Save all bills/coins of a certain amount
This is a fun way to save some money. It does rely a bit on chance, but after a while I’ve found myself trying to guess my change every time I make a purchase to see I will be getting a “keeper” in my change or not. Let me explain.
The goal of this saving technique is to choose a bill or coin of a certain amount (that will be your “keeper”) and save as many of them as go in your wallet.
Let’s say for example you choose the $5 bill. This means that every time you get a $5 bill in your pocket you will not be allowed to spend it and you’ll have to save it.
Now you can see what I meant by “trying to guess my change”. Imagine I just had a meal at a restaurant and the check comes up to $13.50. I look into my wallet and I see I have a $10 bill, a $20 bill and some coins. I can choose to pay with my 1$0 bill plus coins or I can choose to pay with my $20 and get $6.50 for change, which will probably come in the shape of a $5 bill plus coins. Now remember, in this scenario if I get a $5 bill with my change I won’t be able to spend it, I’ll have to save it!
This technique also works great to teach kids how to save as it gets them involved in the whole paying process, learning the value of things while playing this “game” every time the check comes.
How much can you save?
How much you can save using this technique is hard to estimate, there are too many variables… what coin/bill you choose, how often you buy things in cash, etc. You’ll probably save a lot more if you choose to keep all $10 bills than if you choose $1 coins, but either way the game dynamics of this technique is quite unique and likely to get you engaged in the whole saving process in a really fun way.
Make sure though you don’t pick a “keeper” that’s too high value, be reasonable. After all you might find yourself getting four $10 bills when paying a $3 coffee with a $50 and you want to be sure you can save those four bills without having to make huge sacrifices after.
My advice is to pick a reasonable value “keeper” and try this method for a week or two and then adjust.
Also keep in mind that picket a higher value “keeper” will not always mean saving more money. You might find that a lot of $1 bills go in your pocket but almost no $20. So after a month it could very well be that you saved more keeping those $1 than the $20.
Tweaking this saving technique
One of the things people find more challenging about this saving technique is getting too many “keepers” all at once. Imagine you’ve set your “keeper” to be the $1 bill because you don’t want to go too much over your head and all of a sudden you pay a $3 coffee with a $20 and get seven $1 bills in your change because the cashier is out of $5s. If saving those seven bills seems like bad news instead of good news to you then you might want to try to tweak this saving technique and only save the first “keeper” you get every day. That way you’ll be sure you never have to save more than one “keeper” per day, whatever that might be for you.