Category Archive: Cash

Silver Coins – List Of U.S. Coins Containing Silver

Silver coins are easier to find than you might think.  My son and I recently began collecting coins – and we are finding silver coins. The cool thing is – we are finding these (partially) silver coins while sorting through rolls of commonly used U.S. coins.

We have learned that sorting through rolls of coins is often referred to as coin roll hunting.  Pretty cool.

Once or twice a week, we’ll go to the bank and get a few rolls of coins – some dimes, nickels, and quarters.  If the bank has them, we’ll also get some half-dollars.  We’ll come home and hunt through the rolls for any interesting – or valuable – coins.

By the way – this is a rather inexpensive – and potentially profitable – hobby.  Once we sort through the rolls of coins, we’ll keep any that we think are worth keeping, and re-roll the remaining coins.  These are then exchanged, on our next trip, for more coin rolls.

My son did a little research and discovered that several commonly used – and not super rare – U.S. coins actually contain a decent amount of silver.  (Obviously, there are special coins that are pure silver.  When we say silver coins – we are talking about coins that are partially silver, consisting of silver and some other metal.  These coins, because they contain a precious metal, are often worth more than face value, which is pretty cool.)

Here’s our list of silver coins –

Jefferson Nickels from 1942 – 1945 contain 35% silver.*

*1942 Nickels with no mint mark do not contain silver.

Roosevelt Dimes from 1946 – 1964 contain 90% silver.

Washington Quarters from 1932 – 1964 contain 90% silver.

Kennedy Half-Dollars from 1965 – 1970 contain 40% silver.**

**1964 Kennedy Half-Dollars contain 90%silver.

Kennedy Half-Dollars Silver Coins

Kennedy Half-Dollars

So far, we have managed to find at least one of each of these – except for a Roosevelt silver dime.  We did, however, find a silver dime – from Canada!  Awesome.

There are older coins, much more difficult to find, that also contain silver.  Once in a while, when hunting through a roll of coins, you might stumble upon one of these.  To be sure: A quick internet search will usually reveal a coin’s worth.

Sorting through a roll of coins only takes a few minutes – and finding silver coins is always fun.  We are brand new to the hobby, and being able to find interesting – and valuable – coins, in rolls available through our local bank, makes it pretty easy.

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Additional resource –

Check out this article from the archives: 10 Places To Look When Scrounging For Change

The picture above features some of the silver coins we have found – and two silver coins we received as gifts when we first started collecting.

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What To Do With All That Change

We continue to use the envelope system to manage our cash.  We also have three kids, who get paid for some chores – so we always have change around our house.

My son, in particular, likes to collect coins.  Right now, he’s into sorting pennies and saving a few in his coin collecting books.  Once he goes through a roll of pennies, he’ll keep the ones that he needs for his collection, and put the rest in his piggy bank.  (Which is actually one of these coin-counting banks.)

My kids, like all kids, like to spend their change on gum, candy, and those machines in restaurants.  Recently, we have been encouraging them to save their change, instead.  So, they have quite a bit of change saved up – and with Christmas around the corner – the kids are ready to cash-in and buy presents.

I do not know much about coin collecting, but apparently, pennies that are older than 1982 have a higher amount of copper, and are actually worth MORE than 1 cent.  So, any “old” pennies (including wheat-backs, which kids love to find) are put into a “keep” bucket.

When we are ready cash in our change, we hit the local Coinstar.  We cash in for Amazon gift certificates, so we do not have to pay a fee.  The kids then use the gift certificates to buy presents for grandparents and cousins.

Our local bank will also count the coins – and deposit the money into our account.  Usually, this is what I will do with my change (which I have very little of, now that the kids are into this whole money-saving thing!).

From time to time, we’ll wrap our coins in those little coin wrappers.  If we can’t get to the bank, we’ll print the coin wraps for free using this pdf.  We’ll then use the wrapped coins to save up for a special purpose.  Last year, the kids saved their quarters, for a whole year, and used them when we went on vacation.

Finally, we try to keep some change in our pockets, for when we are shopping.  The kids love to put money in the “big red bucket” for charity.

Side note – We also keep an eye open for “silver” money.  Certain older coins actually contain silver – and are worth more than face value.  At present, we are sorting through half-dollars – and have found over a dozen silver coins!

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Structure And Freedom

Over the years I have learned the true value of creating structure and following a routine.  My wife and I use the following structured systems to control spending, plan for saving, and manage our finances.

Monthly Calendar – Each month we sit down and plan out that month’s events and scheduled activities.  We brainstorm and try to be thorough.  We list doctors visits, school functions, church events, etc.  Out goal is to know where we’ll be and when we’ll be there.  This helps us know two things, vital to all other systems – how we’ll spend our time and where we’ll spend our money.

My wife is old school – and uses a simple spiral-bound day-planner.  I prefer the calendar on my phone, which easily syncs with my computer and email.

photo by – Joe Lanman

Noted next to each event on our calendar, we approximate how much money that event might cost.  If we are taking the kids to one of their ballgames, that needs to be in our budget.  Or, if we’re taking the dog to the vet, that too needs to be in the budget.

Using a calendar to map out our month really helps us see where our money will be going.  If you struggle to create your monthly budget, try building a monthly calendar – filled with spending approximations – first.

Family Budget –  Once we have created our monthly calendar, we fine-tune our monthly budget.  Since we have been doing this for many, many years, our budget remains (relatively) unchanged, from month-to-month.  The calendar helps us make any changes that we might need to make, with increases or decreases in specific categories.

We use a simple zero-based budget for our regular monthly income.  For my business income (writing here at No Credit Needed) I use a budget based on irregular income.  We use the awesome You Need a Budget software to keep things nice and neat.

Meal Planner – This is a new one for us.  We take our monthly calendar, and based on where we’ll be and where our kids will be throughout the month, we create a meal planner for our family.  Basically, we figure out how many of us will be at home, how many of us will be elsewhere, and we plan a month’s worth of meals.  This does two things – First, it allows us to fine tune our grocery budget.  Second, it takes the pressure off of “what’s for dinner”.  We know what we’re going to eat, weeks in advance.  So far, the kids love it and we do, too.

Grocery Price Book –  As odd as it sounds, I actually enjoy shopping for groceries.  A few years ago, I created a printable grocery store price book (click to check it out and download, for free) to keep track of grocery prices at my favorite stores.  The grocery price book helps me stock up on items, when they’re on sale, and also helps when creating our meal planner.  (Do you see how all of these systems help with and connect to each other?)

Cash Management – Once we know what our month is going to look like, and once we’ve created our budget, it’s time to plan for cash spending.  We use cash for daily or weekly purchases, like gas and quick trips to the grocery store.  We use the envelope system (click to view a video that I made, explaining how the system works) to manage our cash.  The calendar helps us plan for each week’s envelopes and each week’s spending.

Bill Payment –  I have managed to schedule all but one of our monthly bills so that they arrive during the first week of each month.  On our monthly calendar, I make a notation of when the bills are expected to arrive.  Using our budget software (again, the awesome You Need a Budget, long-time site sponsor) and online bill pay, I plan for and schedule payments for each of our bills.  We do have one bill which arrives during the third week of each month and it is auto-drafted from our checking account.  In less than fifteen minutes, all of our regular, monthly bills are paid – and I can spend the rest of the month working, relaxing, finding ways to increase income, hanging out with family, but not worrying about paying bills.

Adding structure to our lives has lead to, in an odd twist, more freedom.  We do not spend our time worrying about money or fretting over our finances.  Instead, we have the systems in place, systems which work from a unified structure, to help us stay organized and prepared.

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