We all have spare change lying around.Â The car, the couch, the washing machine and the couch are usually the best places to find unused coin.Â Some people horde their change until it is too heavy to move.Â Others may just pick it up here and there and use it for everyday expenses.Â Whatever the case, this unused money is often a very small windfall and you should use it as so.
How Much Change do you Have?
According to Coinstar, INC. (the operator of all of those coin counting machines you see in the grocery store) the average U.S. household has over $90 lying around the house.Â That is a pretty big number if you ask me.Â So, if you have all of your expenses covered and decide to collect some of this cash, what should you do with it?Â I say, enjoy it.Â After all, it is money you have earned, but have not yet allocated to anything in particular.Â Here are some ideas for your collected change:
Use it as “Date Money”
$90 sounds like a mighty fine dinner or a night out with friends.Â I said you should enjoy the money, why not enjoy it with someone close to you?Â If you can dig up a nice chunk of change every month or two, it could strengthen your relationship (if used for a hot date).
Take the Kids Out
This choice may not apply.Â If it does, let the kids rummage for coins and help them roll or organize them.Â It is a great opportunity for you to teach them about money in a fun way.Â Once everything is done, use the money to take them out for ice cream or the local go-kart track.Â There is no better way to interest them in money than to show them how a little can go a long way.
When saving money or under a strict budget, it is often hard to allow yourself to get some money all to yourself.Â Get a massage, get your nails or hair done, or take a road trip to that store you love that just happens to be a two hour drive.
Take it to the Fountain
Charity is never a bad idea, especially for “found” money like your change.Â Your local wishing well or fountain may be giving to a cause you can get behind.Â If you do not know where this money goes, pick a cause that means something to you and take your spare change to them.Â Whether it is $5 or $500, they will be grateful.Â And you will have done a good deed.
Dump it into Savings
While maybe not my idea of fun, maybe you are packing away every cent possible.Â If this is the case, do not let your change sit around the house, put it into your savings account and earn at least a small return on it.
Pay on Debt
If you are using the Snowball method to relieve your debt obligations, you know that every extra dollar you can spare gets put toward your debt repayment.Â If you are die-hard with this method, do not let your spare change become an exception.Â The faster you are out of debt, the better.Â This may be priority #1 to your goals.Â If this is the case, pay it down!
Find “Rare” and Misprinted Coins
It is fairly simple to take a few minutes out of your busy day to sort through your coin stash and try to find coins that may be worth more than face value.Â Misprints, old coins or rare coins could end up in your change, leaving you with nothing but opportunity.Â Maybe before you spend it, you take a closer look at it.
Whether you are using your “found” money on savings, debt, yourself or others, remember that this money is likely not part of your budget.Â That means, you can do as you please with it.Â Make sure you are doing it for something you enjoy.Â Make yourself smile.Â And maybe wear some gloves when your ransacking your nasty couch crevices.