Coin shortage?

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Flmope58
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Coin shortage?

Post by Flmope58 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:39 am

I have been noting news articles about a "coin shortage" here in the states.

I am not seeing any sinister in nature but an issue relating to banks not being fully open.

I have also noted some businesses restricting use of cash.

Are we seeing the first stages of a conversion to all electronic currency system?

I was told 20 years ago I needed a new career because cash would be gone. The end of my job?

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by SCBrian » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:46 am

Was talking with a few about this, and I don't see anything sinister afoot. Personally, I think it's a combination of banks not turning cash, business's not taking cash and a lot of cash stuck in vending machines that haven't been accessed in months... The cash is there, it's just in limbo... And I wouldnt eat the honey buns in the snack machine right now...
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by CG » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:33 pm

There's also that fact that I was holding onto my stash of change at home because I couldn't take it into the bank lobby to turn it into paper bills. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

I think I had $28 when I took it in, which is about as much as I'd normally have in a month or so, because I haven't been shopping with cash as much during the pandemic.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:38 pm

The stores around here have signs saying that they're 'buying change'. Guess the excitement:disappointment ratio? :D

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by Flmope58 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:44 pm

CG wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:33 pm
There's also that fact that I was holding onto my stash of change at home because I couldn't take it into the bank lobby to turn it into paper bills. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

I think I had $28 when I took it in, which is about as much as I'd normally have in a month or so, because I haven't been shopping with cash as much during the pandemic.
Bank lobbies haven't been open here for months. Most banks don't take coin through the drive up for obvious reasons.

Coin just isn't moving through the system as it does in normal times.

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by boskone » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:47 pm

The two different questions:

Sinister
Nah. People are keeping cash in hand rather than spending it, vending machines aren't getting used, bank lobbies are closed or restricted, etc. It's just a bunch of factors leading to hard currency not moving.

Electronic currency
I honestly hope not. If I had my way, I'd mandate that cash be accepted from individuals. I just don't like the idea of every transaction being traceable; we've already seen both businesses and the government abusing data.

I think it will be, though, eventually. People are already using electronic currency more than cash (debit, credit, etc), and the "I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear" attitude is far too prevalent. (Which is especially odd to me because I've heard it from people who advocate refusing LEO search authorization without a warrant and oppose the introduction of encryption backdoors, using similar arguments to my objection to e-cash.)

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:59 pm

boskone wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:47 pm
I think it will be, though, eventually. People are already using electronic currency more than cash (debit, credit, etc), and the "I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear" attitude is far too prevalent. (Which is especially odd to me because I've heard it from people who advocate refusing LEO search authorization without a warrant and oppose the introduction of encryption backdoors, using similar arguments to my objection to e-cash.)
I mostly, alomost fully, agree.

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:21 pm

On the subject of electronic currency, I'm reminded that my grandma way back in the 1960s accurately predicted the rise of credit cards. Grandma also had a prediction about folks being forced to have a special card just to be able to buy food and other necessities. Her thinking was no card = no food.

So far, that prediction hasn't come to pass yet, but the one she had about the proliferation of credit cards seems dead on. I often wonder how my grandma would react to the world today had she not passed away in 1979. Would she marvel at the technology we have or would she be wary of it ?

As for the coin shortages, I really haven't noticed much about it here in Texas. I still get coins when I get change and I haven't heard much about a shortage in my AO. The banks out here seem to be running business as usual aside from not having the lobbies open. The drive-thru parts are running almost nonstop at some banks.

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:06 pm

boskone wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:47 pm

I think it will be, though, eventually. People are already using electronic currency more than cash (debit, credit, etc), and the "I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear" attitude is far too prevalent.
New York businesses tried to go to "cards only." New York then passed a law saying "businesses have to accept cash" because "certain communities rely primarily on cash and it is discrimination and an effort to exclude them from the establishment if you only accept cards." So as long as "certain communities" (undefined in the articles I read) are considered "politically relevant" and those communities prefer cash, I expect to see a strong future for cash.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by emclean » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:07 am

I do not think that there is any push to go cashless, if that happened it would be harder to hide bribes to politicians. :clownshoes:

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by raptor2 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:59 am

I have mixed feelings about cashlessness.

As an accountant from an internal control perspective I would love to do away with cash and the associated risks that it poses.
Businesses would save a lot of time,effort and cost by accepting only epayments.
I also try to pay for everything via CC so I do not even carry cash most of the time.
My employees are paid by ACH only.


That said cash is legal tender and should be acceptable for all debts public and private. In short you should be able to use it if you want.

I have not noticed any shortage of coins but then I pay for everything with a CC.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by darmstrong » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:29 pm

raptor2 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:59 am
That said cash is legal tender and should be acceptable for all debts public and private. In short you should be able to use it if you want.

