In 2012 I wrote perhaps my favorite post here at Well-Met, one that has inspired me to what is my sort of 'resolution' for 2013. I have been looking for my first true project for Well-Met and had pondered things from the Little Free Library to a Pints for Prostate event but I have settled on something I am calling exact¢hange, inspired by my Can Change Change The World post. By saving and donating the rounded-up chnage from purchase to organizations that help others we can exact¢hange in the world, change for the better.
The basic idea of exact¢hange is to combine the change donation bin and round-up programs others have into one system where the remainder - difference, extra - of money from all purchases will be collected, recorded, and donated. We have all seen the donation bins at checkouts where you can throw in your extra change, or round-up programs where you can have the merchant round-up the price of your purchase to the next dollar or an even amount. The problem is that these are not available everywhere and the charity may not be one you want to support. So why not do something similar yourself?
You can easily take any change - especially coins - and set them aside. Many of us do it already to save to take in to the bank or other establishment to turn into dollars when we have enough. Some of us do it to save for a trip, a special purchase, or just rainy day funds - but why not take that money and donate it? It is money you didn't miss anyway. Besides 'exact change is always appreciated.'
In today's world though, we are less likely to pay with cash and receive 'change', you likely pay for most things with plastic - a debit or credit card card. To solve this, there are some round-up programs that allow you at check-out or payment to make your purchase the next full dollar or even round-up to an even amount. For example a purchase of 22.44 could round up to 23 - or even 25 - and donating the extra money to a charity. A local grocery store once had the program, I have even seen energy companies allow you to round-up a donation to go to those less fortunate. We can do something similar ourselves and it is not hard. Your account s have statements each month where you can look and determine the round-up. You can even download a statement in a workbook and use it to make it easier. Back in my August post, I took a look at two weeks – one paycheck – of my transactions. If every transaction not a whole dollar was rounded up it would equal $12.49. With 26 paychecks a year it would total to over $300 in donations.
This year I am following through with that concept and will post each month here the total of my coin change and round-up costs. In doing so I hope to inspire others to follow suit, and maybe in the process I will come up with ideas to make it even easier for people. Bins for your car drink carrier to throw your change into, an app to track your round-ups - who knows?
Below I will track the monthly and ongoing total for the year:
January - $17.15
Februrary - $21.80
March - $18.88
Loose Change Turn-in $42.73
April - $20.38
TOTAL - $120.94