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Change Jar Musings

By on February 18, 2007

Change jars are like mini savings accounts. You can start one to have as an emergency fund or to help you reach a specific goal. It’s a painless way to accumulate some extra money. The fun part is finding a container to use and creating rules for your own change jar challenge. You can tell a lot about a person by their loose change. πŸ˜‰

Which of the following personalities are you?

The Warden
You watch every cent as it’s added to the jar. You know exactly how much is in it, at any given moment. You might go as far as marking the container. You know if money has been removed, so don’t even consider taking a quarter from the warden.

The Elitist
No copper gets mixed in with the other coins. You want to maximize your savings, so adding pennies is just useless filler that wastes your time. You’ll still save pennies, but want them separated.

The Potty Mouths
They call it a swear jar. The concept is whenever someone swears, they add a set amount of money into the jar. Let’s just say we tried this over here. I won’t mention any names, but someone over here started just handing over ten dollar bills in advance for the week. lol

The Jingler aka Pocket Pool Pro
Ewww. I’m sorry, but you guys have got to stop jingling the change in your pockets. Just the thought of it makes me twitchy and not in a good way. Please allow me to suggest this as a frugal alternative. No one should jingle when they walk. It’s just not right.

The Hoarder
The change somehow never makes it out of the car. The car ashtray, drink holders, and consoles are overflowing with change. One fine day, you finally get a large container and clean out the entire car. Some hoarders have their spare change in their purse. They only empty it out when their purse gets too heavy to carry.

The Obsessive Organizer
Each type of coin is in its own separate container. You might go as far as cleaning the coins because you like shiny things. The containers are lined up and don’t anyone dare toss a nickel into the dime container. tsk tsk Let’s just say you won’t find any legos, game tokens, or Canadian coins in this jar.

The Tip Recipient
Founder of lost change in the laundry. All money found goes into their tip jar. Snooze you lose if you forgot to empty your pockets.

The Impatient
You have small change jars because you can’t wait long enough to fill a larger jar. You roll your change as soon as there is enough to roll and deposit into the bank on a regular basis. You need instant gratification and don’t have the patience or tolerance to save change any other way.

The Optimist
You have the largest change jars or several for various goals. Your main goal will be something large such as a Disney Vacation or HDTV. You will add dollar bills into the mix.

The Precise
You give exact change often. People in line behind you roll their eyes, but you count out exact change during most transactions. Your change jar consists of a small shallow dish, tiny container, or dresser drawer because the times you don’t give exact change, you use your debit card, so not a lot of change accumulates.

The Improviser
You’ll use anything you have handy to hold change. An old sock, baby wipes container, extra glass, vases, mason jars, ice cream buckets, cookie jars, empty candle jars, baskets, envelopes, baggies, plastic jugs, plastic food containers, coffee cans, etc.

The Scavenger
You are always on the lookout for spare change. You’ll search couches, the ground, public telephones, under drive thru windows, etc. A simple walk through your house can net you a minimum of $4 in change.

The Stasher
No one knows where you’re hiding the cash. Its location is top secret. Your methods are secretive too. You’re determined to save and no one is going to stop you.

Share with me the fun ways you save your loose change. Do you round up? Do you set aside money you’ve saved from coupons or discounts? I want to know all about you! What are you saving for?

If you aren’t participating in our change jar challenges on the forums, you’re welcome to join us.

Editor’s Note
Here’s my change jar. I like to think of my change jar as half full. πŸ˜€

I’d also like to add that when I was in eighth grade, my English teacher was a jingler. When you’re thirteen years old and sitting in a desk at “pocket level”, having a teacher that is a jingler is a lasting and vivid memory. ACK. I’m scarred for life. Please guys…with this blog entry, if I can accomplish one “take away” tidbit, please no jingling. It’s just plain creepy. I’ve got “coindar” and I can spot a jingler a mile away.


  1. Marie78

    2/18/2007 at 4:08 am

    I am a warden, elitest, and scavenger when it comes to my change jar and penny jar. I also roll it when I have enough, but I leave it in the change jar. It just makes it easier for me to count.

  2. Steven Wilson

    2/18/2007 at 9:11 am

    I agree with the pocket change jingler it is very annoying.That is the main reason I have a change jar besides I just plain can’t stand it in my pocket.
    My sixth grade teacher jingled his change all day long plus twirled his keys on his finger.I still can picture it today.I use a coffee can for my change jar.

