Making Every Cent Count

Booking our trip to Europe was an easy decision. With points and miles factored in, the decision was even easier. While points can cover some of the larger aspects of the trip, namely the flight and hotel rooms, much of the rest of the trip will need to be paid for out of pocket. Which is why so much emphasis for this trip has been centered around things that can be free or discounted. Food, transportation, activities, these and more will earn us points, but we’ll need to use the money we’re saving by not paying full price for the other parts of the trip.

Back in my cash spending days, I did what many people do, and held onto my spare change. It all went into one of those coin counters and slowly added up over the years. When Julie and I first started dating, I promised to cash out the coins and use them for the flight to Boston, a trip we took back in 2013. The coins though, were never cashed out and we instead paid for that trip with our regular income. Now, two years later, it’s important to make every cent count for our trip to Europe. So we opened up what felt like twenty pounds worth of coin and started counting.

Several years worth of saved coins (minus some quarters).
Several years worth of saved coins (minus some quarters).

It may sound crazy when you think a trip to Coinstar could have saved us the hour we spent counting, but losing nearly 11% of my money to being lazy doesn’t make sense. The finished product netted us almost $300 in extra spending money we can put towards the trip.

Stacks and stacks of coins!
Stacks and stacks of coins!

At the bank, we felt pretty excited about what we had turned up. That was of course, until the teller told us a man had come in earlier that day with $900 worth of coins! Sure, our haul wasn’t as impressive, but we haven’t been adding to it much over the past year plus since we almost never use cash anymore. I’m more than happy with what we came up with and that we learned about the benefits of earning points and miles to help reward us for our everyday spending.

Planning for a major trip takes a lot of work. We are still tweaking the details of it at sixty-one days out and I am certain there will be more to come. This trip isn’t about extravagance (we skipped out on my original idea to fly business class in order to have more points available for future trips) but we want to be comfortable and have a good time. Most important for me, is ensuring Julie has an amazing first experience abroad, just like I did. Every cent definitely counts for something.

Anyone else out there save their coins? And if so, how and when did you decide to cash them in, and for what?

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