Monday, October 17, 2011

Pennies From Heaven

When I was a little kid, my mom and dad regularly gave me all their spare change to play with - I'd count it, stack it and (naturally) pocket it. I used to save it all in a big hamburger shaped bank I got in Tijuana, then spend it on my favorite childhood addictions: candy, Bop Magazine, records and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. So what's that got to do with this post and that saucy Abe Lincoln winking at you up there? Lemme tell ya...

I recently did a super duper cleaning session on our guest room (it happens every time I watch more than 3 episodes of Hoarders in a row) and came across an old piggy bank. That sucker was filled to the brim and weighed a ton! I also had another piggy bank (not quite so full), so I decided it was time to cash in the coins and see how much these little porkers were holding.
My bank is a credit union that happens to have a coin machine in the branch office I use most. It's just like a Coinstar machine, but with one important difference. Members aren't charged a fee! Non members can use the machine too, they do have to pay a fee, but it's less than Coinstar's 9.8% processing fee. So how much were Lord and Lady Oinks O'Lot holding?

Not a bad haul for money I'd almost forgotten about! Piggy banks just happen to be for sale at Target, including this adorable pumpkin piggy. But really, anything with a lid will do - a jar, coffee can, plastic container (like the ones you get when you buy deli meat at the grocery store). You can decorate them and keep them in a spot where everyone in the house can toss in their spare change. Use it for a fun group thing (Netflix or premium cable for a year, wine club membership, dinner & movie nights... you get the idea. If you've got young kids, it's a good way to show them the benefits of saving. It may be just a few cents at a time, but if you save them up they can add up to big bucks!

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