    Steven Wilson

  3. Sara Noel

    2/18/2007 at 9:51 am

    Steven, So I’m not alone? lol Do you roll your change as soon as the coffee can is full or do you grab another coffee can? πŸ˜€

  4. Bumplett

    2/18/2007 at 10:07 am

    I’m The Tip Recipient, The Impatient & The Scavenger ~ I have a jar, all change is mixed together – I will also roll change & leave the rolls in the jar –

    I’ve taught my boys that it is OK to pick up change in parking lots, etc… if they find it – it makes them 1 cent or 5 cents richer! They get excited now if they find it first πŸ™‚

  5. Darlene

    2/18/2007 at 11:38 am

    It’s a wonder you could concentrate in class with the um… jiggler.
    I am mostly a tip recipient. I have an old peanut butter jar clearly marked “tips” on a table by the washing machine. I always yell out Woohoo followed by the ching of coinage joining it’s buds in the jar. I’m not as organized as some and there might be a button or two mixed in with the loot.

    Other change goes to hubby (who only puts his hand in pockets to extract exact change for purchaces, not to jiggle);)
    He hates change jars, says money is just sitting there not being used and earning no interest.
    All I know is he better not touch the tip jar, that’s mine.

  6. Sara Noel

    2/18/2007 at 12:03 pm

    Darlene-Jiggler? Jingler? haha I wonder what it implies when I was an A student in his class. Was I especially attentive? rofl

    If you look closely at my change jar, you can see a lego. lol I won’t even tell you how many Canadian coins are in there. Thanks to the French invasion. lol

  7. Barb

    2/18/2007 at 1:44 pm

    DH and I always save change. He puts his in a coin sorter and wraps the rolls as they are ready. Mine goes into an old plastic jar hidden in my desk! We used his last year to buy grand daughter a motorized Barbie jeep. Now we are saving his for the second grand daughters jeep when she is old enough! Mine however, goes toward debt. I only wrap or count when the jar is between three quarters to full. This way I feel as if we have debt reduction as well as a fun purpose for change!

  8. Sara Noel

    2/18/2007 at 1:56 pm

    Oh I forgot about the gadget geeks. lol The type that have fun banks and sorters.

    RGS has some great money puzzles he blogged about

  9. mom23boys

    2/18/2007 at 5:59 pm

    I am a tip jar recipient! If I find it, it is mine and it gets tossed into my jar. I have two jars….a secret one, shhhh!, and one where DH tosses his change too. The secret one is hidden in the laundry room and that’s where all my “tips” are dropped. I don’t mind doing the laundry when I get “paid” to do it.

  10. Michelle S.

    2/18/2007 at 6:05 pm

    Well let’s see…I currently use one of those plastic Crayon banks for our change. You know, the ones that were popular oh maybe 30 yrs ago? The one I begged to own but never received? We have one now, and I just dump any change I can in there. I can often be seen raiding said crayon err bank at 7 AM in search of school lunch money for the kids.

    At one point we had a Little Tikes plastic pig bank. That piggy was allergic to copper. No pennies please! That was our Disney fund. At one point we had close to $500 in that little piggy. Those gold dollars sure do add up.

    I’m not sure what we’re saving for now…I just like saving all that change. I’m sure we’ll find some good use for it.

    And Sara, I’m sorry, but your jar is NOT half full. Or half empty for that matter…unless you’re lowering the fill line by several inches from the top? πŸ˜‰

  11. baxjul

    2/18/2007 at 6:10 pm

    I too and a tip jar recipient! All change goes in my jar. Sometimes I even raid DH’s jar!

  12. emily_hope

    2/18/2007 at 8:20 pm

    I’m a schizophrenic…Warden, Elitist, Tip Recipient. and Scavenger. I like having my change jars. Last year, we used it for gas for vacation and to pay off debt.

  13. Katybird

    2/19/2007 at 2:47 am

    I am a tip recipient and a scavenger. I keep a jar, well actually it is a decorated Lays Stax can for “laundry loot” and we keep an old glass one gallon milk jug on the dresser for change. I frequently run through the house or car and scoop up the change for the jar. I am horribly guilty about being a “swiper” too, I swipe a few quarters here and there for the vending machines at work. I must work harder at keeping my grubby little fingers out of the change jars πŸ™‚ .

  14. DedleRed

    2/19/2007 at 10:24 am

    I am a tip jar and elitist. I have to have my pennies away from the silver

  15. Maggi

    2/19/2007 at 10:37 am

    I would have to say I am a tip recipient,stasher and a scavenger. I have two jars. A big pickle jar, that everyone in the family throws change in and a baseball bat bank (that I can’t seem to ever get the ball off when its time to count the change) this belonged to my sons when they were growing up. That bank is for my private collection to save for grandkids or something special. My youngest son nets me quite a bit of change each week, once he left a $10 bill in his pocket. I thought about keeping it but gave it to him and reminded him next time it was mine. lol
    If I save from coupons or rebates I take what I save and put it in savings.

