How a penny a day can help keep poverty away

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Looking for the simplest way to hold onto some more of your money? Take a hint from Otha Anders, a man who cashed in all the pennies he’s saved for over 45 years and now has a small windfall.

Read more: How to save money on groceries without going coupon crazy

A penny saved is a penny earned

The 70-year-old Otha started saving pennies when he’d find them on the ground, according to USA TODAY. Then decided to save whatever other pennies he had around the house. This went on for decades. Finally, one day earlier this year, he hauled 15 five-gallon plastic water jugs filled with pennies to the bank and cashed them in. His total haul? More than $5,100!

Saving small change is a great idea, particularly if you get past the penny. Over time, saving nickels, dimes and quarters can amount to real money. It reminds me of my friend the retired talk radio host Neal Boortz who told his listeners to take their change from every purchase and save it. When he buys something, he always saves the change. That has become quite a bit of money over time for him.

Ben Franklin would be very proud wouldn’t he?

As for me, I collect all my change and then go to those Coinstar machines you commonly find in supermarkets. Those machines will charge a huge amount to count your loose change and turn it into cold hard cash. But if you take your total as a gift card, you can get your total amount dollar for dollar with no fees. So I take my change and turn it into Starbucks gift cards for my wife and then give them to her at various occasions through the year. It’s a way I can do something sweet for my wife with the change.

The point is there are always little habits you can create that in time can generate real serious money. Just think of Otha who saved over five grand just in pennies. Wow!

Read more: Craziest thing you’ve done to save money?

Get more money-saving advice for your wallet in our Money section.

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