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!