Cash in Your Pennies
Are you frustrated by the slow rate of economic recovery in the US and around the world? I have an idea that won't cost you any money.
I have a very simple idea for helping the US economy: Cash in your pennies.
If you are like me, you have a supply of unwanted pennies collected in a jar beside your alarm clock. Maybe it is only a handful of pennies, or maybe it is a gigantic vat. In either case, I recommend cashing them in and spending the money.
Here's why: The US government keeps making pennies. Why? Because people aren't spending them... they are just holding them.
The pennies are only worth 1 cent, but they cost 2 1/2 cents each to manufacture. That doesn't sound like very much money, but the US mint makes millions of them, actually billions of them, 4.3 billion pennies... EVERY YEAR.
Those of you who are good with math will have already realized that this is a a collosal waste of $103 million dollars per year. We have plenty of pennies in America already, they are just sitting uselessly in jars!
HOW TO GET THE FULL VALUE OF YOUR PENNY HORDE
I believe every American should cash in his or her penny horde and help stop the US mint from manufacturing any more pennies. But how? You don't want to roll a bucket of pennies into paper rolls, going to the casino violates your parole and your bank doesn't have one of those nifty free coin sorting machines.
Here's the secret! Coinstar machine has a free mode!
That's right! Usually Coinstar claims 10% of your penny money, but there is a free option! All you have to do is choose an Amazon gift certificate. The machine will count your coins and spit out an Amazon gift code for the FULL VALUE of your coins.
The next step, which is actually more likely to actually effect the economy, is to spend the Amazon gift card. You can't use it to buy gasoline, or to pay down your credit card bills, but you can and should spend it on something you want.
Ideally, you should spend the money on something that will improve your finances or improve America, such as high-efficiency lightbulbs, smoke alarms, electric blankets and oil filters.
Don't tell me those pennies were part of your budget.