Money Saving Tips

Easy/Genius Ideas for Your Spare Change

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Sometimes, we hear about friends and family members who don’t save their spare change, and our jaws drop. Like, hello?! Change is money! Just slightly dirtier and less valuable than the bills in your wallet!

Not keeping and cashing those spare coins is actually the equivalent of throwing money out the window. And when you’re broke, being careless with money is exactly what you’re trying to avoid.

Soooo – instead of losing your nickels and dimes in couch cushions, might we recommend (these way) better alternatives?

If you need all the moolah you can get, check out this first section with advice on how to translate those measly pennies into cold hard cash. And if you don’t see the point in saving spare change for yourself – but are a Very Nice Human and want to use it to benefit others, scroll down!


Ideas for Saving and Spending Spare Change on Yourself


  1. Just because you’re “saving” your change, doesn’t have to mean spending responsibly. Save up those nickels and dimes to treat yourself – guilt-free! – to little indulgences. We’re thinking a baked good or ice cream, new tube of lipstick or color of nail polish, or a winning lottery ticket. If you have a go-to jar or drawer of bills from cashed-in loose change, you can indulge when you want!
  2. Take a trip to the dollar store and see how much fun stuff you can buy. (Then take pics and share them with us at @BrokeGirlsGoOut because we totally want to see your haul.)
  3. Throw a party or host a special occasion at home, and use your change to buy some of the cheaper items like paper goods and beverages. (P.S. A lot of our recommendations for throwing  parties on a budget include cheap items from places like Party City!)
  4. Is the act of physically obtaining coin wrappers, counting out and rolling up your loose change, and lugging those bad boys to the bank not worth the cash you’d be taking home? (Maybe it isn’t!) A better solution for you might be to dump that change into the closest Coinstar kiosk, where you can trade in those coins for gift cards or even Amazon credit.
  5. Keep a cute coin purse on you with loose change at all times – you’ll be grateful when using the vending machine at work or when searching for a late-night snack when studying. Those small, frequent purchases can add up!
  6. Get creative with your coins. There are so many cute ways you can upcycle your throw-away change – to make jewelry, wall art, keepsakes, or even a new tabletop or floor finish. You know what we’re gonna say next: go to Pinterest.
  7. Break open that piggy bank to help pay off debt more quickly. The amount may be small, but even a little bit can help motivate you to keep working off those payments!
  8. Save up for something big that’s special to you – a solo trip or girl’s weekend, college fund or paying for your Master’s, your first apartment, pet… or something smaller, like that cute pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, a new planner, or a fresh haircut and dye job! You may not be able to put away $500 every month – but you can contribute your loose change every week for a small but mighty savings stash!
  9. Use spare change for practical things: subway or bus fare, laundry, parking meters, and highway/bridge tolls. (Again, we support the purchase of a cute coin purse here.)
  10. Take a trip to the casino. Play with only the money from your change jar, so you don’t feel it if your luck turns!
  11. Save those pennies for special trips where you can get your coins pressed as a memento to preserve the occasion. #nostalgia


Ideas for Donating Your Spare Change to Others


  1. Those Coinstar kiosks aren’t good for just gift cards and Amazon credit! You can dump your change into the machine and have it donated to the charity of your choosing. See who their charity partners are online.
  2. Drop your loose coins in the coin collections at Wawa – or trays near the cash register at your corner store or gas station (so sorry if you don’t have a Wawa…).
  3. Save a stash of extra change from the week and donate a set amount to your religious institution with each visit. Bonus: no guilt if you use your nickels and dimes.
  4. Save a year’s worth of spare change to donate to the nonprofit organization of your choosing! It can be frustrating if you don’t have room in your budget to donate a significant amount to causes that matter to you, so this is a great way to give back without thinking about it.
  5. Keep a piggy bank and designate the savings for something special for family: a big date night with your partner, a nice vacation or weekend trip, college fund for kids, or emergency savings.
  6. Use those coins for special gifts for others. We love the idea of gifting a piggy bank with change for a baby shower to kick-start his or her college fund!
  7. Let all those spare coins add up throughout the month and use them to regularly pay off one utility bill. Helllooo, we’re all about this idea.
  8. Use it on random acts of kindness – keep loose coins on you to give to homeless, or pay it forward by buying someone’s coffee or meal behind you when out.
  9. *cough* Empty your piggy bank when Girl Scout Cookie season comes around. *cough* Everyone wins! *cough*


We love adding to our lists! We love sharing amazing advice from other Broke Girls! What fun or productive things do you like to do with your loose change?

Jess works in the e-commerce and nonprofit industries with a focus on digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and public relations. She loves pop punk, performing arts, big cities, books, and chardonnay.

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