Had a conversation with a friend about the money jar trap. You probably keep a change jar of some type and by doing so, there is a good chance you’re losing money rather than saving money by doing so. This is because it’s getting harder and harder to exchange coins without paying a fee to do so and by paying that fee, you end up losing money. it’s not just Coinstar at the grocery store, but also more and more banks charge for this “service.”
An easy way around this is to move up to a a dollar saving game where you empty your wallet of all the dollar bills you have each time you come home instead of the change. The problem here is that you have to actively participate to make this work…there is a big difference between searching through your wallet to place dollar bills in your jar than to empty the loose change in your pocket as you pass the money jar.
My friend has developed a “hybrid version” which avoids the money jar trap. he swears by it, but it sounds a bit complicated to me:
He empties his change each day into his money jar, then once a week switches the change into bills to deposit. The change then goes to a variety of different things that bypass the fees for exchanging coins. Some goes to his kids for allowance money, others for the car wash and parking meters and stuff like that.
Basically he says by changing the coins once a week into bills instead of letting the coins build up for months, there isn’t the coin exchange fee that you get with a massive amount of coins.
My opinion? It works for him and when it comes to saving money, that’s the most important thing. I personally see the dollar game as an easier alternative, but that’s just my opinion. Either way, making adjustments so that you don’t have to pay to exchange your coins makes a whole lot of sense.