add it up

Cashing or depositing saved up change is perhaps one of the most awkward events that a person ever has to endure.

When you bring in your bag of change that no doubt has accumulated some paper clips, lint and trash along the way, you feel ashamed.  Here you are, this Person With A Life, and somehow, holding this bag full of change has ruined all of that.

You walk past people, biting your tongue to keep from shouting at them all, “I have a job, seriously!  I don’t even need this change.  I have twenty dollars in my pocket right now – I swear!  You want to see it???”

It can be quite a humbling experience.

But then, after you’ve finished putting all your change in the machine that counts the money and cursing it under your breath for repeatedly spitting out the pesos (how the hell does it know the difference???), your mood alters dramatically.

With the slip that proudly displays the amount you deserve in cash, you are on top of the world, and not afraid to let the teller know it.  You hand over the slip, the teller gives you your money and the entire time you’re standing there smugly thinking, “You know, I didn’t have this money before.  Now I do.  I have real money now.”

At this point the world is your oyster!  You suddenly have become the proud owner of $23 that you can spend as frivolously as your heart desires!

A hot dog for lunch?  Make it two!

And why stop there? Perhaps a Sprite to wash it down while you’re at it!

It’s a topsy turvy experience, bringing in your change, and there’s not much you can do about it.

Now back to figuring out how to disguise those pesos.


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57 responses to “add it up

  1. Live large. Go for the Dr. Pepper or just go home.

  2. Ben

    I wish I had big bags of change worth more than 87 cents.

  3. I don’t know what coin it is now, but there is something that is really close to a quarter and you can put it in a pay phone and you can make the call, but it spit the coin back out at you, so you can keep putting it in over and over again. I wonder if that would work in those machines too?

  4. When I was little I thought it would be really fun to collect cans and turn them in for change…you know like a homeless person.

    The money still felt all warm and toasty in my pocket as I left the recycling facility…even though I vaguely smelled like old beer and soda from the cans.

  5. I think the only way to disguise them is to do it old school: roll ’em. That’s how I sneak my Canadian pennies in anyway.

  6. Damn! You’re rollin’ in the dough. Can I borrow $5 so I can get an Extra Value Meal for lunch? Methinks I’d also like another dollar so I can Super-Size it. What? It’s the giving time of the year!

  7. f.B

    i have these half dollars… they never take them, but neither do a bunch of stores. so if you learn any tricks, there’s a half dollar in it for you

  8. jay grochalski

    that’s all fine and good, until the cashier looks at you like you’re a bum who needed to cash the change, and the whole horrible ordeal starts over again.

  9. Matt

    That $23 could take care of all of your holiday shopping if you hit the right sales.

  10. I keep mine in a box. That way I just look strange when I go to cash it in…not poor.

  11. I did this once in a really sketchy neighborhood…I used one of those Coinmeter machines. Two different people asked for change as I tried to cash in…there ain’t no lying about not having money then…

  12. I ain’t too proud to beg. The question is – what do you keep all of that change in? An oversized mug from college? An old Crown Royal bag? A giant Ziploc bag?

  13. I love hoarding my change and then converting it into CASH MONEY! I keep mine in a tin and when it fills up I’m totally taking that to the bank.

  14. LOL I do the exact same thing, and worse yet, I also love the extra cash it gets me. Once I got over $200 from a year worth of change. It all went to the savings account.

  15. deutlich

    Sprite is gross.

  16. What recession? We be rolling in our quarters. There is no vending machine out there that we can’t make our bitch!

  17. Maybe you can try to disguise the pesos in a different environment. Like wherever you keep the buttons that come in that little baggie that’s stitched to new shirts and jackets.

    Or in a bowl of hard candy.

    I actually have 4 pesos sitting on my desk that were leftover from my coworker who sat at this desk before me and had them here from a recent vacation. And she left them here on purpose because she didn’t know what to do with them.

    And now I have to deal with them instead.

  18. effin’ pesos. 😉

  19. One day at work I forgot my wallet at home and was seriously thinking about eating my stapler, but then I remembered the pennies that had been kicking around my desk since I moved into this office.

    I dumped them in the CoinStar machine and felt like a millionaire as I wandered around the local Food Lion and bought myself the most random lunch I’ve ever eaten–Hawai’ian sweet bread, fruit leather, some gouda, and an Arizona tea.

    Best (free) lunch ever…

  20. See, this is when you need one of those pillowcase bags with the big green dollar sign on it. Only in this case it would be the cent sign.