  16. bridge

    2/19/2007 at 12:07 pm

    I’m a tosser, I just toss the change in a big bowl. I usually take it to the bank when the bowl gets full. When I was paying off debt and very tight on cash, that bowl was a lifesaver!!
    I used to be a roller, but then the bank would reprimand me when I would bring them rolled. They said that it is more work on them to have to un-wrap them for the counter, so please bring them loose next time. So I gave up my rolling ways………..

  17. AprilP

    2/19/2007 at 12:12 pm

    Oh dear, I’m a warden, an elitist, a scavenger and a precise. I have a post-it and pen in each jar (penny and change) and write down EVERY cent. I work in kind of a high crime neighborhood, so I don’t carry cash usually at all. My debit card is used for just about everything. And I find tons of change on the ground. I do not hesitate to stop and bend down and pick up a penny.

    I am also lucky enough to have a sister who has change everywhere. On the floor of her house, in the driveway, in the yard, everywhere, I don’t think I’ve ever left her house without at least $1 in change.

  18. Michelle-Lea

    2/19/2007 at 12:19 pm

    I’m definetly a scavenger. I don’t use a change jar though. I use a money box that seperates the change and then I roll it from there. I love taking my change to the bank and exchanging it for’s so gratifing!

  19. Teresa Cangiano

    2/19/2007 at 12:19 pm

    Ok,I’m guily of being The Stasher.We have a Ice Cream large plastic container for loose change.But,I usually put back singles for a later date.When I know.I’m going to need it.I hide it sometimes to good.I forget where I hid it.Until,I find it again one day.And that’s just me.I put the change in the container.But,the single bills go with me .To be hid at a later time.When I know were gonna need it.

  20. Missy

    2/19/2007 at 12:37 pm

    Well, lets see…I have a tip jar in the laundry room. A super secret jar in my bedroom hidden and a mason jar in there in relative plain sight. What does that make me? πŸ˜€

  21. Missy

    2/19/2007 at 12:39 pm

    the one in relative plain sight is the decoy jar, lol. To defer attention to the top secret location of the secret squirrel jar.

  22. SammeyG

    2/19/2007 at 12:51 pm

    I would have to say that I am an optimist, Impatient and a hoarder. I am tring to work on the impatient though. I want to try to save as much as I can for my family vacation for the summer of 2008.

  23. AheeK

    2/19/2007 at 12:56 pm

    I’m an Elitist, Scavenger and Hoarder. It’s amazing how much change can fit in that small change pocket in your purse! My parents still pick up pennies in parking lots when they find them, and they passed their, um, skills? onto us kids. And you talk about Canadian coins invading your change jar? Well, up here in Canada, I separate out and hoard US coins…they come in handy on trips south of the border (the States…not Mexico).

  24. risingsun1234

    2/19/2007 at 12:58 pm

    i am the warden, elitist, hoarder and improviser. i like how u divided all into caegories.

  25. jkelstaten

    2/19/2007 at 2:09 pm

    I’m defintely an improvisor. I have change in a couple different canning jars, a used potato chip can, a mini coin purse and probably some others that I can’t think of. It does me no good to save it though since in this country I can’t change the coins for bills. Oh well, old habits die hard…lol

  26. Amanda

    2/19/2007 at 2:22 pm

    I’m a tip recipient most of the time and part of the precise group too! If it is in the wallet, it will get spent (need to get better at emptying the wallet into the coin jar).

  27. Patti

    2/19/2007 at 6:42 pm

    Wow I’m an optimist….I even go out of my way at work (I handle money) to change bills into change.

  28. MrsGixxer

    2/19/2007 at 9:55 pm

    I’m definately a warden. I keep track of my change in MS Money (along with my other accounts)and count it often to make sure it matches up.

  29. Audrey

    2/20/2007 at 1:03 am

    Im the tip recipient, any found change goes into the jar be it in the washer, on the floor or in the cushions. If its not put away, named (as in we all know who it belongs to) in your pocket its headed for the change jar.

    Im pretty much the only one who adds anythint to it so this helps and everyone has learned to take pretty good care of their loose change LOL

  30. Shellcy

    2/20/2007 at 10:01 am

    Well I do keep my silver separate from my copper. I keep a running total of the silver but not the copper. Not sure what that makes me. My BF has change everywhere in both vehicles he drives! Drives me nuts.

