Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 01, 2021

During the course of the day last Friday, I somehow ended up with an obscene amount of spare change. It was the result of several small purchases: A bagel here, lunch there, magazine here, newspaper there.

I’m still getting somewhat adjusted to not only carrying a fair amount of cash on a regular basis, but also to actually using it daily. In Florida, I had gotten used to going days in a row with nothing in my pocket but plastic; it’s more convenient, especially in speed of transactions. But in New York, so much of the City’s economy is essentially cash-based: Kiosks, newsstands and small stores often don’t take credit/debit cards, or else there’s such a crowd that it’s just easier to go with the green.

That doesn’t mean I actually want to count out the coinage. And so, I just about always just hand over a couple of singles, or a five/ten/twenty, and keep it moving along. Even if I have coins jangling in my pocket, I’d rather add to them than fish around for exact change.

To see just how much financial residue I wind up with from this behavior, I’ve decided to run a tally on my daily out-of-pocket spending. Starting today, I’m going to toss the coin-based change I get from every cash purchase into my attache bag (please, don’t call it a man-purse). At the end of the day this Friday — i.e., an average workweek — I’ll empty out the bag, and count out how much money I’ve accumulated.

What will this prove? I dunno. I’m not going to spend any more or any less than I usually do. I’m not going to stop using the plastic when it’s an option. I guess I want to see just how much that “incidental” (in my mind) money comes to over time.

Let the nickel-and-diming begin…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/01/2021 11:44pm
Category: General
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4 Feedbacks »
  1. For a couple of years now I’ve been doing the change-collection thing and it gets me an unexpected hundred dollars or so every time I cash out (I toss my change into an old cardboard box (approx 4″ x 4″ x 6″) from one of my girlfriend’s previous perfume purchases).

    In the beginning I used to ‘watch’ the change box but it’s now at the point where I just forget that I’m accumulating; when the box is full, I cash out and it feels like free money!

    Comment by Richard Harlos — 05/02/2021 @ 7:33 AM

  2. Yeah, I guess that’s the effect I’m going after. I’ve amassed pennies for years, but they seem to take years to fill up a bottle.

    Comment by CT — 05/02/2021 @ 8:33 PM


    My grand experiment of accumulating spare change during my workweek concluded yesterday.
    My jackpot: $8.53 of quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies. So, over a year, that’s about $400-500. Whoopee.
    I didn’t cheat, along the lines of forc…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 05/06/2021 @ 12:22 PM


    Here’s a question I’m tossing out: How much money do you usually withdraw during a typical ATM transaction?
    I ask because I’ve noticed that, now that I’m in New York, I typically take out 60 bucks whenever I visit the machine….

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 08/08/2021 @ 6:50 PM

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