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What to Do With Spare Change

5 Clever Ways to Use Spare Change

Most of us have spare change lying around, but not all of us need to use it for parking meters or laundromats. So what are some other things we can do with it? Here are a few suggestions to make your wallets lighter.

  • Cash it: This might be an obvious suggestion, but it's also one that doesn't happen all that often. Gather all those spare coins and take them to a bank or a local Coinstar. The catch? The bank usually makes you roll your own coins, while Coinstar charges 9.8 cents for every dollar. Still, you'll get a whole lot more back than if your change was just sitting in a jar.
  • Upcycle it: If you're the creative type, there are plenty of ways to DIY your way through nickels and dimes. Turn them into necklaces or rings — or glue them onto wooden letters for a shiny home display.
  • Donate it: Whether it's taking the money you get from Coinstar and donating it to an organization, giving change to someone on the street, or helping out a kid selling chocolates on the subway, there are plenty of ways to use your change to help others. You'll do good without feeling like you're breaking the bank.
  • Tip: If you know that you're someone who will never take the change out of the jar, then don't put it there in the first place. Stop yourself from collecting coins by telling vendors to keep the change or by tipping workers at places like Starbucks and Jamba Juice.
  • Set it aside: Every week or so, take out some change and use it to treat yourself. Buy a lotto ticket or a vending-machine snack; they're little things, but they can still brighten up your day.
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