I used to have a huge glass penny jar. I threw all my change in there at night when I got home from work. When it got filled up I would take it to the bank and get the coins changed into real money. Usually there was several hundred dollars.
Then one day I had a cleaning lady who tried to move the jar for some
reason and she dropped it and broke it. Since then, I have used a
different penny jar for my change. It is larger so all the pennies,
nickels, dimes and quarters took longer to collect and get to the top.
Yesterday I discovered that I have a problem. I can't lift this larger
penny jar. At all. It's too heavy. So I did one of those things that
people who live alone and have nothing else to do will do when
confronted by a dilemma such as this.
But first, you should know that I did NOT call someone strong, say a
MAN, to help me lift the jar into my car and go with me to the bank so
he could take it inside for me and get the change converted to
something lighter. That would have been way too easy.
No, I did what people left to their own devices do. I decided to take
out the change a little at a time and spend it. Until the jar gets
light enough to lift.
I put the change I took out into three plastic cups. This seemed like a
good idea. First I sorted the quarters because they're the easiest. And
the most useful. Then I culled the dimes and nickels. Finally, I put
the pennies into their own glass jar because I'm not going to use them
for anything except to take them to the bank eventually.
By the way, did you know that you can hold more than twenty dollars worth of quarters in your hand?
At this point, I had a couple of choices. I could take the plastic cups
of change to the bank and get it converted into smaller increments. Or I
could try using the change to buy things. Since I had the cups with me
in the car and I was hungry, I decided to try spending the change
instead of converting it.
For the most part, in case you ever decide to do something like this,
nickels and dimes are just as useless as pennies. Except if you're
buying papers and Slim Jims.
Quarters are better, but they're heavy. However, they make a large
bulge in your clothing, not an attractive silhouette unless you're a guy
wearing tight pants in a disco.
With no one to stop me, I carried around aboatload of quarters
to see if I could get rid of them. This is what happens when you don't
have a spouse making fun of you for doing stuff like this. I can only
imagine what my grown [groan?] children might say. Oh, wait, I'm sure
I'm going to hear.
My first clue of what this would be like was when I held up the line at
the Wendy's drive through counting out four something in quarters,
along with some of the nickels and dimes for a salad. I got a bunch of
pennies back in change. Great, more pennies.
Then I held up the line again at the gas station when I decided to go
inside to pay for my gas with EIGHTY quarters. No, really. Plus I was
carrying them in one of the plastic cups. Amazingly, I still had a
whole bunch left afterward.
Yes, people were staring, in the way that people stare at someone who forgot to take their medication.
After the uncomfortable silence caused when the people standing behind
me in the line started giving each other looks, good sense has finally
I've decided that the smartest thing to do is to load up a cup of
change or two each day, then go to the bank and get dollars back.
Until the jar gets light enough to put it in the car and carry it in
and be counted.
But that's such an easy solution.