August 01, 2006

A Decade of Change

To coin the phrase, "A penny saved ..."

I've been living in the same apartment in Brooklyn for ten years, during which time I've seen a lot of change. Not in the neighborhood, and not in my life, but in plastic jars, into which spare coinage has been routinely deposited and tucked into the back of my closet to be forgotten.

But this week I remembered all the change in my life, and decided it was time for a change. So I loaded the six jars of coins into a roller suitcase and wheeled it to the closest Commerce Bank, where they have a free Penny Arcade service for counting change and exchanging for notes.

The machine first asks you to guess how much change you've got. If you guess within $1.99 of the actual amount, you win a prize of some sort. I don't know what that prize is, because I guessed I had amassed $457 in change.

The actual sum: $600.68!

That $405 represents quarters, and $21.63 is the pennies. So I'm more of a quarter-pinching Jew.

I walked out of the bank with an empty suitcase and a slim pocket of hundred dollar bills. Sure, I've now got an extra $600 to put toward the rent, but the best thing to come of all this is that now when homeless people ask me if I have any spare change, I can tell them "no" without lying.


Anonymous said...

You got quite a bargain. My local grocery store has a machine that charges 8 or 9%.

Anonymous said...

600 bucks in change? Wow! A shame to spend it on something useful like rent.

Anonymous said...

but HEY, actually you should have had at least those 68 cents for that homeless guy

Anonymous said...

$600?!!!! Wow!!! But...Well...Ten years are ten years.=) I should do the same with my € coins!=)

Anonymous said...

Actually, $405 in quarters is 1620 quarters, as opposed to 2163 pennies in $21.63.

Therefore, you pinch approximately 25% more a pennies quarters.

So much for dispelling stereotypes ... :)