Let’s face it – times are tough. Thanks to the recession (or whatever they’re calling it these days) most of us have had to buckle down. There are ways to get by, but sometimes people aren’t aware of them so let’s go over a few ways to stretch dollars in tough times.
Loose Change, Tight Dollar
We all know people that leave change laying around, dropped in their vehicles, on floors of their house and outside on the ground. Then they complain they don’t have money. How many pennies does it take to make a dollar? How many dimes? Ten dimes added together means you have a dollar. Pick up the pennies and put them in a container. When you have 100 of them you have another dollar. One dollar plus one dollar equals 2 dollars! Look around at what you really need to get by and live. There are a lot of necessities that cost less than two dollars.
Those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters aren’t just toss away items. They are used to make change from dollar bills for a reason. They have value and should be used to purchase needed items, not just for getting coins in return for purchasing something that costs under the dollar bill provided.
No Laughing Matter
I have friends and family that tease and joke about how I pick any change up that I see laying on the ground or on floors. The last time I sorted and turned in all my change they didn’t laugh as loud when they saw what it added up to. Coin sorting machines are in banks, credit unions, stores and at many other locations for a reason. It’s there for people to turn in their coins to get back the value of them in dollar bill currency and put the coins back into circulation to be used again.
I have a dish that sits on my dryer that I throw coins in. Look how many times there is a coin in a pocket you don’t know about that you find in your dryer or wash machine? How many times were you walking around outside in a parking lot or outside of stores and you look down to see a penny, nickel, dime or quarter? Those pennies you find are more valuable when added together than they are when you put it in your shoe for good luck. My thought is that a penny found is worth more than a pound and has its own luck just by being discovered to begin with!
I also have change collecting containers on my kitchen counter, bedside the table and on the end table in my living room. I take all the smaller containers and dump them into one big container and let it keep filling up. It can turn into a worthwhile hobby that pays quite well. It doesn’t cost anything to do so there isn’t any ‘investing’ to get the change together, unless you decide to buy a bank or another container to put the change in. I don’t even do that though, a coffee can or old jar works just fine.
Make it a Hobby
Many people crochet, sew, draw or knit as a hobby while watching TV or just passing the time. There certainly is nothing wrong with those hobbies and I’ve done each of them myself at one time or another. But even with these hobbies you have to have the materials to do them and those can cost money too. How much is yarn, thread, crochet hooks or knitting needles as well as material, paper, pens, pencils, etc.? When you do get done with one of those hobbies do you get anything of value from them? You can if you can find someone that wants to buy it from you but then subtract out the cost you have invested to make the item to begin with and how long it takes to find a buyer.
I’ve found that while watching TV or just passing the time I can sort all the coins into perspective containers, putting each type of coin in its own container. I then start counting them into piles and hand rolling them. Fifty pennies in a 50 cent penny roll, 20 nickels into a $2.00 nickel roll and so on.
The best thing about passing time using this hobby is the immediate pay back you can get. You don’t have to worry about buying materials to use. The banks will give you the coin rolls to use and you don’t have to worry about finding a buyer to sell your coin rolls.
I’ve not only got myself a well-deserved treat occasionally from saving change this way, but I was even able to pay a bill or buy something needed for home.
So make sure you pinch those pennies and save that dime you find. It is its own reward.