premium adsense though.

    good luck! I hope i dont see a big banner too, at least, not on the top! shouldn’t be too bad if its all the way on the bottom.

    as for picking up change, I think I dont mind bending for any amount. but if the coins are decisively dirty, and there’s no easy way to clean my hand later, perhaps its not worth it. cuz I usually find change on my way to go eat.. heh.

  9. Anonymous

    you’re definetely right ! I did it for 1 year and cashed it out. Couldn’t believe all the coins I accumulated worth $70 !!!

    BTW, I still have the habit of putting my coins in the jar.

  10. Anonymous

    Well, Neville. Nice site!

    But, you can’t count the change jar money as “money made”. They are the crumbs of money you have already made and calculated into your total.

  11. pfadvice

    Saving coins, which a lot of people do, has turned into a sort of Money Jar Trap. Nev has the right idea in saving dollars instead. The key is to take those and deposit them somewhere where they can earn interest once a month.

    Coinstar isn’t a good recommendation if you’re cashing in your coins. Why would you give somebody a $100 boll and ask for $91 back. The concept is the same…coins are legal tender so it’s not financially smart to get less back for them than they’re worth. Unfortunately, many banks also charge to take coins these days. Your best bet is to find a local credit union if you have a lot of coins to change.

  12. Justine Kaley

    Most of the commenters seemed like they were talking about getting rich fast or accumlating wealth, but that is not what picking up money from the ground is about it is about collecting the found coins and letting it add up even though it ain’t that much money is still money and it is the wastefulness of americans and other cizitens of other countries that continue people to look at picking up money like that weird and not good. I like the thought of having found money I have found $2.30 since Jan 1st and it may not be much but at least I am not like other commenters or others out there who expect to get rich any idiot would know you can’t get rich fast by doing this so stop complaining to Nev.

  13. Arkad

    Got to agree with all you’ve said, Nev. I’ve been doing this for around six months now and used the proceeds on crates of beer :)

    I feel that the earnings are too small to divide between saving and spending, however I must also add that if I didn’t buy booze with my ‘money box’ cash, it would have come out of my current/checking account anyway, so it’s the equivalent of saving around £15 per month.

    I really like the website. It’s given me some great ideas as well as being very inspirational.

    Take care and keep up the good work.


  14. Anonymous

    I agree with everything, but the coinstar. You should go to the bank and they’ll give you your money at no cost, trust me it works.

  15. Arkad

    For me, the coinstar provides a service that saves me time and effort.

    If I were to go to the bank, I’d have to find somewhere to park (not easy in my town), pay for parking, walk to the bank, wait in line and wait again while they count the coins.

    With the coinstar, I can be in and out within 5 minutes with free parking. For my particular circumstances, I’m willing to pay a small fee for the convenience.


  16. Anonymous

    I keep a penny jar and a seperate ‘silver’ jar right near the door. That way when I come in, I just empty my pockets and sort it into the appropriate jar. Then about once a month or every 6 weeks, I’ll take them to the grocery store and dump them into the coinstart machine to sort. I usually get $80-$100 even after the 9% robbery from the machines. From there, I do my grocery shopping and spoil myself with the items that I don’t normally buy. Just the other day, I had well over $119 just in pennies since I found two other jars that I forgot that I had. I was using them as bookends for years and didn’t think of them as money. I just put pennies into old wine bottles to make classy looking bookends. I didn’t realize that they were worth almost $60/ea

    As for Adsense, I get about $100 every four months from them for my various sites (http://www.stayner.ca)

    keep up the good work.

  17. Anonymous

    The change jar money that you get after going to the bank or whatever shouldn’t really be considered income. I do the same thing, it is a great idea. But you already made that money and it is not income in the traditional sense. What you find on the street or in vending machines is income. But the $0.83 cents you get after purchasing a candy bar isn’t income.


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