The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 19

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

The power of change

The other day, Scott was helping a neighbor with some household tasks, before heading off to the bank. When he was finished, the neighbor handed him a metal trash can half full of pennies and said, “take this to the bank with you. It’s probably about $20.00.” It ended up being over $50.00!

It reminded me how small change can add up fast. Over the years, I’ve witnessed several people toss pennies aside, as if they’re worthless and inconvenient. I understand it can be hard to see the value of saving one penny, but you can’t get to a million, without starting at one!

To me, the pennies is proof that even if you only have a tiny bit to save today, it’s worth saving, because if you keep adding to it, it will grow. But how far does it have to grow, before we think of it as enough to make a difference? 

There was a time when I would have used that $50.00 to go out for dinner or drinks. After all, it’s only $50.00. But now I think about all the different ways I can use $50.00. I could save one month ahead for a bill – even if it doesn’t cover the entire bill, it still gets me ahead! I could put it into one of my longer term funds – car/home maintenance, medical savings, job loss, birthday/xmas, etc. I could contribute to my IRA or HSA. I could buy fractional shares of stock. There’s no end to what I could do with $50!

With everything else funded in my budget (including fun money) I get to decide where any amount of extra money – small or large – will benefit me the most. And when I take the time to stop and think through my options, instead of going for the instant gratification, I’m much happier with my choice – even if it is going out for dinner or drinks!

In this case, Scott and I decided that $50.00 was best saved in our job loss fund.

For me, the power of change is represented in two different ways.

1. The power of change to grow into dollars

2. The power to change my thinking, to be more strategic and beneficial

What could you do with an extra $50.00? Email me: