Yesterday, I watched a coworker count out twenty-two pennies while paying for a snack. Thankfully, there wasn’t a line of angry people behind her. I was impressed. I so rarely carry change. I usually have a few quarters in my wallet for emergency vending machine purposes, and there are always quarters in my car for tolls and parking meters, but beyond that, all my change ends up in a big jar on my dresser. Every so often, I take that jar to a CoinStar machine and exchange it for an Amazon.com gift code (no coin counting fee that way).
What do you do with your change? Do you spend it immediately? Throw it into fountains? Put it into socks and use as a weapon (I had a friend who kept a nickel filled sock by his bed to swing at any bad guys who might happen to break in)? Save it all for a rainy day? Or do you never ever use cash and thus never have any change to deal with?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.