This post was originally published on June 30, 2014. In honor of America Saves Week, we’re sharing our most popular savings blogs and favorite savings tips this week. #ASW2015
Kyle Koneval – Peer Counselor, Majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management
My high school government teacher always taught us to “spend-save”. Confusing, right? Spend. Save. How can you do one while doing the other? After some thought, and more spending experience, I have found a way to save while spending money.
Money burns a hole in your pocket
My father always told me when I was a boy, “money burns a hole in your pocket”. Unlike using a card when you pay with cash the money is taken directly from your pocket. Seeing the cash physically taken for a purchase can lead to better spending habits, and possibly more savings. The idea of seeing money literally slip between your fingers can hit home, especially for purchases that may be deemed unnecessary afterwards.
Change is a beautiful thing
Anytime I see change on the street, floor, couch, etc. it is always a good day, no it is a great day! Those seemingly harmless pennies, dimes, and nickels can add up over time. When using cash, there is always a chance you will receive change. This change can be put into a piggy bank, cup, jar, or anything that will hold it for use later, but not a vending machine. Saving change can be described as a game to some people, and Danny Iny has a perfect example of this. He made it a ‘game’ to save his change. Making anything into a game brings out the competitive side in almost everyone. Who doesn’t want to win? We challenge ourselves, and when that challenge is met, or exceeded, we take pride in this feat.
…Who really misses those few coins weighing you down?
A lot of people these days do not like to carry around a pocket full of change. It can be noisy and bothersome. Some of my friends hate change so much that they give it to me when we get a late night snack somewhere. I’m never one to turn down change; I accept change knowing that I just earned more toward my current savings goal. “A penny saved is a penny earned”, as my friend Ben Franklin would say.
Goal setting for the future
No goal is too ridiculous, but some goals can be short of what you can achieve. Set a goal with your piggy bank: a new pair of shoes, the newest video game, a vacation or even bigger RETIREMENT. Setting realistic, but difficult goals help us to challenge ourselves to win the ‘change game’ and can be worthwhile. When starting a change jar, you need to set a goal and a time frame to meet that goal. My current goal is to fill a 3 foot bowling pin and see how much change it can hold. As silly as it may seem, it is attainable, not ridiculous, and doesn’t fall short of what I can do.
There are many different ways to develop your own strategy for saving your change, so find your ‘game’ and try to get the high score. There are pros and cons to using cash. Seeing the visual transaction can help deter bad spending habits but saving the change from cash transactions can make even bigger changes overtime.