When I went to McDonalds the other day, they had a sign by the cashier window that said, “Please try to use change, as we are experiencing a coin shortage”, or something to that effect. I have coins in my car and plenty of them in my house and years ago I would roll them up and take them to my bank, but I have become lazy and my piles of coins just keeps on increasing in size. There actually isn’t a coin shortage, as this is just a bunch of people like me who are too damn lazy to roll them up and cash them in for paper money. Maybe it is due to the pandemic, as we blame every other shortage on this, and I did go out and socialize a lot more before it began, but now I sit home and I am not spending money like I did before. I buy things online using my credit cards, and there is no change in these transactions.
I see those Coinstar machines in the grocery store and I guess some people are using them to exchange their coins for cash, but I have never used one, because I think it is a rip off for them to charge 11.9% of whatever amount I am exchanging. That would be almost $12 for each $100 and this is an extravagant cost for changing money. Jesus drove the money-changers away from the temple, not because He had anything against them, but because He felt they should not be doing their business in front of His Father’s house. The Romans ruled the Jews and everyone was paid in Roman coins, however since this Roman money contained images of Caesar and pagan deities, it was considered blasphemous to the Jews. Herod struck his own Temple approved coins with Hebrew inscriptions and Jews often traded the pagan money for their own currency, thus making money changing a lucrative and respectable business of the day.
It is a pain in the ass, sorting and rolling up coins and let’s face it, money is filthy and you never know who touched it before you got it. Coins are heavy and lugging them to the bank is a chore, so mine keep piling up. If the banks had these money machines, which you could use at no charge, as I don’t see a reason why they would need to make a profit on converting money, then I would put all of my coins back into circulation, but mine are sitting in jars at home, instead of being inside of cash register drawers.
Metal coins are still being produced, it’s just that they are not being passed through the economy at the rate that they used to be, which causes problems for some businesses. The Fed is producing enough coins, minting 14.8 billion pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces and dollar coins in 2020, a 24% increase from the 11.9 billion coins produced in 2019, but businesses and banks around the country are having a hard time getting a hold of that metal currency. A lot of coins are collecting dust when they should be continually circulating through the economy. I guess I am partly to blame for making less transactions at retail stores, not using vending machines as much as I once did, but if I didn’t feel like somebody was trying to pick my pocket, I would do my part to keep the coins flowing again.
Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Money – Image by KL Caley.