]Do you have a spare change jar? Maybe you use a coffee tin. Or perhaps you keep your spare change in an empty face cream container, like my Nanna used to do. (I think she was trying to keep it disguised from my Grandad 😉 )
Regardless of what you use, I think most of us have a good amount of spare change floating around. Your spare change isn’t doing much good floating around in your car, or sitting there in an empty face cream container – put it to good use instead!
10 Smart Things to do With Your Spare Change
Build an Emergency Fund
Almost all experts would agree that you should have around 6 months of basic living expenses in your emergency fund, but shockingly, only 28% of Americans do. And about 66 million Americans have ZERO dollars in an emergency fund.
Instead of letting your spare change roll around in the bottom of your car, start an online savings account and build up your emergency fund.
For a nice boost to your savings, Capital One 360 offers a $25 bonus when you open an online savings account with a minimum $250 deposit. There are no fees associated with the account, either. I’ve been using Capital One 360 for a while now, and I’ve enjoyed the service they provide.
Here’s the link to get a $25 bonus when you open a Capital One 360 Savings Account with $250 or more.
Invest in Your Education
One of the smartest things you can do with your money is invest in your education. Sure, your spare change jar probably isn’t going to contain enough money to pay for college, but there are plenty of excellent online courses that cost very little.
One of my favorite platforms for online learning is Udemy. Udemy has thousands of online courses on every topic imaginable, starting at around $15.
Start a Vacation Fund
In our busy lives, it’s important to spend some time relaxing and recharging. Even a weekend getaway can do wonders for lowering your stress levels.
Head on over to TripAdvisor and start researching your next vacation destination, then start a vacation fund with your spare change.
Pay Off Debt Faster
Put your spare change to work by using it to pay off your debt faster. Even making a small additional payment every month can save you money over the life of your loan.
Go on a Date Night
It’s important that you regularly take the time to connect with your spouse, especially when work, kids, housework, extra-curricular activities, etc., all eat into our time. Save your spare change and surprise your significant other with a romantic date night.
Donate it to Charity
If there’s a cause you feel strongly about, consider making a regular donation to support it. Before I make a donation to any charity, I visit CharityWatch.org to make sure that I’m donating my money to a charity that has above-board practices.
Give it to Your Kids to Teach Them About Saving
I remember as a kid, I had a “Dollarmites” account. Every Monday morning, a bank teller would come to my school, and we would all line up to deposit the money our parents had given us that week.
It was a great way to learn about saving, and I loved getting my little deposit slip back and seeing my balance grow. While I doubt that most schools have a system like that anymore, you could do the same thing yourself. If you need a little more convincing, here are 5 reasons you should open a savings account for your kids.
Start a Rainy Day Fund
Different to an emergency fund, a rainy day fund is for those times that a smaller, but still unexpected expense occurs. Maybe your house has sprung a leak and you need to call a plumber or the alternator on your car has gone out. A rainy day fund ensures that you don’t have to put those sorts of expenses on credit.
Believe it or not, you don’t actually have to have a lot of money to start investing. Betterment, an automated investing service, has no minimum investment amount and no minimum balance, meaning you can start an investment account with Betterment using your spare change.
I’ve been with Betterment for over a year now, and I recommend them to anyone who wants to get started in investing. You don’t need to know anything about the stock market – Betterment are the experts, and they do it all for you.
Put it in Your “Christmas Club”
“Christmas Club” is a term my Mum used when I was a kid. One time I was snooping in the kitchen cupboards, and I found an envelope full of cash. I asked my Mum what it was for, and she replied, “It’s my Christmas Club money.”
Turns out the “Christmas Club” was a very exclusive club – my Mum was the only member 🙂 Instead of scrambling to find money for Christmas presents each year or putting everything on credit, use the spare change you accumulate to start building a Christmas fund.