Friday, May 15, 2009

Episode 57: Got Spare Change?


I heard this story on NPR when I was stuck in stereotypical L.A. traffic.

It’s an interesting thought and kind of true. I know I try to avoid spending big bills, but not really to save money, but rather to spend a denomination more commensurate with my purchase. For example, if I’m going to buy a pack of gum for 99 cents, it’s kind of silly to break a twenty and wind up with a lot of change in my pocket. Conversely, if I’m at a restaurant and the bill is $60, I’d rather pay with three $20 bills. I thought that’s the way everybody did it. But it seems the studies show that people always prefer to pay with lower denominations whenever possible.

The author of the study suggests we put more one dollar and two dollar coins into circulation. I think she missed the memo: NO AMERICAN LIKES DOLLAR COINS! This isn’t Canada! =) In all seriousness, the JFK half dollar failed, the Susan B. Anthony failed, and I had a guy at the 34th street subway station refuse to take my Sacajawea coin! I would wager that most Americans would put dollar coins into a coin jar or collector’s glass before spending it. I applaud an interesting idea on how to help the economy, but I don’t think it will work, at least not in America.
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4 comments: on "Episode 57: Got Spare Change?"

Mark Meloy said...

The last thing we should be doing is looking to add to the "coin" collection. If anything, its time to drop the penny. Never mind the insane inconvenience they cause, but I'm sure the cost of producing them can save as well.

conservative generation said...

Interesting. However, I think I'm more likely to spend the higher denomination. I've always had a propensity to save my change so I often spend big bills so that I can through the change in a giant bank. It's a small quirk of mine.

Mark's right. However, American's may spend $2 coins quickly. If not to get rid of them.

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