    I may have to pitch this idea to Lil’ Wayne for him to use in his next video. Got money? Got CHANGE.

  21. “Here you are, this Person With A Life, and somehow, holding this bag full of change has ruined all of that.” Haha!

  22. lacochran – But I’m intimidated by doctors!

    gwen – Thanks!

    ben – Keep trying and one day, one day you’ll get there.

    dutchess – Wow that’s awesome – do the research and find out what it is.

    jossie – Hahaha – gross.

    stealth – That’s the only way that seems to work, you’re right.

    akilah – I emailed it to you.

    fb – Now that’s incentive.

    jay – That’s when you pull out the gun.

    matt – I plan on doing that.

    maxie – You’re smarter than me.

    lemmonex – Those homeless are smarter than you realize.

    narm – This was all crap in my desk drawer. I like to use a big tin at home, which isn’t exciting at all, but you asked.

    arielle – Get yours girl!

    tough – Aw, you gotta spend that shit!

    deutlich – I actually don’t drink it anymore either, but back in the day it was my drink, so you take that back.

    rachel – Sing it sister!

    hollywood – And now you can leave them for the next person.

    ss – I think that’s their official name.

    sarah – I admire your collection of foods.

    aine – He’s gonna steal that idea, I just know it.

    mermanda – I’m a joke maker.

  23. We do the same thing, except I keep using our quarters for the Muni.

    Stupid transit system. Going Somewhere is highly overrated.

  24. idontliketoread

    dude I just did this, i got 3hondo, can you say private jet bro!!

  25. S

    Really though, the pesos thing, I’m convinced it’s more than just a machine.

    It knows things.

  26. I have about an inch and a half of change in one of those five gallon water jugs, that I will proudly wheel down to the coin star once it’s full. That money will go straight toward the purchase of a plane ticket somewhere! I think I saw blood and brain matter outside this morning…gotta love Bushwick aka “East Williamsburg.” I need a vacation.

  27. Sadly, I only change in my coins when I am so broke I have no other option. You’d think someone like me with a college degree and a job wouldn’t have resort to cashing in coins to pay bills and eat.

  28. I always feel like going out for lunch after turning in my change. It’s like you’re rich all the sudden.

  29. tia

    i think you and my dad are the only people i know who call soda “pop.”

    totally an east coast/midwest thing.

  30. JP is clearly better at saving change than we are.

  31. I’m really bad about coin money. If pennies are laying around I just throw them away. It’s pathetic, I know.

    I keep the silver stuff though.

  32. You know you could always hire some Mexican guy to do it for say 10%.

  33. Fussy

    I turned in my change this very weekend, $49.95. I bought vodka. I keep my change in a red, plastic vase. A nice reminder that at one point someone loved me enough to give me flowers. Now I just have a couple handfuls of change and a drinking problem.

  34. Two hotdogs and a sprite, huh? When I was 15 my dad offered me these jugs of coins that my grandparents had hoarded in their house. But I was too lazy to roll them up and so my dad did it instead. It amounted to like $200 or something and he wouldn’t give me any of the money as punishment for being lazy or something. (We didn’t have one of those fancy coin counters in Small Town Oklahoma at the time.)

  35. kt

    my husband brought back change to the bank after we moved out of our house and combined the several jars we had going. it was about $150. in change. I think we bought a video game and sushi. huzzah! it probably would have been more were it not for my stealing-of-the-quarters-so-I-can-buy-coffee-in-the-morning compulsion. meh. such is life. (and don’t use the machines! they take such a huge cut… and for what? spitting out pesos? take it to the bank! for free!)

  36. I like calculating how much money I’ll have based purely on weight or sight.

    I once guessed within 40 cents of the total. It was the greatest day of my life.

  37. Hi. I’m the girl trying to mold herself just as close to the front window of the bus as possible, potentially blocking your entrance, so I can drop nickels and the occasional dime in. And I must count it out example on the 14th and 29th of the month because if I screw up by one little piece, I only get to have gum for dinner.

    I need to get better at budgeting.

    Incidentally I also support the no-penny policy for bus fare. Because people like me would cost the city hundreds of dollars in additional gas per week due to the sheer weight of all the copper I would be feeding buses.

