Wednesday, February 6, 2013

no more Canadian pennies - is the US next?

They announced on the news today that Canada is no longer minting* pennies because they cost more to produce than they are worth. This makes me sad. I've always liked the penny, and the sayings that go along with it, like:

"Penny for your thoughts."


"Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck!"

I hope that the US doesn't decide to follow Canada's example, but I fear that the writing's been on the wall for the penny for a while now. A lot of people don't value the penny. A girl I used to work with would toss out her pennies. Well, she did, until she found out it bothered me. After that she'd just hand me pennies whenever she wanted to get rid of them. Many stores and public transportation (at least in my area) don't like pennies either. My philosophy is that pennies add up, but even some bank tellers look at you sideways if you try to change in a bunch of pennies for paper money.

Speaking of pennies, I wrote about the value of pennies a while back (September 29, 2008):

Pondering Pennies
Why is it that cashiers no longer think it’s necessary to give you your change if it’s only a penny? This has happened to me several times lately (way too many times, if you ask me). The cashier is always upset that I want my penny, and that I am willing to stand there, while they check out someone else, in order to get the money that is rightfully mine.

The cashier today thought it was funny that she forgot to give me my penny, then was annoyed when I wanted it back. I had to wait (a long time) to get my change because the next person in line had a big order. While checking them out, she asked everyone that walked by if they happened to have a penny she could give me and she’d pay them back. She wasn’t willing to admit she was wrong for keeping my change, but she sure didn’t want management to notice me standing there waiting for change that she didn’t give me. (Nobody had a penny; I waited.)

Now I know that pennies aren’t worth much (roughly a penny on most days), but if cashiers don’t give penny change to every customer, that money adds up for the business AND for the customer. A penny may only be a penny, but if this happens 100 times, then it’s a dollar. If it keeps happening, those pennies and dollars can add up to a lot of money.

Even if I don’t lose hundreds of pennies in the long run, it’s still MY money, and I should be able to decide if I want to pay more for things or keep my pennies to help purchase something else.

Are people taking your pennies too? Do you ask them for your change if they don’t give it to you?
I for one will miss the penny if it goes away. I'm going to miss the Canadian penny too. I didn't see them often, but every once in a while one would slip into a change drawer and land in my pocket when I got change after buying something.

Long live the penny, even if in the future it's only in our memories!

* Thanks to Mirka for pointing out that they are minting, not printing pennies. Though I swear they said printing on the news. Either that, or I'm so used to hearing printing because of children's books that I switched it in my brain before writing the post!