The Rounding Up Experiment

The Rounding Up Experiment

I’m filing this one under “it’s so simple it just might work”. We all end up with lots of loose change in our purses and pockets. If you’re like me, it ends up being used on junk food or otherwise wasted. But the “Rounding Up Experiment” might create a savings system from your shrapnel.

The system is pretty straightforward. You round up every purchase you make each day to the nearest dollar, and save the change. The idea is that it’s “effortless saving”.

I’ve kept a change box by my bed and it accumulates all the 50c and below coins. I counted it the other day and there was over $60 in it after a few weeks. Perhaps by creating a system around my loose change collection I might turn it into something more substantial.

Could this work for you? Who’s doing something similar?


  • I follow somewhat similar route, any small change on me would go straight in a particular drawer. Since I only carry a card holder(for id/licence/cards), having no coin compartment makes it easy. Since the coins are out of sight, i wont go hunting to use them.

    Good way to save some money.

  • i bought a wallet with no change pocket in it on purpose (I hate heavy wallets). now i just put all my coins in the little coin pocket in my pants, and empty it at my earliest convenience into a coin box. one box at work, one at home, one in the car. the car one funds parking meters/toll booths. the work one funds charity chocolates that various workmates have sitting around when i need a sugar hit. the home one just gets really heavy, but I have a dream that one day I’ll take it in to a bank….

      • I do this exact same thing! Great minds, right? Last time I emptied my home bucket (really it’s a 4 litre cocktail bucket I got in Argentina for AUD$20) I bought myself a little cappuccino machine.

    • I go with a similar theory except all the money ends up in a tin at home. Last time I emptied it I had over $800 in it! Also when I have a few, my $5 notes end up in the tin. Also I get buyer’s remorse this way and always think I have spent more than I have so I try to watch what I spend.

  • I sort of do it the other way around. Any coins 50c and higher left over at the end of the day goes into the money box and all the remaing small change is what I use to buy a coffee or bus ticket etc. It helps you save quicker cause you’re putting higher value coins in the money box and also allows me to off load the smaller change for small purchases.

  • I bagged my coin jar on the weekend and it was over $350… I usually do this twice a year! Good little forced saving.

    To help with the process, I have a wallet without a coin pocket so when i get home the pockets just get emptied straight into the jar.

    It does mean however that that $6 sandwich I just bought actually cost me $10 up front with the $4 being recouped when I empty the jar…

  • i have 2 coin tins 1 for silver and 1 for golds (and the odd $5 or $10) the gold tin adds up pretty fast.
    the golds can be emptied often and silvers longer… last time i checked the silver weighted around 16kg god knows how much there is in it!

  • Piggy bank – I’m a grown man with a light blue piggy bank. I took it into the counting machine at the bank on Tuesday (after 3 months) and I had accumulated $97.50 as well as 6 coins from different countries.

    It’s a great way to scrounge together money that would otherwise be wasted.

  • Can safely say this is a good way to save, putting the coins aside and out of sight gives it the “hidden stash” aura. I’m sure from the comments here, everyone’s not that keen to bring along heavy coins with them…

    I empty my coin jar every 1/2 year..last max count has it for around $600…

  • You might feel richer but its a zero sum game………just don’t spend money on stuff you don’t need only because you have coins in your pocket.

    That said I have a coin jar since I hate to carry change around……….it is a big jar and the last time I emptied it it was surprising how much was there. But all I did was put it in the bank, didn’t lash out any anything I wouldn’t have already purchased.

  • my year 6 teacher used to only buy things with notes, then keep the coins he received as change in containers at home.
    he travelled to a new country every 2 years with just the coins left over.

  • St George offer a rounding up service on one of there accounts. Rounds it up when you pay with your debit card and deposits the extra amount into your other savings account.

  • I did this when my kids were small, then gave them a small amount of pocket money each week to buy lollies and so on on the way home from school. They whinged about the shrapnel, but it meant I always had the readies on hand.

  • I buy everything with notes or $1 and $2 coins. Each night if I have bought something I empty the silver coins into a bucket. The last time I emptied it I had almost $400 in silver.

  • I only ever use coins to buy coffee. When I get home from work, whatever coins I’ve accumulated over the day end up in a glass bowl.

    At last count, it had about $600 in it.

  • I had a small cardboard box next to my bed where I tossed my change over several years. When I needed to move I went to the bank to get it counted. 640.00+ dollars. Helped pay the packers 🙂

  • Any and all coins in my possession quickly find their new home in a small glass jar. This jar is emptied every 2-3 months, exchanged for notes at my local bank. These notes are then put into a money tin, which I open once a year at most. Nice little holiday stash!

  • I have a tidy bucket with a lid which I add coins to when purse gets too heavy, I used to bag the change at ‘poor’ intervals and take to bank but my city branch has a self serve coin counting machine that does it for me now.

  • I use notes and the only time I ever use coins are for my afternoon coffee. With all the coins that I had saved up over a year and a half I had just over $2000. It allowed me to pay for my first months rent and a 64gb iPad. The bank teller was quite sad when I arrived with a breifcase full of coins and not notes.

  • Another way to save money is to EFTPOS anything that is $x.x3-4 or 8-9. and to pay cash for anything $x.x1, 2, 5, 6, or, 7. It’s only 1-2c saving but if you consider how many transactions you do of the space of 12 months it can end up saving hundreds of dollars.

    • You would have to make almost 8500 transactions to save even $100 (assuming the digit in the 2nd decimal place is uniformly distributed)… and even then, I’m only saving that much if I were otherwise making the opposite decision about which payment method to use. If I were to do this instead of, for instance, *always* using EFTPOS, or *always* using cash, then I’d need to make over 16,500 transactions to save that $100. That’s over 45 transactions per day if you want to make $100 in twelve months. I don’t know about you, but that sounds closer to the number of transactions I make per *month*. In reality, you’d be saving a few dollars per year, tops.

      To me, it’s worth at least $3/year for the convenience of simply using EFTPOS every time.

  • Hate to be the guy that does this, but not sure that this is an even remotely groundbreaking life trick….’If you’re thirsty – drink water!’

  • I carry a wallet that contains two cards, my EFTPOS card and my licence. It has no change pocket and is very light and slim. I haven’t had to use cash in weeks and so get no change 🙁

  • I have a jar that collects all the useless 5c coins from every day spending. I counted them around two years ago when the jar was about 20% full and had $50. Now the jar is full and I’m looking forward to cashing in the useless change for some real cash.

  • I take a different approach – I aim to get maximum use out of my coins by avoiding building up too many in the first place.

    I use a coin holder similar to the ones taxi drivers use – different spring loaded columns for different sized coins. It forces me to keep track of how many of each coin denomination I have and to rotate using them to prevent it filling up.

    The coin holder lives on my bedside table. I always carry a dollar or two worth of silver in my pocket, and I use it to pay the part dollar portion when I’m buying something. Plus, there’s something soothing and tactile about slipping your money out every morning before work and slotting it back in at the end of the day.

    Excess gold coins are exempt – those go straight into my parking fund as I go through $10-$40 a week for that.

    When the 5 cent coin column fills up they go straight into a bucket that goes to the bank whenever it fills up (which isn’t very often).

  • I used to have a “Notes Only” method -Start every day with only Note money in your wallet. I was Sick of having all the shrapnel in my wallet, so I decided that at the end of each day, any loose change would go into the piggybank. Some days it would only be a couple of cents here and there, others it would be a few dollars worth, but in the end I saved a ton.

  • I have been using this method for saving for sometime now and it works a treat. The money I save is put into a high interest savings account for holidays.

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