Money & Career
5 Ways Your Spare Change Can Make a Big Difference
10/2/2017 10:02:00 PM
Spare Change

According to the Transportation Security Administration, there was over $531,000 worth of spare change left behind in the country’s airports just during 2012. Nearly every time we make a cash purchase, it results in spare change. Some of us let it jingle around in our pockets, while others drop it into the charity bucket next to the register, hoping it makes it to the featured charity. Even more of us let it pile up in our vehicles, waiting for a chance to put it to use. But what if that spare change, as small as it may seem, could actually add up to something big and make a difference in the world or give your family a fun vacation? 

"We all have spare change, and most of us see it as trivial,” explains Leena Patidar, chief executive officer and co-founder of Coin Up, an app that donates your spare change to charities of your choice. "What people don’t realize is that the aggregation of this spare change is actually quite powerful. It adds up quickly, allowing for major effect, depending on how you want to use it.” 

Here are five things to keep in mind as your spare change begins to accumulate:

Save for a family vacation. Many families find it challenging to pay for a family vacation. Yet if they saved spare change throughout the year, putting it into a big bank in the closet, they may have $600 or more at the end of the year. That’s enough to take a nice little family vacation or staycation and create some memories.

Keep saving it. If you put all your spare change into a coin bank, then once a year cash it in and add it to a savings account at the bank (or invest it), you will significantly add to your retirement nest egg. Even saving a few hundred dollars per year will add up to a surprising payday once retirement hits and the money has all been compounded in the bank.

Pay it forward. Use your spare change to pay it forward for someone else. If you let it pile up in the car, once you see you have a few dollars, pick up the tab for the person’s latte in line behind you. That good deed is likely to create a ripple effect of kindness.

Eliminate debt. In our society, most people carry some debt, whether from credit cards, automobile payments, or student loans. Save your spare change, and every time it adds up to $25-50, apply it to your debt. Over time, those extra payments will help eliminate the debt quicker.

Give to your favorite charity. Everyone has a cause they are passionate about. Giving spare change to a favorite charity can help have a major impact on that issue and lead to a better world. Apps such as Coin Up have helped make giving spare change to one’s chosen charity effortless. By downloading the app and choosing a charity to donate to, your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the change going to your chosen charity each month.

"We know the impact and power that spare change can have on society,” added Coin Up co-founder and chief technology officer, Scott Graham. "That’s why Coin Up is revolutionary, because we are creating a society that can easily engage in charitable giving through the convenience of every day transactions; taking incremental spare change from your daily credit/debit card transactions and donating it to the charity of your choice.”

The Coin Up app is free to download and provides a secure way for people to control their monthly charity donation amount, as well as a tax-deductible donation. 

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