Monday, September 13, 2010

Penny for your thoughts? Make it a nickel.

Most places where I spend actual cash, as opposed to using my credit card, give change back, including pennies.  But a few places, and there are more and more over time, skip the pennies and either forgo the 3 cents of the $22.93 I am paying or give me 65 cents in change when I should actually get 64 cents.  When I actually do get pennies in change, before they can actually hand it to me, I say "save it for the next customer".

The penny is past its prime.  The current Lincoln penny (which has gone thru a few redesigns) was minted in 1909.  In 1909 you could purchase a postcard or a few eggs.  As Time Magazine says, now it can't even purchase itself.  It now costs 1.38 cents to manufacture a penny.

Yes, there will be some issues to work out, such as what to do about sales tax, which makes most purchases end in pennies.  Perhaps the rule of thumb would be to round off to the nearest nickel.  0, 1, and 2 cents are 0, while 3, 4, and 5 are 5 cents.  Not everyone will be happy with dropping the penny, but, as I read while researching this post, we used to have a 1/2 penny coin.  When is the last time you had one of those in your hand?  Unless you lived in the 1800s, never.

Is it Time to Get Rid of the Penny? (Opposing Views)

Also check out the History of the Penny (

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