One of my favorite activities since forever was saving my coins. I don’t care where they come from: my pockets, my wife’s pockets, found on the street (well, I would care if they were stolen, don’t get me wrong). Actually, the ones found on the street are the best. Regardless of their value.
The perfect game I played each time I visited a new city was to find coins on the street. I remember that once me and my wife were in a hurry to catch the train, when we found a 2EUR coin on the way. Once we got to our destination for the day, we bought a lottery ticket with that coin and we won 8EUR. Imagine that kind of gain ratio.
My wife bought me a Piggy Bank
No need to mention that I needed a place to store all my coins, as they tend to pile a lot, especially because we are still used to paying with cash (as preferred method of payment). So, some years ago, I received a nice car shaped piggy bank (or car bank?). Imagine the joy of filling it with lots of coins (and the pain getting them out).
Once a year, after it gets too heavy, the fun part happens. I open the cap and stash the coins in a pile and …let the counting begin. When I have enough (like 30-40 USD), I go to the local supermarket or bank (free of charge in this case) and exchange them.
I proudly announce that my kid has the same hobby. She has a cat-shaped piggy bank which needs to be filled with coins. She wants to save for a trip to Africa, to see the kingalo birds (I tried to explain to her that are just the imagination of the author of her books).
Last evening both the piggy banks were opened and this was our bonding time for the evening.
This method of saving was used before a lot, when you had a jar and at the end of each day, you put in that jar everything you had in your pockets. When the jar filled up, you went to the bank and deposited it in your bank account. And that’s how you saved at that time. Now, it’s not the same as some banks have higher deposit fees and ask a fee to exchange your coins (usually you gain nothing from your filled coin jar).
But what I am doing with the coins is purely a hobby. I get 30 bucks to spend for something that can bring some short term pleasure.
The Digital Age
With the current digitalization and online banks (Revolut, Monzo and some others), there is a way to save your “digital coins”.
I have an automatic rule on Revolut and each time I make a payment, it will round up the number and the difference will be put inside a savings Vault. Once I get enough money there (from 20 to 50 USD) I invest them in something (crypto, stocks, gold).
It’s a fun alternative to the old Jar technique and frankly sometimes it’s a nice surprise to see how much the vault grew.
But Revolut is not the only app that does that. Some time ago I heard about Acorn (which is available for our U.S. friends), that took your spare change and automatically invested it in stocks (of your choice). I never had the chance to test it, but if someone reading this blog post had the chance, feel free to add a review in the comment section.
I tried to apply the same technique and at the end of each week I looked at all the transactions I made, round them up and put that sum in a different account. It lasted for two months as it took too much time to count everything, and as you saw, I like doing things in a more passive way.
A Piggy Bank is my friend
Do you like our logo of the blog? He is our dear Mr. Piggy Bank, hand drawn by your favorite author (that’s me I hope). He is not only a friend, but an inspiration (the all time symbol of savings) and a goal at the same time (have to fill his belly with coins – our portfolio).
Thank you guys for being here. Please leave in the comments any savings or deviations you found to the traditional piggy bank method as I am always looking for new ideas
And a fun fact for you guys, do you know that it cost 7.62 cents to produce and distribute the 5 cent coin (the Jefferson copper-nickel).