July 3rd, 2006


Take a Penny, Leave a Penny

"Take a Penny, Leave a Penny" -- that's the motto on the little dish in front of the cash register. And it's full.

I asked the cashier about it, and she said, "Every evening, we empty it out, put in five pennies, and throw the rest into the register." I asked how much that generally was, and she replied "A little over twenty cents." I suppose this is profit to the store -- but realistically, if it goes into my pocket, I'll just throw it into the bowl on top of the bureau at home for my daughter to play money with -- though she hasn't done that for a while.

The Mint believes it loses money on pennies and nickels -- but since I still use nickels, I'd vote to keep them. Pennies, though, seem like tokens, rather than real money. It's to the point that "Watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves." isn't the mark of a prudent person: it's a sign that you've become obsessive about things with no value.

Would you miss pennies?