Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Penny Saved is...Money Wasted

Show of hands... how many of you have jars of pennies tucked away in closets and basements? Yeah, me too. Well according to an article published in Parade magazine (the Sunday Paper insert) it costs 1.5 cents to make each and every penny and nearly 9 cents to make a nickel! Does this seem crazy to anyone else? According to the article, the US Mint lost $40 million minting pennies in 2007 alone! $40 million dollars! $40,000,000! That's a lot of zeros! There is a pro-penny group called Americans for Common Cents, backed by the zinc industry (surprise, surprise pennies are 97.5% zinc) that argues against eliminating the penny from US currency or making them from less costly materials (to the tune of $100 million savings per year). Apparently, Congress has the power to regulate currency and efforts to makes these changes haven't gotten very much support. Now, as I've stated before on my blog, I am a traditionalist and I am someone who hates change (no pun intended), but $40 million dollars seems like a huge waste of money to me. I, for one, can easily see myself living without pennies. Just imagine all the extra space I'd have in my closets!



22 comments:

Willo said...

This is fascinating! I remember a West Wing episode on this...makes you wonder why we do it.

Stopping by with luv from SITS because you were ahead of me today.

Pam said...

Hi Willo - Thanks for stopping by!

Lucky Wife/Bookaholic said...

That is facinating. So, when everyone turned in their collection of pennies, if they were removed from circulation... What would we do with them? Could they be melted to make something? I wonder how many are out there? Questions questions...

My New 30 said...

What a waste! I guess I pretty much must use my pennies, but there is a small jug of them in my spare room that my son left behind when he came home from college. Those have been in there for years, but it's the only stash of pennies around, so not too bad I guess!

Pam said...

Bookaholic - That is a great question. I have no idea what would happen to all the pennies. I bet all the people who now horde them, would keep them, for sentimental reasons, of course.

New 30 - I use my pennies, too. My husband saves them for some unknown reason.

Alex the Girl said...

Have you ever noticed how stinky pennies make your hands? Smelly stuff. Nickels, dimes, and quaters don't smell as much, but pennies sure do. I do want to add this, though. When I was going through treatment, I was out of work for a year. The kids at my school did a penny drive and collected $1,500 to deposit in my cancer fund. Now, imagine the stink behind all those pennies.

Sit A Spell said...

Yes...I have jars of pennies! I've often wondered if the govt would stop making them. I did not know WE were loosing money making them!

Stereos and Souffles said...

Just saw something on www.whoismich.blogspot.com, it's a virtual bookshelf I thought you might like. The website is www.shelfari.com/widget

CDB said...

We DO have huge vats of pennies and small change, that every six months or so my husband rolls (as he watches some sporting event) which I then must take to the bank drive-thru. Which I am always pleased about (nope.)

However! I did have to break out a nickle and two pennies for my $4.07 bagel/drink this morning.

Pam said...

Hi Alex - You actually bring a point that Americans for Common Cents argue is a reason to keep pennies. And it is a good one. Maybe those fund drives would just have to be for nickels.

Hi Sit a Spell - Thanks for visiting my blog. I agree. Losing money on minting pennies and nickels is definitely something to think about. Especially considering the size of the national debt.

Stereos - Thank you so much for that tip! How nice of you to take the time to let me know! I will be sure to check them out ASAP.

Hi CDB - And that is another point taken by Americans for Common Cents. They argue that prices would be rounded up to the nearest nickel. So instead of $4.07 for a bagel and coffee it would be $4.10. That's something I think I would be able to live with.

Ashley said...

That is crazy!! I'm not a big fan of change but that doesn't make sense at all.

The Uniblogger said...

Wow! That is craziness! Unfortunately I have been so broke that I am breaking into my change collection.

Pam said...

Hi Ashley - No, it doesn't make any sense!

Uniblogger - Check your closet for long lost jars of pennies!

Tammy Howard said...

I use mine, too, but could absolutely live without them. Rounding to the next nickle, or DIME for that matter, since the nickle thing is out of hand, too, would be easy peasy.

This really is sort of bizarre...

Lanie said...

I have pennies too! Just wanted to pop in and give you a belated thank you for commenting on my cat post. I lost the other cat the same day you commented if you can believe that. Thanks though. Your nice comment brightened my day!

Pam said...

Tammy - I agree that rounding up even to a dime would be fine.

Lanie - You're welcome and I'll be back to check in on you. I'm so sorry!

Bethany said...

I save all my change for a year or so, then roll it and cash it in, use it for a dinner out or something fun :)

Mya said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog the other day.

Interesting post..I havta agree w/ ya.

Pam said...

Bethany - That's a great idea!

Mya - Thanks for stopping by.

Gamma Sharon said...

WOW! I had know idea it cost more to make them than they are worth.

Pam said...

Sharon - quite the shock, isn't it?

Jolene said...

Very interesting...I have a big jar of pennies myself.

 

Blog Design By Lindsey Joy Design © All Rights Reserved.