  31. crazymomto1 (Julie)

    2/20/2007 at 7:48 pm

    I am definitely a Stasher. I hide the change in a different spot all the time. Sometimes I forget where it is! lol.

  32. Jennelle

    2/21/2007 at 10:06 pm

    I’m not sure that I fit into any of those categories. *lol*

    I do have a change jar but never seem to get a lot of change into it because I very seldom ever have cash [I either pay via check or my MAC card.]

    However – at the present moment, I have some change in it and also did get $50.00 in cash and that’s in there too. πŸ™‚

    My problem seems to be that if I have cash [or change] on hand that there’s something I want, I break into it and never seem to get a whole lot saved. πŸ™



  33. Tracey

    2/23/2007 at 1:12 pm

    Just last Friday we went to a family reunion, and my husband’s uncle was telling about when, in the 60’s, he helped a friend carry an entire two red wagons full of fruit jars of change to a bank, where they turned it into over $1000 and then bought a brand-new car! My ten-year-old was amazed.

  34. Jackal

    2/24/2007 at 12:02 pm

    The Improviser – that’s me. I save all my Β£2 coins.

  35. brandy

    2/24/2007 at 12:36 pm

    I really need to try this. Growing up my mom always had those big alhambra water containers and she would put her change in them, My husband has a ccontainer that he puts his change into sometimes but me I spend it. I had a pepsi bottle bank when I was younger and I gave it to my oldest son but he destroyed it and would stick fake money and toys into it, we ended up throwing it away.
    I promise to go buy myself a container, make a goal and try to save without getting into the money…. Thanks…

  36. Amanda W

    2/25/2007 at 3:17 am

    I’m a stasher/scavenger. Every night my husband empties out his pockets onto his nightstand, and his change mysteriously disappears before the next morning!

  37. Phil Gerbyshak

    2/26/2007 at 12:19 am

    Yikes, those jinglers scare me too. At least I haven’t heard any jingle AND whistle. That would be REALLY scary πŸ™‚

    I try to dump my pockets out as soon as I get change. I’m not always successful though.

  38. Leigh (Neeley)

    2/28/2007 at 4:11 am

    I am the obsessive organizer. Each coin has its own container. As soon as there is enough to make a roll, it gets rolled then account # and named added and it goes into the “rolled coin box” in the closet.

  39. pepper1

    2/28/2007 at 11:18 am

    I guess I would say the precise sorry to say my change is sometimes all the money I have

  40. emily_hope

    2/28/2007 at 2:06 pm

    The first time I posted I said I was schizophrenic. LOL! I should have said mutliple personalities. I am so confused.

  41. Stella

    3/5/2007 at 11:28 pm

    I am a stasher for sure. MY BF has his change jar in plain sight….big mistake. I take all the good coins out of it. I just cashed his jar in and he had 890 pennies, and barely any silver. Hmm, I wonder how that happened??

  42. Autumn

    3/6/2007 at 5:14 pm

    Too funny πŸ˜€ I guess I am The Impatient. LOL All change is rolled as soon as possible and deposited into our savings. But we also save dollar bills. I don’t know how many dollars we have saved, but just since Januray 6th we have saved $94.50 in change. I am obsessive over change. LOL I even have a spreadsheet in Excel. I add the date and the amount of change that has been rolled so I know exactly how much change has been saved. LOL

  43. Autumn

    3/6/2007 at 5:17 pm

    Oh I forgot to add something. I have an old plastic box in my pocketbook that used to hold Band-Aids. It has Strawberry Shortcake on it. I keep it in my pocketbook and add coins to it when I get them. Since becoming frugal I couldn’t stand to throw the box away. LOL

  44. Cass

    5/9/2007 at 12:29 am

    I’m an improviser, scavenger and stasher. I do tend to sort the Canadian money out from the american money. Pennies from the rest. and I also tend to stash 5 dollar bills around the house and my car for “just in case”.

    This also might sound funny but being a canadian who visits the states a bit…When the CDN dollar is up i purchase usd’s and either use it on a trip or when the dollar drops…trade the money back in for extra canadian funds. I also tend to collect the “different” canadian quarters they come out with a new print for a time once every couple years.

    I work a job on the side from my normal job and any money i get from that gets stashed for “extras” or new furniture.

