Every day when my parents came home they would empty the day's spare change into a mayonnaise jar, where it would collect until it was time for a vacation. Days before the trip we would gather around the table to help separate and roll coins. This change would become our "fun money" to be used to enhance the trip with something special that we wouldn't have done otherwise (usually a meal in our case). The ritual brought us together and got us excited about the adventures to come, but little did we know we were learning a valuable life lesson in the process. There's no better way to illustrate the adage, "A penny saved is a penny earned" than watching a pile of forgotten change morph into neatly rolled stacks that could be changed for foldin' money. I remember it always being a surprising amount, sometimes over $125, and it enabled more than one bacon cheeseburger or useless souvenir (Groucho Marx glasses, anyone?). For a recent road trip, Red and I revived the tradition and rolled $45 in coins, which were put to use in the best way possible; funding two BBQ dinners in Kansas City, MO. Upon our return, in a beautiful circle of life moment, we took our change from this trip to begin replenishing the milk jar (our vessel of choice) and are excited for what it will turn into for our next adventure.
Everyone should have a change jar in our opinion. In times when money may be tighter than usual, it's nice to be able to look at all that change on your dresser and think of what a delicious steak it's going to become, or how that extra tank of gas will let you finally check the world's largest ball of twine off your bucket list. --Brown