Loose change can be a nuisance. It fills up purses and weighs down pockets, and gets left in pots and corners too. But if you gather it all up and count it, you may be surprised at what a big sum it comes to, so why not treat yourself to a regular little income boost this way?
Better still, build your coin pile into a tower through little penalties for slip-ups or blunders. Let your partner and grown-up children join in, converting the proceeds into crackling notes to share out at weekends. Set a “penalty box” on the dining table and invite your family to think up humorous slip-ups that might warrant a dime in the box.
Here are some suggestions. . .
Getting up late
Who’s the laziest in the family? Set them a challenge to get out of bed by a deadline or pay to snooze on. They’ll probably leap out of bed with five seconds to spare and set you a challenge in retaliation, starting a hilarious game. As long as it gets the cash pile rising while keeping everyone smiling, it’s got to be good.
Breaking, marking, or damaging something
Do plates and mugs get chipped, or your carpets stained? If so, it’s time your family took more care. Make them put a dime or quarter in the money box for every mishap. If ring marks are appearing on the coffee table or muddy boot trails spoiling your shiny tiles, make the culprits pay! They can always set you a challenge in return, but don’t complain — that’ll earn you dividends too.
Breaking a diet
Who’s been eating the chocolate cake? Set a price on grazing, and a double one for diet-breakers. Get those coins pouring, and your savings pot filling. You’ll need to make allowances for guests, of course, and bat an eyelid if they polish off your cookies, or they might not visit again. But guests aside, greed can be a nice little earner in a game like this.
Telling a bad joke
Everyone enjoys a good joke, but few will force a smile at a weak one. If bad jokes are rife amongst your family and friends, raise the standard by charging 20 cents or so for any that fail to raise a smile. You’ll all be trying to keep a straight face, of course, to make each other pay up. Meanwhile, the cash will be stacking up in your bank, for conversion into crispy notes for your wallets at the end of the week or month.
Forgetting a birthday
Forgetting a close relative’s birthday is a poor show, so if your brother, sister, or partner fail to produce a card on your big day, give them a nudge by holding out the collection box. When they gawp at you in bewilderment, show them your other cards, or start singing “Happy Birthday” to yourself. They won’t forget again, especially after parting with their last dimes.
Leaving smelly socks on the floor
If you’re forever picking up abandoned socks and other garments from bedrooms and bathrooms, it’s time to stop being a slave to your family. Set a price tag on discarded clothing, keeping charges minimal to sustain the fun of the challenge. A harmonious atmosphere is vital for this game, even when it acts as a reprimand. Meanwhile, even the smallest of coins can add up to a valuable investment over time.
Select a swear word, or a bunch of them, that you’d prefer not to hear in your home, and warn your family that they’ll owe a dime to the money box every time they utter one. If your folks are in the habit of using strong language, this rule should generate plenty of coins — and quite a few giggles too.
When you’ve accumulated a few dollars’ worth of small change, hand it in at a bank or shop in exchange for a rewarding sheaf of crisp notes. Share them out equally among all contributors, or as best suited to your domestic arrangements and finances.
Discuss what to spend your bonus notes on, then start your savings building again for next week’s returns. Freshen up your money-making game with new rules and challenges, ensuring they’re fair for all involved. Maintaining a harmonious atmosphere is the only real rule. Keep everyone happy, and the money will come rolling in.