Posted in Entertainment, Family, Growing Up, Reflections, tagged Coin Rolls, Coins, Counting, Entertainment, Family, Growing Up, Reflections on March 10, 2013 |
1 Comment »
I keep a coin box on a dresser in our bedroom. When I come home with change in my pocket, I put it in the coin box. Then, when the coin box is filled to overflowing, I get to experience one of my great little pleasures — counting the coins and putting them into coin rolls.
Why do I enjoy this little chore so much? Well, for one, it’s tangible evidence of our thrift. We’ve saved the coins, after all, rather than frittered them away on lottery tickets or video games, and it’s nice to tote up the amounts every once in a while and see the fruits of our frugality.
There’s also a tactile, sensory element that is enjoyable. You dump all of the coins out on a surface and hear their jingle and clatter. You grab a flattened coin sleeve — I usually start with pennies, because there are more of them than any other coin — and pop it open. My right index finger goes into one end of the coin roll, to stop and straighten the coins that are inserted into the other end. Then the counting begins, and what a joy it is to count again, to 40 or 50 depending on the coin, like you are back sitting attentively at your desk in first grade.
The counting continues, the rolls fill up, the dollar coins that are given as change at automatic change dispensers get stacked, and the excess coins get put back into the empty coin box, to be counted next time. Hey, more then $30. Not bad!
Read Full Post »
Posted in America, Humor, Technology, The Economy, World, tagged America, Canada, Canadian Penny, Cash, Coins, Currency, Humor, Money, Pennies, Technology, The Economy, World on May 6, 2012 |
1 Comment »
On Friday, Canada minted its last penny.
The rationale for this move is that it costs more to mint the penny ($.016 each) than the penny is worth. In addition, Canada’s Finance Minister concluded that people weren’t using the penny for business. Instead, they were just putting them in jars at home. So, no more Canadian pennies will be minted. Those that have been minted thus far will remain in circulation — at least until they get tossed into the penny jar on someone’s bedroom dresser or kitchen counter.
It will be interesting to see exactly how this works. According to the linked article, retailers will charge credit cards to the penny, but the price for people paying cash will be rounded to the nearest five-cent interval. Odd to think that people paying with declared legal tender might end up paying a few cents more for that privilege than people swiping a plastic card, isn’t it? I imagine that retailers will just establish uniform prices in five-cent intervals to avoid the issue. Canadians won’t see any more of those beckoning $9.99 prices that retailers are so fond of; instead, Canadians will be seeing a lot of $9.95.
People have urged the U.S. to do what Canada has done, which is probably the first step toward an entirely electronic economy. All money is an abstraction, of course, but at least there was a satisfying physical dimension to dollars in your wallet and coins in your pocket, and its cumbersomeness provided some security. Now, the accounts holding your life savings can be emptied in the blink of an eye by a savvy hacker a world away with a few well-chosen keystrokes.
This is called progress. Of course, if that unfortunate incident happens, we can all fall back on the pennies we’ve carefully hoarded.
Read Full Post »
Posted in America, Humor, tagged America, Coins, Currency, Foreign Money, Humor, Mega Millions, Money, retirement, Retirement planning on April 5, 2012 |
2 Comments »
I didn’t win the Mega Millions lottery payout, which means that a key assumption in my retirement planning will need to be changed. Why not simply presume that, at some point, you are going to get a huge windfall? It makes retirement planning a heck of a lot easier. (And it’s about as realistic as assuming that Social Security will be able to make monthly payments at current levels indefinitely to millions of long-lived Baby Boomer soon-to-be retirees. But I digress.)
With the removal of the Mega Millions payout assumption, I need to look elsewhere for the wealth that will fund the fabulous, active retirement that is every American’s true birthright. Recently, in doing some spring cleaning, I think I found my answer — in our travels, we’ve accumulated an impressive collection of foreign money. Why, I have one piece of paper currency alone, with a picture of Ho Chi Minh on the front, with a face value of 20,000 dong. 20,000 dong! If the exchange rate is even remotely favorable, that one bill alone should fund a year’s worth of Early Bird Specials at whatever restaurant caters to senior citizens at our ultimate retirement destination.
That’s not all, either. I’ve got a 1 yuan bill with Mao’s picture on it, as well as Chinese coins. Another bill reads 5 Wu Jiao and has a nice picture of two women wearing some traditional tribal costumes on it. It’s probably Chinese currency, too. China’s economy is doing great, so that hoard will be like an investment that will keep on growing. I’ve got Euros, and Canadian change, and coins with holes through the middle and Asian writing on them. Surely, all of those will be worth something, and will help to avoid times of want in my golden years.
As I go through the money, I found one game token that has “no cash value” stamped on it. Oddly, it looks just like the other coins — made of metal, about the same weight and heft, minted with a picture on one side and numbers on the other. I suppose you could conceivably confuse American currency with such worthless bits of metal or paper. Fortunately, our money has the full faith and credit of the U.S. government behind it. Thank goodness!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Humor, Travel, World, tagged Bermuda, Coins, Currency, Hog Penny, Hog Penny Pub, Humor, Queen Elizabeth, Travel on June 24, 2010 |
Leave a Comment »
When Kish and I were in Bermuda we bought a soda, paid cash, and received some Bermuda coinage as change. I took a look at the coins and was surprised to find that the bright copper Bermuda penny has the familiar likeness of Queen Elizabeth sporting a crown on one side and a hog on the other.
What’s up with that? Why would a tony island like Bermuda, with its lovely “pink sand” beaches, iconic Bermuda shorts and knee socks, ubiquitous scooters, and proud British colonial heritage, feature a pig so prominently on its legal tender?
It turns out that hogs have a long and distinguished connection with Bermuda. A sea voyager who was an early visitor to the Bermuda Triangle was shipwrecked with some live hogs in the hold. The hogs made it to shore and, in a few years, their grunting, squealing descendants had spread throughout the island. The hogs were so prolific that some who visited Bermuda came to know it as “Hogge Island.” (Changing that name undoubtedly helped spur Bermuda’s tourism industry, by the way.) Naturally, then, the first coins minted on Bermuda featured a hog on one side. The current penny is a tribute to that initial coinage.
The eagle is our natural bird, of course, and it looks noble on our currency. Canada’s coins properly feature the likes of the beaver and the maple leaf. Given its important role in Bermuda’s history, the humble hog therefore is properly honored with a prominent place on the Bermuda one-cent piece. You have to give the Queen credit for being willing to share a coin with a curly-tailed swine of the four-legged variety. The people of Bermuda also seem proud of their hog penny. Indeed, one of the most popular pubs in Hamilton is the Hog Penny Pub.
Read Full Post »