The Penny War

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“Here’s a trick that will make you rich! When you find spare change pick it up and dip!” ~Verinique D. Bailey

Lol okay I’m just goofing around! But seriously, did you know there is a war on pennies right now? How many of us see pennies on the ground and don’t pick them up? Just walk right over those little one cent coins like they are worthless! Yep, I used to walk over them too and think to myself, “If it were a silver coin like a nickel or a quarter I would pick it up!” Never considering the fact that it took pennies to make that quarter!

My grandmother once told me “Don’t walk with your head up so high in the air that you walk over the money on the ground!” I remember thinking she was crazy and that I was too good to be scrounging around for pennies! That is until I realized the need for some spare change!

I’ve learned that it is important that we learn the benefits of saving our money, especially at a young age! I’m not just saying this because I work at a bank (LOL), but more so because I’ve lived both richly and poorly. Rich to me was cashing in my refund check and having money after paying my rent to buy a big ticket item like a new laptop! In other words, splurging and blowing money without a care in the world. While poor was more like not having any money for gas, toothpaste and school supplies! I am truly grateful to God to not have missed any meals (unless by choice), but the point of the matter was some days I had to count on my old green piggy bank to see me through! I’d scrape up a few dollars and go get what I needed and I was always so appreciative for having invested so much spare change in it.

But now, that I’m actually working full time, it has dawned on me that I need to save even more! My mentor from work told me just a few weeks ago, “The thing about money is, if you don’t keep track of it, it’ll disappear!” And she was right! I’ve experienced times where I’ve spent wayyyy more than my little checking account had available and incurred a series of over draft fees! -__- Or even the time I maxed out my credit card spending foolishly and as a result I am still struggling to get the balance paid in full! All because I didn’t properly manage my money! But through those times I gained a desire to be more financially fit and stable and to help others to do the same!

It’s no surprise to me that most of the people in my generation whom I talk to about finances don’t really have a plan or a purpose for their money! Most of us aren’t taught the importance of and the practices of saving and keeping up with our balances! We all want microwave money (or drug money as my Daddy calls it) quick and easy! (Disclaimer: I do not use drugs nor do I sell them or have drug money and I don’t want any! – LOL) But the truth is, nothing that comes quick and easy lasts; therefore, I want to give you all a few tips about how you can begin saving your money!
1. Open a savings account and use it! Most big name banks offer free or discounted rates complementary to customers with checking accounts. So if you have a checking account why not get a savings too? A savings account will give you the security and safety that you need to save, especially when saving large amounts. And some savings accounts even offer interest payments and other incentives for having your money in the bank!

2. Automatically transfer money! Nowadays when signing up for direct deposit you can automatically transfer a specific amount into each account. If not, you can always have this service done for you in a bank. Automatic transfers help people save because it’s almost like you never see the money. Because it isn’t directly in your primary checking account it makes it a little more difficult to access, thus making it less convenient to spend and easier to save.

3. Round it up! Save all of the money you don’t spend evenly! For instance, if your total comes to $1.87, put the $0.13 in your savings account! Sure this may seem a little compulsive, but trust me when I say every penny counts!

4. Pick up those pennies! (LOL) Still to this day, my grandmother finds money almost every time we are out! I need some of her luck! Don’t be embarrassed, you’ve got goals to meet! I do however, encourage you to ALWAYS be honest about finding and keeping money! Morals are important and Godly! If you find a spare dime here or there in the middle of no where sure keep it, but if you find a few twenty dollar bills in a public place like a retail store fitting room, be honest and turn the money in! You never know what the person who lost it needed it for. Don’t miss your blessing by taking some else’s!

5. Budget and keep track of your money! To some this may be a tedious task, but honestly it’s one of the best ways to manage your money. It wasn’t until I began keeping a track of my money that I realized the things that I wasted the most money on! (Fast food was a BIG one!) If you know you have a large expense coming soon like a trip or textbooks, managing your money by budgeting is a great way to keep track of it and to ensure that you meet your goals.

If you don’t see the value in the smallest amount of money, how can you be blessed with more and actually appreciate it? If you want to be financially fit and stable you must learn to save your money. All money adds up so make the most of yours! Besides, I’m sure the person who has a million dollars values every single penny!

It is high time you decided to join THE PENNY WAR and claimed your pennies!

By: Verinique D. Bailey, “The V in Virtue

Disclaimer: This post is solely opinion based and my views do not represent that of Regions Financial Corporation.

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