I have not noticed any shortage of coins but then I pay for everything with a CC.
I agree that cash should be acceptable for all debts, public and private. However, there needs to be an acceptance by consumers that a business may not have exact change.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by raptor2 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:52 pm

darmstrong wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:29 pm
I agree that cash should be acceptable for all debts, public and private. However, there needs to be an acceptance by consumers that a business may not have exact change.
That is one of the huge PITA for business that cash poses. Having a change bank is a royal PITA.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by NT2C » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:32 pm

raptor2 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:52 pm
darmstrong wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:29 pm
I agree that cash should be acceptable for all debts, public and private. However, there needs to be an acceptance by consumers that a business may not have exact change.
That is one of the huge PITA for business that cash poses. Having a change bank is a royal PITA.
I disagree that consumers "need" to accept that a business may not have exact change, unless it is the business that is shorted. To do otherwise just gives businesses a license to steal. "Oh, look at that, we're out of $1.00 bills so we'll just have to keep the $4.00 extra from your purchase of that $0.99 item with a $5.00 bill. Here's a penny. Sucks to be you. Next customer!"
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by raptor2 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:38 pm

I would assume that it would avoid coins not a $5 bill.

Kroger is already doing this but if you ask me that is bigger PITA for the business than giving out change.
https://www.wctv.tv/2020/07/13/kroger-c ... in-change/

Canada & NZ already phased out the penny. BTW the merchants generally rounded up and not down. :rofl:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4002870/cana ... out-penny/
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by CG » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:11 am

I went to Walmart this morning. They no longer accept cash through the self-checkouts. You have to go to a register to pay with cash.

I guess that ends my getting anything groceries there, as we always use cash for groceries so I don't go over budget too much.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by boskone » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:32 am

CG wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:11 am
I went to Walmart this morning. They no longer accept cash through the self-checkouts. You have to go to a register to pay with cash.

I guess that ends my getting anything groceries there, as we always use cash for groceries so I don't go over budget too much.
Maybe get a prepaid card and add however much is needed when it's needed?

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by raptor2 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:32 am

boskone wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:32 am
CG wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:11 am
I went to Walmart this morning. They no longer accept cash through the self-checkouts. You have to go to a register to pay with cash.

I guess that ends my getting anything groceries there, as we always use cash for groceries so I don't go over budget too much.
Maybe get a prepaid card and add however much is needed when it's needed?
I will mention what I do.
I pay using a credit card that gives me 2% cash back on all items I purchase.
There are several but this is one I use this one for day to day items.

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/compa ... edit-cards

If you limit this CC to only those items that you are going to buy anyway & then pay off the balance timely you get a 2% discount (cash back on the statement) on gasoline, groceries, cell phone, cable TV, car insurance and even on some utility bills. Anything you can pay with a credit card that you will pay anyway and not get charged a CC fee is fair game. These are all items I will pay for regardless so why not get a 2% discount on them.

It does take a bit of discipline not to use it on wants vs. needs but a 2% discount on things you are spending money upon anyway is kind of a no brainer. You can also treat it like a prepaid card by paying the funds into the account as a prepayment and avoid any of the pre-paid credit card fees & hassle. If for instance you prepay $100 but spend only $90 you still wind up with a $10 credit balance that you can use the next month albeit with a $1.80 back for using it.

A side benefit is that I know by looking at the statement exactly what I spent and where.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by woodsghost » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:28 pm

CG wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:11 am
I went to Walmart this morning. They no longer accept cash through the self-checkouts. You have to go to a register to pay with cash.

I guess that ends my getting anything groceries there, as we always use cash for groceries so I don't go over budget too much.
I know a lot of people do the "cash in an envelope and that is the budget for the month" kind of system. My wife and I did that. With Baby 2 arriving, our world got upended and we need to get back to doing that.

Another thing we did/do is keep it all in a spreadsheet and use a debit card to pay for stuff. One needs to deduct from the spreadsheet every receipt. Which is a pain.

Otherwise, I have no problem with people not shopping at Walmart. I'm mad at them for stuff, and I encourage people to find local places or regional shopping to spend money at.

@Raptor, thanks for the tip on the card.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:30 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:28 pm
CG wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:11 am
I went to Walmart this morning. They no longer accept cash through the self-checkouts. You have to go to a register to pay with cash.

I guess that ends my getting anything groceries there, as we always use cash for groceries so I don't go over budget too much.
I know a lot of people do the "cash in an envelope and that is the budget for the month" kind of system. My wife and I did that. With Baby 2 arriving, our world got upended and we need to get back to doing that.

Another thing we did/do is keep it all in a spreadsheet and use a debit card to pay for stuff. One needs to deduct from the spreadsheet every receipt. Which is a pain.

Otherwise, I have no problem with people not shopping at Walmart. I'm mad at them for stuff, and I encourage people to find local places or regional shopping to spend money at.

@Raptor, thanks for the tip on the card.
I do most of my grocery shopping at a local chain (Porter's Thriftway, if anyone wanted to know). They're a little higher than most other places, but it's either shop there or make the trip to Odessa and deal with the crowds there.

My local grocery store may not have everything I like, but I can get most of what I need there and if they don't have it, then Walmart comes into play.

