Now a days coins are rarity in most big cities in India. Typically if you go to a shop and pay in cash if the balance is less than 10 Rs you typically do not get any coins back but you will get some candies. But once in a while you will get some coins back, and typically we are more annoyed by the coins ( what a shame) than to use them. Typically if you are not a smoker who needs to give the coins to the PAANwala, one tends to look at the coins as more of an inconvenience than anything else.
Let me look in the reasons for the same:
• They are heavy
• Make noise
• Are uncool
• Even beggars look at you with pity if you give them coins.
• Even public phones don’t accept them thanks to digital age.
• Wallets are not designed to keep coins.
But still once in a while you get coins back from a transaction and you are not sure what to do with the same. I decided to look at my own behavior about what I do with the coins.
Once I receive the coins I put them in my pocket or in my wallet praying that they will not make any noise.
Once I reach home I used to dump them unceremoniously into a small bowl in my cupboard where all kind of stuff hang around as I could not find any place for it. Some of the stuff in the bowl I found was:
1. Coins ( but obvious)
2. Car Keys
3. Nail Cutter ( true)
4. Broken Buttons
5. Thumb pins
6. My expired credit cards
7. Wife’s hair band ( Pls don’t even ask)
8. Some old post it notes with some no on it not sure whose
9. Some visiting cards
10. Miscellaneous ( as if the list above is not miscellaneous)
Well as the focus of the study was coins I decided to count the coins in the bowl, well there were 5s, 2s, 1s and even some odd 25 paise and 50 paise coins which I have forgotten from where I have got the same. In all there were 70 Rs in the bowl. Well this got me exited and I decided to look at other places in the house where I have been leaving coins around. Given below are the details of the loot:
1. From the bowl 70
2. Above the fridge: 25
3. In the pocket of laptop bag: 30
4. In the wallet : 9
5. In the pocket of my favorite jacket: 5
6. In the traveling shaving kit bag: 10
I was amazed at the sheer amount of money I discovered in various places in the house in all a total of Rs.: 149, not a Kings ransom but still enough to buy a decent meal in the food court. Only problem I will never have the courage to take the money in form of coins to the food court and give it to the cashier.
But this whole exercise made me think if this is a reflection of general tendency I have towards money? A one rupee coin may be too humble for us today to buy anything but let us not forget that the Billions we are aiming are just an aggregation of the many such single one Rupee coins.
I decided to do some thing about my habit of dumping coins in the house hold at various places.
So I decided to make sure that I put all the coins at the end of the month in the bowl and count them. I have found that typically at the end of month I have about Rs 50 in form of the coins.
I decided to check with some of my friends what do they do with the coins that they accumulate in the course of the day, here are some of the answers that I got:
1. Put the coins in the charity box at various cash counters or temples
2. Give them to beggars.
3. Give them to the Dhobi for the daily clothes Ironed as he is not willing to wait for the whole month for his accounts to be settled and is happy to accept coins.
4. In restaurants typically nobody collects the coins back once the waiter returns the change.
5. One friend puts them in piggy bank ( from his class 2 days ) and once in a year he takes all the coins out and actually deposits an equal amount in bank and gives the coins to a chemist near his home who otherwise buys the coins from beggars to give them to his customers and does not give candies in exchange for the coins.
So it was interesting to know that people are actually trying to do something with the coins and use them in the best possible way. This way while the money is utilized for some thing useful you also do not have to carry it with you all the time.
Would love to hear from you about your Plan C.
Thanks for reading.