Sunday, August 06, 2006

The trouble with money...

I’m approaching the $10,000 mark on I’ve entered 2,820 bills worth a total of $9,665. I have hits in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and California.

Florida has the most hits, mostly because that’s where I live. Arizona is next because I went to visit my brother there and had a chance to spend a lot of bills there. Most of the rest of the states have only one hit. (Texas has three, two of which are in the same county. Go figure.)

Today, I spent my first marked $2 bill at the grocery store. I’m curious to see how long it takes to get a hit. I have to figure that $2 bills are enough of a curiosity that someone will notice the markings. The markings might even motivate them spend it rather than add it to a collection. We’ll see what happens.

I was reading Time while I was out in Arizona; they had a story that there’s pending legislation that would do away with the penny. This has been a proposition several times already because pennies are considered a nuisance. This is the first time it has been taken seriously because of the rising cost of metal.

Not many people realize that it costs money to physically produce money. Paper money is cheap in relation to the face value. However, it doesn’t take much to make a penny not worth the penny being created. (I think it costs somewhere around two cents to make the one-cent piece.)

Personally, I happen to like the penny. I like the exactness with which I can pay my bill. In fact, I’d like to see the half-cent coin brought back. (Don’t worry; I’m not holding my breath.) To be forced to round to the nearest nickel just wouldn’t cut it for me. I want my penny and I want to be able to pay with one.

Yes, I know what a hassle it can be. I work in retail. I usually count those pennies in the morning when I open the store and at night when I close the store. The difference is that I don’t usually carry that many on me. When I get them, I’m quick to spend them.

I don’t stockpile them like most people, and that’s where most people run into trouble. Most people end up with hundreds of them in their cars and at home in jars. It’s money. I say spend it.

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