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Is Your Coin Jar Jingling? You May Have More Money To Shop This Holiday Season

BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the holiday shopping season draws near, a new survey released today by Coinstar, a leader in money services, found that Americans may have more money than they think stashed in piggy banks or junk drawers and weighing down purses or backpacks.  Survey respondents estimate that they have a little more than $26 in spare change, but according to Coinstar's nationwide kiosk data, the average amount that customers convert to a NO FEE eCertificate and/or gift card when they cash in their coins is $56 – more than double what survey respondents think they have hidden away at home.

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More than two-thirds (67 percent) of winter holiday gift givers who typically set a budget for presents say they will go over it – by an average of $148 – so every penny counts. This is likely why nearly four in five Americans (76 percent) can name at least one thing they'd be willing to do or give up in order to buy holiday gifts for everyone on their list this holiday.

"We hear all the time how surprised customers are by the amount of money they have when they pour their spare change at our kiosks," said Mike Skinner, president of Coinstar. "They can convert coins to cash vouchers to spend any way they want or they can exchange them for a no fee eCertificate or gift card from well-recognized brands.  This is a perfect option for the folks who think they might go over budget for presents."

Every Coin Counts...Additional Survey Findings
  • No more pennies? While some financial pundits mull the elimination of the U.S. penny, Americans still value spare change – even in its smallest form. In fact, nearly all respondents (97 percent) can name at least one coin they'd pick up if they saw it on the street, with a majority placing even the smallest denominations on the list – 66 percent said they would pick up a penny, and 74 percent would pick up a nickel.
  • Where's your change? Even though Americans value spare change, they don't always show it. Survey respondents report that their coins are often scattered about in locations like purses and bags (59 percent), car cup holders (53 percent), under couches (30 percent) and on closet floors (19 percent).
  • Is Your Coin Jar Jingling? More than half (56 percent) of holiday gift givers will pay for most of this year's presents using cash – and that number goes up for parents (63 percent) and millennials (Gen Y) between the ages of 18 and 29 (61 percent). Cash gift buying creates more spare change to save so why not collect and cash it in for even more presents this year?
  • Stocking Savers: Sixty-eight percent of Americans buy stocking stuffers each year – with an average value of $21 per stocking stuffer. Those who tend to purchase stocking stuffers also, on average, save more in spare change than those who don't purchase stocking stuffers ( $30 vs. $21).
  • Gift Card Madness: Gift cards top holiday wish lists, with 72 percent of respondents admitting that they would rather receive a gift card than a physical item. However, only 54 percent claim that they will purchase more gift cards than physical items for people on their list this year.
  • Last-Minute Loves: Although the longer people wait to shop, the more gift cards are purchased – 77 percent of those who buy presents at the last minute rely on gift cards. The second most popular last minute gift is cash, given by 44 percent in a time crunch during the holiday season.

So as the holiday season kicks into high gear, shoppers take note: All of those coins cluttering the car, closet and kitchen countertops might just make January a little less stressful. 

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