Are you harbouring a pot full of copper coins with no idea how to change or spend them? Or do you make sure you spend those pennies straight away? Perhaps it’s time to do away with them altogether…
The coin pouch of my purse is bursting at the seams. Not because I have a stash of cash – it’s simply an accumulation of far too many pennies. The problem is that I never seem to spend them.
Pennies are just pocket money
As a child, my pocket money was made up of a giant jar of loose change. Every so often, after I’d done chores around the house, my dad would tell me to count it out into money bags so we could change it into notes at the bank. This money would be mine to keep.
It was never very much, and I distinctly remember wondering how on earth that giant jar of copper could only total a few quid. I was grateful for the money, of course, but the ‘shrapnel’, as my dad would call it, just seemed to serve very little purpose other than a collection for my pocket money.
I suppose the only use I had for this change at the time was buying penny sweets. But as I wasn’t much of a fan of those, I saved my pocket money for ice cream and cinema trips – which, back then, cost less than a fiver.
Fast-forward 20-odd years and I’m still hoarding the coppers, yet I never seem to have time to pop to the bank to change it over. And while I’m thinking about it, I wonder who does?
What should we do with our loose change?
Maybe I’ve taken the old savings mantra of ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ a bit too seriously. The 5p carrier bag of coppers in my wardrobe is testament to this.
So, what do I do with all this change? I object to using those machines that count up the change for you and take a cut of the cash. But then I also know it’s quite foolhardy to leave stacks of coppers sitting at home doing nothing.
Occasionally I’ll count up a few quid’s worth and try to spend it at a supermarket self-service machine. While I’d never dump a pile of change on a poor checkout assistant, I don’t mind doing it to a computer.
Pennies can have other purposes, of course. I’ve seen them used in the garden as a decoration, so maybe I could explore some crafty ideas. I could also pop them in a charity box, but even those are hard to come by these days.
What’s the point of pennies?
So I’m starting to wonder if there’s any point in penny coins these days. Back in 2013, we talked about Canada doing away with its small change and asked you if the UK should follow suit. Of the 417 people who voted, 55% said no, 28% said yes and to include 2p coins, too, and 17% said they’d be happy to do away with 1p coins.
Should we get rid of the 1p piece?
Yes - and 2p coins with them (50%, 759 Votes)
No - I like copper coins (34%, 516 Votes)
Yes - we don't need 1p coins (15%, 232 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,507
I wonder if this still stands – would you like to say goodbye to the penny coin or do you spend your pennies? What else do you do with all your loose change?