The money-themed song Dime Quarter Nickel Penny (contains strong language) by Nappy Roots was released in 2002. Though the lyrics focus on drugs and money, my focus is on the title. Whether you use cash or plastic you always have the question of what to do with the change. What?, there’s no change with plastic you say . There is if you want it.
By the way, if you use the phrase “spare change” stop it. Stop it right now. Change isn’t spare, it’s not extra money, except when picking it up off the street or parking lot, and don’t toss it into a drawer, bottle, jar or anywhere else. Those dimes, quarters, nickels, and pennies should be put to work!
In recent years, fintech (financial technology) has tried to encourage users to automatically set aside change when using a card. There are several apps that will round up to the nearest dollar or evaluate your expenses to promote saving money. This article at Bankrate provides a brief overview of some apps. These make me think of the Christmas clubs operated by banks, but with a likely higher rate of return.
While the apps can be an effortless way to save change, it doesn’t get you off the hook of having to do some homework. There may be fees associated with the app or with what you invest in. You’ll also want flexibility to modify where your money goes or the amount you’re saving.
Take half an hour when you get home and review the last four months from one of your cards. My last four months for one card break out as $6.97, $10.20, $4.50 and $4.73 by rounding up to the next dollar. On average this equates to $6.60 per month. Projected out for one year this gets me $79.20. Apply a five percent return and I would receive an additional $3.96.
For almost no effort on my part I’m improving my chances at a more secure financial future. Go ahead, nickel and dime me.
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