  38. Far

    I put all my change into my gumball machine… one day when the gumballs run out ill have to do the change walk of shame too…well if i can figure out how to get the money out that it 🙂

    Also Tia I say pop too.. i never say soda… maybe its a canadian thing too hehe

  39. I spend all of my change as soon as I get it, I refuse to house money that I could be spending. This also means that I either have a huge wallet full of change, or I’m that annoying person who holds up the line while I count out my change.

  40. I love taking in change to have it counted. Dad and I go, bet each other $5 how much the change is worth and then belittle the person who loses. It’s fun and profitable!

  41. The worst is coinstar which lights up and makes the loudest noise ever when you put your change in there making it impossible for everyone not to notice you.

    I’m doing it with a suit on next time. A suit made of a trillion dollars.

  42. kiala – I understand where you’re coming from.

    idont – Let’s fly to Germantown.

    s – I think it heard you say that!

    vanessa – I hope it takes you far. At least to Williamsburg.

    uncle – You gotta do what you gotta do.

    megkathleen – You are!

    tia – That’s what it’s supposed to be called.

    ari – It might have something to do with not paying rent.

    dolce – That’s illegal!

    even – Really? I’m going to look into that.

    fussy – I think you’re better off.

    hbee – Well I hope you learned your lesson.

    kt – I do, but their machine wouldn’t take the other currency – it’s insanity.

    arjewtino – You’re like some kind of super hero!

    tokiss – Hahaha – Yeah those change counting people aren’t usually well liked.

    far – Pop users unite!

    noelle – That’s not good for anybody.

    jessica – That’s family bonding at its best.

    rs – A perfect plan.

  43. Pam

    LOL!!! I totally feel like that when I go to the change machine at the grocery store. Only I bring one of those water cooler jugs full of change….Don’t judge. I am saving up for my next big vacation.

  44. I was just thinking about this the other day. We have a HUGE jar full of change … and I keep wondering what it is worth.

  45. Kez

    Haha I’ve done that walk of shame before! I got $55 in notes last time. I thought I was so rich because notes get so much more respect than dumb coins!
    I probably wasted it on something frivolous like groceries…

  46. I wait till I have at least $100 and then go out and get a tattoo with all the money I didn’t realize I had.

  47. It’s a real dilemma when the shame of the Walk of Shame shames you so…shamefully that you let the change continue building up to the point that you now have a sack of change that probably weighs 40 pounds, which is only THAT MUCH MORE SHAMEFUL thereby making you wait even longer.

    Like a prisoner trying to hide the dirt from an escape tunnel excavation, I was thinking of taking small amounts of change every day to keep using exact change with or to throw into those bell ringer’s cauldrons so that little by little I could wear down the pile without attracting attention. “Look at me”, I would seem to hint, “I am just handing out the change from a recent purchase and not, e.g., slowly siphoning away a shameful mountain of change I keep at home.”

    But I never do.

  48. I’m with Lauren. That’s how we roll.

    I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

  49. i wish i had $23 in change. hell i wish i had $23 on me right now, damn christmas shopping.

  50. 1. i wish i had a sprite right now

    2. i never have change, probably because i never have cash. but when i do have change it goes in a parking meter.

    my life is so boring. i need a new hobby. maybe it will be collecting change.

  51. There are machines that count loose change? I never knew.. Shame, it would make the experience so much better to have a little old lady counting the coins with a huge queue building up behind you..

  52. E.V

    Hire a little kid…preferable a cute one. So that next time you can pretend it’s the kid’s piggybank money you’re trying to cash out.

    Plus, if you find the right kid you wouldn’t even have to pay them much, just a couple of gum drops and suckers and they’re happy.

  53. Two tricks I recommend. One, save up a whole jar of coins. The low points are lower, but the highs are amazing ($300? I’m rich!). Two, make your significant other cash them in and report back to you when it’s over. Much less humiliating.

    Now Tia has me confused. I thought soda was the east coast/midwest thing. Then why does my Chicago-native fiance make fun of me for saying pop?

  54. Hey, at least Coinstar doesn’t judge like the bank teller. Bank tellers are the most judgmental people ever invented.

    I know, how they laugh at your account balance and everything…

  55. $23? I’d quit my job for that king’s ransom.

  56. loooooove The Change Jar. i have change in my car and at my desk and when the coins (hopefully silver ones!) start to overflow whatever container they in, i dump them into The Change Jar. only after The Change Jar is sufficiently heavy do i take the time to roll it and take it to the bank (fuck the coinstar machine and its 8% charge). also, fuck doing anything prudent with that free money. bring on the frivolousness!

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