Ghandi told us,” Be the change we wanted to see in the world.” I’ll settle for using the change I see in my pocket, but how about you? Here are five ideas for spending the change you’ve worked to save, some philanthropic and some not.
Kiva.Org: This microfinance website allows you to make a loan to an entrepreneur in another country. A local lender makes a guaranteed loan a businessman and if he pays them back you get repaid with interest. Some banks don’t have the liquidity of American ones and workers make only the equivalent of two dollars per day. Your piggy bank may just alter someone’s life.
Give some change to a charity: Sometimes it’s not about what you can buy but about the difference you can make. There are a lot of needy people out there some of whom just want to buy a hot meal. You won’t miss your change in any meaningful way. Don’t forget to give a little bit to the Salvation Army bell ringers. If you’re a Helium writer consider that donating the proceeds from a few of your best articles can make a subtle but profound difference. Maybe your beleaguered waitress looks like she’s having a tough day and you want to give her an extra large tip for her trouble. Pay it forward!
Find a personal goal: Have a plan in mind for the money to prevent you from raiding the pickle jar whenever you get the temptation. Enjoy the progress you’re making as the money builds. Your new bicycle or those concert tickets you want are just a few pennies away! Continually remind yourself of how much joy you’ll feel when you do finally get where you want to go.
Keep the Change: Bank of America has a Keep the Change program which is worth examining. It is essentially a matching program that will add money to your savings. When you make a debit card purchase the change you would have received goes from your checking to your savings. Eventually you’ll want to reunite the money in the savings account with what is in your savings jar.
Set an example: If your children see you putting away money enthusiastically they will certainly take notice. You may kick off a lifetime of good savings habits when you show them how quickly money can accumulate. Go with them to the bank to change the coins into bills. This will drive home how change adds up to a significant amount of money.