Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do You Use a Change Jar?

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icon My dad used to keep his spare change in a big, glass water jug that was painted red, white, and blue, which is actually a pretty valid metaphor for the financial system in America if you think about it (full of money, easily broken, vaguely patriotic). One of his favorite expressions was (and still is) whenever my brother and I would bug him about wanting something expensive, he would reply, "Well, we better start saving our nickels."

As a result, I still keep a change jar, and, every few months, I spend some time rolling the coins. Once rolled, I then generally either take them to the bank or use them at a fast food restaurant (I love to see the cashier's expression when I order a #6 and then pull out three rolls of nickels. Big Mac: $1.99; medium fries: $1.49; uncomprehending stare of a sixteen year old: priceless).

For me, it's important to spend the time counting and rolling the coins myself. Sure, I could take them to a Coinstar machine, but them I'm paying them a percentage. While I value my time, I also don't like to throw money away if it's unnecessary.

Still, I understand that other people look down on change jars. Comedian Whitney Cummings even had a joke in her Comedy Central stand up special concerning what the deal is with guys having change jars (Is it their savings account?). Others prefer just to spend the change as they receive it, thereby eliminating the clutter that a change collection can bring.

What do you think? Do you save your change in a special place?

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