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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by darmstrong » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:35 pm

NT2C wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:32 pm
I disagree that consumers "need" to accept that a business may not have exact change, unless it is the business that is shorted. To do otherwise just gives businesses a license to steal. "Oh, look at that, we're out of $1.00 bills so we'll just have to keep the $4.00 extra from your purchase of that $0.99 item with a $5.00 bill. Here's a penny. Sucks to be you. Next customer!"
As a capitalist, I'm certain the market would correct a business playing that game.

My original point is that bring correct change or understand that there may be rounding up or down depending on the business and their ability. Plus this is a coin shortage, not a bill shortage. Trust me when I say that there is plenty of paper money in the economy today. I work in a business that relates to finance and in the last 3 months I've never seen so much cash being withdrawn and deposited.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by NT2C » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:22 pm

darmstrong wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:35 pm
NT2C wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:32 pm
I disagree that consumers "need" to accept that a business may not have exact change, unless it is the business that is shorted. To do otherwise just gives businesses a license to steal. "Oh, look at that, we're out of $1.00 bills so we'll just have to keep the $4.00 extra from your purchase of that $0.99 item with a $5.00 bill. Here's a penny. Sucks to be you. Next customer!"
As a capitalist, I'm certain the market would correct a business playing that game.

My original point is that bring correct change or understand that there may be rounding up or down depending on the business and their ability. Plus this is a coin shortage, not a bill shortage. Trust me when I say that there is plenty of paper money in the economy today. I work in a business that relates to finance and in the last 3 months I've never seen so much cash being withdrawn and deposited.
While my point was exaggerated it is still valid. There are ample examples of businesses, even well-known chains, playing a little too fast and loose with customer's money if you look for them. Everything from tip "miscalculations", to charging container deposit fees (in states that charge a deposit on beverages sold in cans & bottles) on items that a deposit shouldn't be required on, to "discount percentage errors", etc., etc.

The name of the game is to squeeze every last possible penny out of a sale and hang onto as much of it as possible, and if you get caught squeezing a little too hard and hanging on to a few pennies that aren't yours, pass it off as a "computer/bookkeeping/cashier error" and move on to a new bit of grift. For the longest time, there was a "miscalculation" in how a certain menu item got calculated at a certain major fast-food franchise. This was a franchise that was well known for their "frozen dairy product drink", a very popular item, and one that you could get as a substitute for the soft drink in their combo meals. There was a small difference in price that would be charged because it cost a little bit more. The problem was that if you substituted it then the "difference" you were charged was actually 10+ cents more than the actual difference in price on the menu. (ie: burger, fries, sm. drink was "x" dollars but if you subbed the "shake" you got charged something like 47 cents difference, but the sm. drink was $2.03 (w/tax) and the "shake" was $2.40 (w/tax) and still charged tax on the total too). I know at least 40 different people who complained about this "mistake" in 19 different states and it took 3 years before it ever got corrected. I, myself, reported it as consumer fraud in NYC and was told, "it's only a dime" by NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs when they refused to investigate it. Yeah, only a dime... times how many thousands of times all across the country, every day? The marketplace is ripe with stories like this, so I really don't share your confidence that such a system would not be abused in the extreme.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by RoneKiln » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:55 pm

I want to cheer on anyone using whatever cash or prepaid card methodology works for them to keep their finances in order. If it works best for your habits and personality, it's the best way to do it.

For others that do well maintaining finances while using credit cards, I strongly agree with Raptor on cash back or other reward credit cards.

Once upon a time, travel was a massive part of my life. During that period I started using an airmiles card and it really was the best return for me at that time. That card gave me half a dozen round trip flights to Europe for nearly free (including a $27 flight from Seattle to Italy) and allowed me to help a lot of friends and family members with domestic flights for all sorts of emergencies or family events. Combined with the $50 companion ticket I got every year, and I could take someone with me on a cool trip for the price of a nice dinner out and a few drinks. When I finally accepted travel was no longer that big in my life and likely wouldn't be again for a long time, I switched to a card that puts 2% cash back into a stock account (Fidelity does 2%, TDAmeritrade does 1.65%). Every few months I log in and toss that money into an index fund. It was an easy way to increase my saving rate. I put near every expense I have on that card and fully pay it off every month. So it literally gives me free stocks and I've never paid a penny in fees.

Plus I don't have to deal with a coin shortage. :lol:

That said, I do keep an emergency fund of cash, and I still feel more comfortable keeping a few quarters in my various bags and my car from back in the day when you could still find payphones. I can't remember when I last saw a payphone anywhere, but I still irrationally feel the urge to keep some quarters around.
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Re: Coin shortage?

Post by RoneKiln » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:01 pm

emclean wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:07 am
I do not think that there is any push to go cashless, if that happened it would be harder to hide bribes to politicians. :clownshoes:
They're not bribes, they're "lecture fees" for their highly impactful and valuable speeches given at corporate/industry events.
"Seriously the most dangerous thing you are likely to do is to put salt on a Big Mac right before you eat it and to climb into your car."
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