Woman talking(l+r), Walmart storefront(c)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @debbieradiogal/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘It’s all a scam’: Woman shares why you should always round up when making purchases in-store after being asked at Walmart self-checkout. But there’s a catch

'I have saved so much money this year.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Apr 18, 2024   Updated on Apr 17, 2024, 8:44 pm CDT

When going to a checkout, one may be prompted to add an additional charge to their order or simply “round up” to the nearest dollar. While this is occasionally a tip for workers, something that has long frustrated internet users, there are times where shoppers are instead prompted to round up their purchases and donate the amount to charity.

This has allowed more money to go to charity than before. For example, in France, an article in the Conversation claims that this form of giving has resulted in more than €50 million being collected since 2010.

Still, some are hesitant to hit the donate button at checkout. That’s why one user on TikTok has sparked discussion with her new approach: round up the donation, but donate the excess to yourself.

In a clip with over 566,000 views, TikTok user Debbie Dujanovic (@debbieradiogal) suggests that shoppers round up their purchases following a trip to Walmart.

“I totally round up every single purchase, but I have that roundup go to a savings app,” she explains.

She then notes that there are several apps designed for this express purpose, with most costing just a few dollars per month.

“If I would have rounded up to the nearest dollar at Walmart, they would have gotten my roundup, but because I didn’t round up to the nearest dollar at the check stand, I got my roundup taken from my checking account and put into my savings app,” she details. 

Although this is only a small amount at the moment, Dujanovic claims that these little allocations can add up.

“I have saved so much money this year just doing roundups—a penny here, 50 cents there, a nickel there, and I don’t even miss it,” she says. “I have a friend who’s done this too. … He’s got a lot of money in his—like, a lot—just by doing roundups.”

In the comments section, many users claimed that they would not round up their purchases for charitable donations under the belief that companies would be able to use them for tax write-offs. However, as noted by Ali Swenson for the Associated Press, this simply isn’t the case.

“Stores can’t write off a customer’s point-of-sale donations, because they don’t count as company income, according to tax policy experts. Customers can write off their own donations if they choose,” writes Swenson. “Stores are allowed to write off their own donations, such as when a store donates a certain portion of all its proceeds to charity.”

@debbieradiogal This is why you should say YES to roundups on your purchases! #money #shopping #finance #savings #you #utah #mom #life #wealth ♬ original sound – debbieDujanovic ♥️

Regardless, commenters remained unconvinced.

“I usually ask, ‘How about if you round me down & you donate the change? That way it really comes from Walmart?’ They always say, ‘No,’” said a user.

“Nope. I keep change for my emergencies,” offered another.

That said, several users claimed to utilize Dujanovic’s advice.

“One of my banks, BankofAmerica has that option where your round ups go to your savings.. and it’s FREE,” revealed a commenter.

“My bank back in NY had a savings account. you set how much you wanted to save and it would round up all purchases and put the extra in that account. you could not withdraw $ until you hit your mark,” recalled a second. “I wish other banks did that. It was a great idea.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Dujanovic via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Apr 18, 2024, 7:00 am CDT