Life Without Cents

Nope, I didn’t forget to proofread, I really mean CENTS. For anyone who follows Canadian national news, you already know that, with the release of the 2012 budget plan, the Canadian government has decided to phase out the Canadian one cent coin.
While this will probably have little impact on most people’s day-to-day lives, it will most definitely have an impact in other areas. For one, the country will stop loosing money on this “currency without currency” (quoting Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty). It costs just over 1.5 cents to make a penny.
There are places where no one cent coins may not have such a positive impact though.
I have been at work or in the line up at the supermarket when people pay with rolls of these “throw away” coins. Most people do not choose to hold onto these coins with such a small value, but there are those to whom every penny really does count.
I have also seen a lot of these coins dropped into the countertop donation boxes…I’ve helped roll them. Most of what ends up in these boxes is pennies, but they add up. Where will these charities be without those two or three pennies dropped in by virtually every customer?
The way that I first started money education with my kids (this involves counting skills, grouping, saving strategies and budgeting) was with pennies. T is a great saver! He has over $15 in pennies in a cookie tin in his bedroom. Sure, nickels can be used for this too, but ever try teaching a barely three year old to count by fives? Definatly not gonna happen with a two year old (which is when I started money awareness)!
Pennies are throw away coins for a lot of people, but for others, the general population throwing away pennies is what keeps them going. Now we need to come up with a new name for the “pennies for books” school library fundraiser…for some reason “nickels for books” just doesn’t sound right….

No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!


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6 Responses to Life Without Cents

  1. I’ll never forget the joy of finding a penny on the ground when I was kid. Twenty five of those pennies would buy me a candy bar! If that penny happened to be an American wheat penny, it bought me a rare glimpse of a simpler time. Hate that they are disappearing everywhere.

    • The J85 says:

      That found penny was always the greatest! You have reminded me, with that simple comment, of two things from my childhood relating to the penny:
      My grandfather’s saying “a penny saved is a penny earned” and
      The old rhyme “find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck!”

      I know we will miss the penny once it disappears 😦

  2. eathen lord says:

    very interesting, I think that perhaps some new cents should be available to people or more likely organizations that may have need of them, however they are overall a burden.

    • The J85 says:

      The thing that makes pennies so valuable to these people/groups though is that this is money that the majority of people find burdensome and are willing to pass off. In the case of donation boxes, the old saying “with enough sense/cents, you can make a dollar” applies.

  3. I’ve never considered the charity aspect of it! You make a very good point.

    • The J85 says:

      As something I see every day, especially with charity fundraisers filling the next month of my life, it was one thing that was on top of my mind. Sure, people will throw the odd nickel or dime in there, but the $s won’t be there and the donation boxes will look pretty empty 😦

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