What are Some Ideas for Collecting Loose Change?

J. Beam
J. Beam
Many children enjoy collecting loose change in a piggy bank.
Many children enjoy collecting loose change in a piggy bank.

To collect loose change, many people set out a designated container, which can be anything from a decorative coffee can to a coin sorter. This prevents the coins from being strewn about the dresser top when pockets are emptied. People who like to carry change with them each day might keep a small, shallow dish in the bedroom or near the front door, from which the change can be easily retrieved.

In the laundry room, people often keep a large container, such as an empty water jug or a large empty fish bowl, to put change in that has been left in pants pockets. They can store it within reach on a shelf beside or just above the washer and dryer. The kitchen is another area where an easily accessed container that can accommodate loose change can come in handy.

The house isn’t the only place that change accumulates. Many people have built-in coin holders in their car’s console, but they aren’t designed to hold very many coins. Drivers who have an extra cup holder in your car may want to place an empty cup just for change in it. When it fills up, they can carry it inside and dump into a larger loose coin vessel.

Collecting loose change in one or two locations makes it easier to put it to use. Over time, the coins can add up to a surprising sum that can be designated to whatever the collector likes. He or she can sort it after it has been collected and roll it for deposit into the bank or exchange the rolls for bills and spend the money on something frivolous. It may help to get the entire household on board by designating the collection to go towards a movie and ice cream, for example, or the money can be donated to charity.

Collecting change is also a great way to teach young children the value of saving money. By providing a child with a piggy bank, a parent can make learning to save fun. Each time the parent or child finds a coin, the child can use it as “piggy food.” When the child feeds the piggy, he or she has more money. The parent can allow the child to count the money when the bank is full and help him or her roll it.

People who do not have a coin sorter and do not want to roll loose change can take it to a grocery store or other retailer that has a machine to sort and count the coins. These machines are a convenient way to dispose of extra change, but they have drawbacks. The machines do not give the user cash back, but provide a printed cash credit for the store where the machine is located. Users will also be charged a small fee of a few cents for each dollar, so people should expect to pay for the convenience of disposing of large quantities of change without the need to roll or count it.

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Discussion Comments


@iluviaporos - I would double check that you aren't paying for that points scheme in some other way though. Often they charge fees on top of interest, even if you manage to keep your borrowing down to nothing, so you still aren't really making anything, it just feels like you are.

I prefer to use the system I saw suggested on TV a while ago which works for me, even though it is a little bit arbitrary. I just get out a certain amount of cash each week and that's all I'm allowed to spend. And if any is left over, at the end of the week, it goes into my piggy bank. The loose change doesn't ever amount to much, but over time it will hopefully add up to something and I always have a good idea of how much money I have left in my budget to spend.


@irontoenail - I just keep mine in a little tin that I think originally came with some fancy soap or something.

I've noticed that I don't end up with very much change these days, because I hardly ever have to use cash in the first place. It's always easier to use a card, especially if you get some kind of bonus for doing so. I get quite good points on my credit card, so I always try to use that if I possibly can. As long as you keep up with the payments so that you don't end up paying any interest, then it's the better choice.


I love money banks to the point where I probably have more of them than I'd ever be able to fill. I don't know what it is, but there's just a little bit of delight in being able to slip your loose change into a cute container, particularly when it does something like "eating" it or counting it or whatever.

One of my favorites, though, is a box shaped like a fire alarm, with the slogan "In case of emergency, break glass" which I think was a fairly inspired combination.

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    • Many children enjoy collecting loose change in a piggy bank.
      Many children enjoy collecting loose change in a piggy bank.