Over the years I’ve always used some kind of coin container. When I was in college, I used a large glass jar as the repository for pocket change — until one day the glass broke from the accumulated weight of the coins, and I switched to a smaller jar. I’ve also used metal cans. Now I use a nice wooden box that Kish got me long ago.
But whether the container is glass, or metal, or wood, the concept is the same: when you come home, you empty your pockets. in my case, the house keys go on the top of the dresser, the cell phone gets set down on the cordless charger contraption, and any loose change goes into the coin box. It’s one of the little organizing principles that many of us use to order our lives and establish our small, personal routines. Those little routines can add comforting structure to your day, and also mean you don’t have to go tearing the house apart looking for your keys and phone and glasses every morning.
Years ago, the change containers used to fill up a lot more quickly, because I would always pay for my lunches and small purchases with cash, and bringing home change was a nightly occurrence. Now that using a payment card has become my most common form of payment, I often end the work day with no change at all — but habit makes me check my pockets for change, just the same. The reduction of change in our lives is another simple sign that the economy is changing, and our personal practices are changing along with it.
But I still pay for some things with cash, and even if it takes longer than before, the change box gets filled. Last night I noticed that the box is filled, again, so it’s time to empty it out, fill up the old-fashioned paper coin sleeves, and take them to the bank to add another $34 to the account and feel the satisfaction of saving. That’s what will be on the schedule for tonight, and I’m kind of looking forward to it.