Bank of Scotland

Scots are hoarding nearly £45 million in loose change around the house

24 November 2012

Over £42.7 million pounds in loose change is gathering dust in Scottish households, according to the latest findings from Bank of Scotland.

Scottish adults who keep loose change are hoarding an average of £18.21 at home, with women keeping an average of £20.81, compared with men who only keep £15.25 in change. Additionally, around a third (32%) admit to having loose change in excess of £20 stashed at home; one in 10 (10%) has between £50-£100, and 5% have over £100 in coins at home.

The most popular place for Scots to hoard their loose change is in a moneybox (39%) or jar (38%), whilst 13% keep theirs in the car, 7% keep it in a drawer, 6% store it on a coin tray, and a further 6% in their bag.

A third of all Scots (32%) admit to dipping into their loose change stash to pay for small items such as parking and coffees. More than one in five (22%) regularly exchange their coins for notes at a bank. Women are most likely to pay it into their savings (10%) or current account (20%) at regular intervals, compared with men (9% and 14% respectively). Men, however, seem to more often fall foul to their spare change being raided with 12% saying their children dip into it, and 7% see their partner helping themselves, this compares to just 5% of women in each situation.

When it comes to the value we place on money, there is no greater test than whether or not we would stoop down in the street to pick up a coin. To this affect almost half of Scots (47%) say that they would pick up a penny off the street. However, around one in 10 (11%) respondents said that they would only bend down for 10p piece or more, whilst 2% would only be interested if it was at least a £5 note and would ignore all coins.

Greg Coughlan, Head of Savings at Bank of Scotland, comments:
“With household budgets suffering a significant and prolonged squeeze, consumers are clearly keen to make the most of their loose change, with many stopping on the street to pick up a penny.

“However, by hoarding our loose change we are not making the most of this money. It could be working a lot harder if it were invested directly into a savings account, earning interest. As the saying goes we need to look after these pennies, so that the pounds can look after themselves.”

Bank of Scotland’s Save the Change® is a simple everyday way to start saving or save more. Every time a customer uses an eligible Bank of Scotland Visa debit card the amount spent is rounded up to the nearest pound and the difference is transferred from their current account into an eligible Bank of Scotland savings account. Customers can use their own savings accounts or nominate a family member’s savings account.

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