My interest in coin change must go back to a savings technique I heard to painlessly save money by emptying one's pocket of change each day and putting it in a bureau drawer.
Religiously, I did this for several years, and my bureau drawer filled to where I wasn't sure if I could carry it all to the bank in one go.
After verifying first my bank branch had a coin-counting machine, I emptied the drawer of coins into doubled-up grocery bags and set off in the car with my heavy load. I'd waited several years, and was pleased the bank would give me cash [in bills and change] or credit my bank account, without a haircut [unlike Coinstar kiosks].
I was surprised my drawer of coins had amounted to almost $300!
I did not, however, go back to dropping coins in that bureau drawer. I decided the better challenge was to figure out how to not accumulate coins, which is an inevitable cost of paying cash over plastic & smartphone payments.
Yes, I'm probably out of step as more and more money changes hands digitally, so to speak. Sweden is on track to be cashless by 2023. Plus the lowly Euro cent is already gone for cash transactions in Finland. I learned about rounding when my €19.99 purchase in a Helsinki department store meant no change.
Still, for me, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies are a fact of daily life. They accumulate, if you don't have strategies to shed them.
Quarters are easy. Portland parking meters gobble quarters & my Toyota has a dash recess for keeping the metallic Georges.
As for dimes, nickels, and pennies, they can pile up too, but possibly not as rapidly as outside Oregon. For example, with no sales tax, one seldom uses or receives coins at Dollar Tree in Oregon.
In my effort to shed coins by "offering the change," I find younger, digitally native, cashiers can be flummoxed. For, say, a $1.57 purchase, I offer two dollar bills and two pennies, and they wonder, What! Sometimes, I give up.
But I've found a new, nonjudgemental ally in my effort to discard coins: Self-Checkout. Great machines. If I have to pay a total of $6.47, and I have in my pocket, say, seventy-three cents in non-quarter coins, I can put it all in, knowing I'm almost sure to get one quarter and one cent if I also put in a ten-dollar bill. The calculation is to put in more coins than I get back.
On balance, strategizing about how to spend coins is a mental engagement that might offset what’s lost by not dropping them in a drawer at day’s end.
Image credit: usmint.gov
Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection [and feel free to share with a friend] The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)
11:13:17 uzbl & "Faster Dial-Up" Redux
10:29:17 The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement
Became the World's Largest Religion, a book review
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10:14:17 In Pursuit of the $1 Thumbdrive
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9:30:17 19th Century-Style Photographic Prints
7:2:17 DIY Prescription Eyeglasses
6:22:17 Free Geek: "helping the needy get nerdy"
5:27:17 Reading My Great Grandfather's 1868 Diary
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3:21:17 The Revelation to John
1:29:17 A Platonic Slide Into Tyranny
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10:21:15 How I Write When I Write
9:17:15 The Other Portland
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8:19:15 Oregon's Most Obscure Traffic Law
7:31:15 A Small Death
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7:16:15 Out Damn Spot!
5:31:15 My New Library Card
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4:21:15 The Sea Lions at Astoria
3:26:15 Sacrificing for a Lower Water Bill
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2:5:15 Pinhead Books aka e-books
1:15:15 Good Riddance to Old-School Shaving!
12:20:14 Three Whys I Quit Reading a Book
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10.17:14 Doomsday Preppers, a TV series review
9.30:14 The Trigger, a book review
9:10:14 Clipboard People
8:23:14 Ukraine Diaries, a book review
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7:29:14 Right Speech
6:28:14 Pacific Power's Wily Ways
6:20:14 My New Clarks Sandals
5:31:14 Portland's Water Woes, Again
5:10:14 Faster Dial-Up
4:11:14 Update on Stockpiling Light Bulbs
4:10:14 The Next 100 Years, a book review
3:15:14 A Cruel and Shocking Act, a book review
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2:9:14 The Flight (and Fight) of the Hummingbird
1:25:14 My Frugal Byways
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9:23:13 The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a book review
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5:5:13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3:25:13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
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11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
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9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
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7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
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6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
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3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
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12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
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