Three Coins in a Fountain: In a Cashless World New Reasons for “Change”

I’m not sure if it was the mention of the Tooth Fairy early on, or the shout out to Bazooka chewing gum that caught my attention, but David Wolman in his new book The End of Money is really on to something.  Now, full disclosure, the book just came out and I’m a few chapters in, but couldn’t resist sharing my initial reaction.

In his book, Wolman reminisces about his childhood corner store where there was a game set up, you threw pennies (you know those ”copper” coins you may find in the junk draw of your kitchen) at a bell, and if you hit it, you’d get a free piece of Bazooka – pretty cool right?  Now for every kid, this is definitely fun with money, and got me thinking, what do we do with our spare change?

Well for me, and I’m one of those “cash-less” folks, so not even sure how I have any these days, but when I take the family to Stew’s…Stew Leonard’s that is, I have to make a conscious effort to make sure I grab a handful of change from the old water cooler jug (where else do you put it?), because my boys need it for the fountain pool, where they throw change at a bird to make it sing. So there’s one use.

Then, as I was putting my son to bed last night I noticed a new game he got for his birthday – get ready for this – it’s called “CoinStruction”, the fun way to make your money grow.  And yes what caught my eye was the description: “Use colorful plastic clips and your spare change to build an engineering marvel.” So this makes, two uses.

Indeed times have changed, but fear not, as while we may not use change very often to make purchases, it’s finding new and creative ways to carry on, and perhaps even inspiring little engineering minds.  But hmmm, does this outweigh the fact that coins cost more to mint than face value.. 

Well, those are my reasons to keep change around, what are yours?