  45. Neghie

    4/10/2008 at 1:05 pm

    I’m a tosser, but I think “The Dipper” needs to be added to that list. There are far too many of us who will drop in the coins, but then go right back in and use them up. There’s never more than 5 to 25 bucks in that jar.

  46. Jeff

    8/6/2008 at 4:44 pm

    I am an optimist. I have this 15 gallon container I am trying to fill up. I’ve had it for about a year and it’s not even close to full. It is mostly filled up with pennies, but there are other coins here and there. I’ve got a lot of saving to do.

  47. evangpam

    12/29/2008 at 9:35 pm

    I have a water jug that has nothing but silver.ITS FULL. I then started putting silver in with the copper. its weird but I like the pickle jar with the mixed change better .more appealing to the eye.
    This is the one that I keep out where Ican see it.The silver only jug is kept under the bed.I am definately a scavenger. I always look down to see if there are any coins on the ground in the drive through
    lanes,especially at the fast food. I’ve trained my brain to spot MONEY any and everywhere.

  48. Denise

    1/29/2009 at 11:52 am

    We use a plastic coffee can for everyday change. A few months ago I got the idea of saving the $10 pesos coin, we live in Mexico. We use a glass Hershey kisses jar. When it is full, there is about $1,000 pesos. My husband takes the change to a store down the street and/or to the restaurant next door and the women love to get the change! The bills are then put in a book for our home emergency fund.

  49. Thevail

    2/3/2009 at 4:21 pm

    I’m an optimistic, scavenging stasher…I have a huge 5 gallon beer making carboy sitting quietly behind the laundry hamper…with a side order of ninja stasher thrown in..somewhere in my residence (behind the door marked “Caution: Live Puma”) is a manilla envelope filled with ones and the occassional five..for emergencies like a classic Ralph Lauren dress at the thrift store for $10.

    I never have any idea how much money is in the change jar..I’m just happy when I have trouble lifting it.

  50. marie

    4/17/2009 at 12:35 pm

    I am a tip recipient, I have a jar sitting on top of my dryer. If I check pockets and find money-it is to bad ,so sad. My tip!
    I am also a hoarder. I have change in my purse,since I pay in cash. and I will have to dump it every so often

  51. Mare

    5/27/2009 at 6:07 pm

    I’m a hoarder – but getting better at not having so much change in my purse. My husband and I have a 5 gallon water bottle as our coin saver and also use a variety of smaller glass jars. Sometimes bills get put in the big one, too.

    I wanted to ask if anyone ever read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – in order to save money a tin can was used for hidden savings, and it was made by removing the lid from one end, slashing a slit in the top, cutting strips halfway down the can and nailing the strips to the closet floor.

  52. SammiV

    6/12/2009 at 5:18 pm

    I’m an elitist, tip recipient, semi-obsessive organizer, scavenger when it comes to change. I have a big container for the pennies (about half of them are rolled at present) and smaller different ones for the silver. Yes, I will pick up pennies on the sidewalk, etc. DH on the other hand likes to give exact change and empties his change out of his pockets at night. I would swipe it, but he likes to put in back in his pockets the next day…so he can give exact change. Though, like Stella, I will grab a couple of quarters when I can get away with it. I’m saving up for my high school reunion in a couple of years. I’m not allowed to take from the budget for that, so I scrounge on the side. I would never buy those cutesie banks cuz that money could be going on bills, groceries…or the change jar!

  53. Charles C

    9/15/2009 at 10:32 pm

    I am a percise, always take great pains to keep my change spent, and yeah I drive my wife and 14 year old crazy, with embarrisments, I guess they think it shows we are poor, well if the shoe fits wear it.

    Also, I never steal change, but at Aldi’s I always look down the lines for baskets people forgot to take their quarters out, and will do what it takes to get to that quarter. Also will go after a shoppin cart with a quarter in it, in pouring rain if left by some shopper not wanting to take it back.

    Ok I’m not that poor, but it might go back to what a dear friend use to preach to me, take care of your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves. Yeah John died with more than a million dollars cash in the bank:D (no I’ll not die with a million in the bank:()

  54. Melissa

    10/15/2009 at 5:41 pm

    I’m a gadget geek. We have a really nice sorter and it only allows the amount that will fit into those neat and tidy rolling papers πŸ™‚ I don’t take them directly to the bank, I wait til the jar(s) are full, but it makes it easier to estimate how much you might have if they are rolled. Our first “cashing in day” We bought a laptop. This last time, we paid for our NFL Sunday ticket and superfan on our directv with it. It’s great to save up for an extra extravegance and not take it out of the already working family budget. πŸ™‚

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