Cash

How would you like your change?

Two tens have the same value as a twenty. Wadded up or neatly ordered, paper currency has the same value either way. But a lot of us may have strong preferences for how we hold our cash.

I bring this up because I reached into my own wallet this afternoon to find a single, two fives, and a twenty. They were out of order, a couple upside-down, and one of the fives was folded awkwardly. Grrr…. Slightly annoyed, I pulled the four bills out and reordered them neatly, all facing the same way, right side up, and ordered in lowest value to highest, from top to bottom.

No OCD here, just a preference for having my cash in order. I couldn’t tell you why it matters to me, other than having taken to heart my retail training from 30-some years ago, when the bills were to be stacked just so in the drawer.

Other peeves? I don’t like receiving change with the clerk handing back the bills into my palm first and then dropping the coins on top of them. What am I supposed to do with that? Instead of cradled neatly in my palm, the coins are loose, on top of a relatively slick surface. I now need to pick them up with the hand I have free and maneuver them into the coin slot of my wallet, still grasping the bills with the other hand… Awkward.

And what about those coins? How many do you carry around? Do you just keep all the coin change you receive and use it as you spend? Do you drop the coins in tips jars, charity boxes, or a coin jar at home for later consolidation? If you save them, how is the cash used later?

I usually have a few coins with me, but they are heavy so I don’t keep a lot. When I have too much change, whatever that means, I drop the excess into a coin cup at home. Jim drops the pennies in another jar and raids the rest for coffee. I’ve never asked what happens to the pennies.

Our younger generation hardly uses cash or coins at all. My son pays for almost everything with a debit card, so he rarely has cash. This may be the way of the world ultimately.

How do you like your change? How do you carry the bills and coins? What do you do with coins?

Since the name of the post is “Cash”, I thought I’d link to a song from favorite Johnny Cash. Thoroughly appropriately, it is the Ballad of the Forty Dollars. Waylon Jennings joins him.

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9 thoughts on “Cash

  1. Jim in IA

    After the riots in Los Angeles several years ago…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots
    … I read an article about something that contributed to the tensions between races. It was cash. It seems the merchants in one area of the city would return your cash from a purchase on the counter, instead of in your hand.

    Many people were not irritated by that seemingly innocuous gesture. But, to some, it was an insult. When tensions spilled over, these merchants were the focus of some bad attacks and looting.

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  2. shoreacres

    I must confess, this is an issue I’ve never thought about, and the questions were ones I’ve never considered. How do I like my change? Accurate. Other than that, I don’t care how they hand it to me.

    How do I carry my cash? In my wallet, unless I get change at a store. Then, I’m quite likely to just drop it in the bottom of my bag and sort it out later. But coins always go in an old sugar bowl at home, and then, when it gets full, I roll the coins and take them to the bank – either for currency or as part of a deposit.

    It’s kind of interesting. Depending on the coins, the sugar bowl can end up with a value of around $20 or as much as $80. The ratio of pennies to quarters is important!

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      ACCURATE — that’s for sure. Usually it is, of course, because no one needs to calculate it themselves anymore. I doubt most could easily these days, since the register does the work.

      I love the idea of bonus money in your sugar bowl! We don’t accumulate very much these days.

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  3. cerebellumtellum

    I always like my dollars to be lined up (retail past as well) and returned to me in order $1-$5-$10 and I loathe the change on top of dollars hand-off. You described that awkward balancing act perfectly.

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      It has never made sense. I’ve gotten better about the juggling, usually managing to grasp the bills in 2 fingers and pulling them aside. That makes it a little more likely the coins actually end up in my palm. But it doesn’t always work!

      Thanks for taking a look and commenting today. Good to see you.

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      1. cerebellumtellum

        Good to see you as well!

        The ABSOLUTE worst….when they put your money down on the counter! That happens to me a lot. Usually, I have to give the evil eye to get them to pick it up and put it in my hand. So uncool!

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        1. cerebellumtellum

          I think it is. It’s a gesture of appreciation for your business. In the few years that I’ve done retail, I would hold the money in my hand until the customer was ready to receive it. It’s very insulting to me.

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