Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What do you do with your change?

It's all pocket change
Originally uploaded by bigluketx
What do you do with your pocket change? I bet, if you’re like most people you have some kind of jar, dish, bowl, bottle, bag or bucket you toss it into full of coins that’s not to mention that change in your car. In my car I have change all over the ash tray, glove box, floor, seats and I even have a nifty little coin holder that hides in the center console that’s full and all the loose change floating around in the console its self. I know I’m not alone, I’d bet most anyone has change lying around in this way.

I have an uncle that has a few 5 gallon water bottles FULL of change stashed away in his basement. By his guess he’s got a few thousand dollars in those jugs. Thousands of dollars… doing nothing, except collecting dust. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, people have saved money in lots ways, Stuffed in mattresses, shoe boxes, jars and even big ol’ water jugs. But in this case it started out as something simpler than that.

In the case of my uncle I think it started out with a bowl. He’d come home at the end of the day and toss his change in a bowl he keeps on his work bench. When the bowl was full he’d dump into a bigger container. When that container was full he’d dump it into a bigger one until he’d filled up an entire 5 gallon water jug. But it all started with that bowl and no simple way to do anything with it.

So when I think about my bucket of change, my uncle’s water bottles and everyone else that has change lying around it’s got to be millions and millions of dollars just sitting. Why? Well because it’s a pain in that ass to carry change all the time and it’s even a bigger pain in the ass to count it and roll it up to take to the bank for deposit. Now I’m not the first one that’s had this thought which is evident by the existence of companies like CoinStar. Their cool little green kiosk can be generally found in the front of your local grocery store and if not CoinStar then some other reasonable facsimile of it.These companies like CoinStar charge fees to sort and count your spare change, Which a lot of the time is reasonable enough considering what a pain it is to do it the old fashion way.

Now we get to my point in this whole thing. Why in the world do banks just let companies like CoinStar just have this business? Now it seems to me that for the banks to stick a similar automated sorting and counting machine in the lobby for customers to use is a no-brainer. How much money could that open up to spending, who knows. So come on big banks… Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase here’s an opportunity. Figure it out… Rolling the coins and marking them with my account for deposit is a real pain in the ass. There's a little common cents for you... haha get it common cents.

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