BELLEVUE, Wash. June 26 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — At a time when gas prices are skyrocketing and household budgets are getting tighter, Hispanics in this country are finding that a little bit of extra cash comes in handy when planning a summer vacation. The Coinstar Hispanic National Currency Poll revealed today that the majority of Hispanics (77 percent) are accumulating change in a jar or other container at home, and nearly half (48 percent) don’t consider their change to be part of their household budget.
This extra cash adds up to about $90 per household on average, and across the United States Coinstar estimates that more than $10 billion in change is sitting idle in homes. This found money can make for a guilt-free summer outing or an extra splurge while on vacation. Accumulated coin can even pay for last minute travel items. Hispanics who have been on vacation said their top last minute travel purchases included clothing (56 percent), followed closely by candy and snacks (51 percent). Books and magazines, sunscreen and cameras were also popular items when preparing for a trip. And if you’re worried about fuel costs, your household stash could pay for roughly 22 gallons of gas (based on average cost of fuel at $4.08 per gallon).
“This year more than ever, individuals and families are feeling the financial pinch of taking a summer vacation or spending money on entertainment and other activities,” said Alex Camara, general manager of worldwide coin at Coinstar, Inc. “We hope that having this extra change will encourage people to cash in and apply their funds toward fun this summer.”
Other key findings from the Coinstar Hispanic National Currency Poll include:
— 30 percent of those who accumulate their change say they do so to have extra money on hand for emergencies, 16 percent want to have extra money for entertainment and activities, and 13 percent are saving to put money toward a big purchase.
— Of those who accumulate loose change, Gen Y (ages 18-29) are more inclined to think of it as part of their daily budget (60 percent), compared to those 50 years and older who feel the same (48 percent).
— 38 percent of respondents said they cash in their coins when their coin jar is full and another 23 percent said they cash in to treat themselves or someone else to something special.
And while you’re scouring your home to find hidden coin treasure, don’t forget some of the more unusual places people are stashing their change. When polled respondents were asked where they store change – other than a piggy or other bank – the top answers were:
— Car ashtray (54 percent)
— Sock or underwear drawer (39 percent)
— Kitchen cupboard (26 percent)
— Under the bed or mattress (10 percent)
Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) is a multi-national company offering a range of 4th Wall(TM) solutions for the retailers’ front of store consisting of self-service coin counting, electronic payment solutions, entertainment services, money transfer and self-service DVD rental. The company’s products and services can be found at more than 50,000 retail locations including supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, financial institutions, convenience stores and restaurants. For more information, http://www.coinstarespanol.com
About the Coinstar Hispanic National Currency Poll
The Coinstar Hispanic National Currency Poll was conducted by Kelton Research between May 9 and May 19, 2008, among 500 nationally representative Hispanic Americans using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population of Hispanic Americans ages 18 and over. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. The poll was developed to provide information to better understand coin and currency habits in America, and track trends, behaviors and attitudes towards currency – both traditional and new forms, as well as related topics.