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Some tips to help you deal with your spare change
Loose change always seems to be hanging about in purses, pockets and around the house but what can you do with all those low value coins you have? With rules in place under the Coinage Act 1971 restricting the use of coins for purchases, we can struggle to get rid of a large amount of change all at once.
The rules state that you can:
- Only pay for 20p worth of goods with pennies
- Only pay for £5 worth of goods with 5p or 10p
- Only pay for £10 worth of goods with 20p or 50p
- Use £1 and £2 coins to pay for any amount
With those rules in mind, what exactly can we do with our spare change?
Build up a savings fund
Empty the spare change from your wallet, bag and pockets and collect it in a jar or a piggy bank. What you loved to do in your childhood can help you save up some cash for when you need it now.
It doesn’t just need to be your coppers and low value coins that you throw in your savings fund, having a clear out of all your coins can help you boost the amount you have saved and ensure you are not carrying around lots of change all the time.
You could also use a number of jars to save up for different things such as a holiday fund, debt payoff fund or new car fund.
Take the change to the bank
Taking spare change to your bank is one of the best ways to make that loose change work well for you and your finances. You can either pay it in through a coin machine at your bank or you can take it to the paying in counter in branch.
Coin machines allow you to pay the change into your current or savings account without the need to sort them out first. However, when you take your change to the counter in your branch, they will need to be sorted into money bags with specific amounts for each value of coin in each bag. You will have to save:
- £1 in bronze – 1p and 2p
- £5 in 5p or 10p
- £10 in 20p or 50p
- £20 in £1 or £2 coins
Once you pass the money over to the cashier, they will weigh your change to check you have saved the correct amount and then they will be able to credit the total balance to your current or savings account for you.
Look out for Coinstar
Many supermarkets across the country have a Coinstar machine in them and they are a great way for you to deal with your spare change. You simply put your change into the tray, tip it into the machine and it will automatically sort out your change for you. You can then either donate the money to charity or convert your change into a voucher to be exchanged at a customer services counter.
However, be aware that Coinstar take a percentage, around 10%, of the money you have paid into the machine. This is worth being aware of before you use this machine however the ease of the process means that many people are happy to pay a little to deal with their spare change.
Give money to charity
If you are not missing the money you’ve had lying around as spare change then you could group it all together and put it in a charity bucket when you next see one for a charity you want to support. It is a great way to great rid of change whilst also allowing you to support a charity quickly and easily.
Try and spend your change on small transactions and get into the habit of using cash for purchases under £10 where you can. This will ensure that you keep the amount of change in your purse or pocket down so you don’t end up with piles and piles of change. It also helps you to keep a better eye on your spending than using plastic for all your purchases.
Keep in mind the Coinage Act which restricts the number of coins of each value you can use per transaction however it is at the shops discretion whether they will accept a larger number of coins for a transaction than that which is stated in the Coinage Act.