The Waitress, Her Spare Change, and a Trip to Vegas

The Waitress, Her Spare Change, and a Trip to Vegas
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

Spring Break means vacations are starting. Recently my husband and I visited my family in Albuquerque. During a visit to our favorite breakfast place, we couldn’t help overhearing a waitress talking to one of her regular customers. She had saved all of her spare change for January and February – $200 worth. She was talking about using it to take a trip to Las Vegas.

Las VegasHer case highlights how simple change can really add up.

If she continues to save her change estimated at $100 a month, she’ll have $600 to spend on a July 4th getaway. If she keeps saving, she’ll have $1,100 to spend on Christmas gifts.

Can you think of how you would use an extra $100 a month?

Having a savings goal gets you more focused.

Our waitress talked about how long it had been since she took a vacation. This trip to Vegas means a lot to her. Who knows, perhaps she will start saving a few of those $1 bills in addition to her change to get a better hotel room. Maybe she’ll go online and search for hotel discounts and restaurant coupons. If she plans her itinerary she’ll get a better handle on her costs, and be able to enjoy her vacation more.

Set up a separate savings account and label it with your savings goal.

I have a feeling our waitress just puts all her spare change in a jar. But if you set up a separate savings account, you can automatically transfer a little bit over there every time you get paid. For all you online bankers, if you name that account with your savings goal (i.e. vacation, Christmas, new car), you will see it every time you make the transfer.

I started my business savings account in early 2014. I was amazed how quickly it grew. Turns out, I got used to never using the money I earned as The Everyday Financial Planner. Other work paid the bills. I used some to pay for my spine surgeries, but a good chunk remains. I turn 50 this year and my 25th wedding anniversary is coming up next year…

For more savings tips, visit my Basic Financial Management page.