I’ve started keeping a change jar on my desk. It’s mostly filled with nickels and pennies, with the occasional dime. I put it there because our vending machines just suffered a price increase – sodas are now $1.35. People are more likely to have a dollar and a quarter than they are to have 35 cents rolling around. After a couple of coworkers borrowed quarters and then returned with 15 cents, I just started a “give a penny, take a penny” style jar, only designed for those errant nickels and dimes that we can so rarely find.
Well, it’s become a penny jar. Sure, it’s got other change in it, but a number of people have just started dropping their pennies in after lunch because they don’t want to carry all that “useless” change around.
I’ve decided to start an experiment. I’m going to see how much money ends up in this jar by the end of the year. It’s unguarded, so someone could come in and take a handful of pennies (or the whole jar). But it’s also out in the open for anyone to drop their change in. No one’s asked me what I’m going to do with it – in fact, I haven’t said that it’s for anything other than shared vending machine change.
I’m wondering how many pennies are going to be in the jar by the end of the year. As I don’t feel like it’s my money, I’ll either use the money to buy candy or something for the office or maybe just exchange it for nickels and dimes and help out the vending machine change scroungers.
They’re only pennies, but they add up. I don’t use that much cash in my life and I still see my change jar slowly filling. Of course, I end up dumping that into a Coinstar machine and getting Amazon.com gift certificates a couple of times a year. This time, I’m going to see what we can manage to save.