Comments on: Hey, I Pick Up Pennies, Too! One couple's story of escaping 9 to 5 until 65 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 17:22:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bryan Sat, 30 Apr 2016 20:25:45 +0000 Hey ARB,

Thanks for the informative explanation about AML and the other issues with banks receiving lose change. I also had no idea that the vaults were as small as you say. Yes, I have been watching too many movies thinking that these rooms must be large. That also makes sense that the armored car service does not want to pickup and transport change.

Reading your response reinforces my opinion of the trend that we are becoming a cashless society. It takes a lot of planning to have enough cash and coins for our everyday purchases. Using a check, debit or credit card simplifies the physical aspect of carrying money. I used to use my credit or debit cards for everything until I became super focused on three categories of our spending: dining, entertainment, and groceries. With those expense categories we went back to a cash envelope system which helped us control our spending. We would throw the lose change into a big jar and let it accumulate. Hence, how we arrived at the change other then picking up pennies.

The good news is I have gotten rid of all my lose change over the last month. I will try using our debit card to pay for our 3 cash categories going forward to see if we can stick to our budget. This should be interesting.

Take care,

By: ARB Sat, 30 Apr 2016 02:09:45 +0000 Hey guys, what’s up? Just mind in’ my own business, browsing the web, saw I was drafted into answering a banking question, stuff like that.

To answer your question, TECHNICALLY, most banks require you to have an account in order to exchange money. This is required for AML (Anti-Money Laundering for those of you not in banking). That said, for small amounts, this is never enforced. Especially if rolled coin is NOT involved (walk into any bank with a dollar and ask for four quarters. You’ll get it, regardless of whether you have an account or not). With rolled coin, it’s only really quarter rolls and large amounts of them that might trigger an issue. We tend to be pretty good detecting when a customer-wrapped roll isn’t good, though.

I had a person once hand me a quarter roll with only about eight bucks and change in there. I knew there was only eight bucks and change because I looked at it; I didn’t even have pick it up to know it. I told the guy “This isn’t a full roll.” No apologies, no customer servicey crap, no nothing. He insisted I was wrong, so I took out a full bank roll, showed him the size difference, and simply repeated “This isn’t a full roll.”

Thug Life Teller, I know.

The reason banks don’t want your loose change–and you’re completely right; we DON’T want it–is because we have nowhere to put it. The teller can’t keep heaps of loose change in their box, and there’s no room in the vault to put it. Yes, you read that right, the bank vault of the real world is significantly smaller than the bank vault of Hollywood (“bank safe” is a more accurate term; I’ve worked in banks that didn’t even have vaults!). We can’t ship out mountains of loose coin; the armored car companies will not accept them, and there simply is no time for us to roll them ourselves. It’s simply not feasible in the real world, despite some customers’ huffy claims of “that’s not my problem!” and “isn’t that your job!?” (yes it is and no it’s not).

And even with writing your account number on the roll thing, the issue is that the tellers must prove to the penny each night and can get in trouble for showing differences. And not just shortages either. Overages are just as bad. That’s right., a teller can get in trouble for having TOO MUCH money at the end of the day. I wish I had “too much” money in my account.

Anyhoo, I hope that answers your questions (as well as the questions you didn’t have and didn’t want answers to. Oh, check out the years on those pennies you pick up. Pre-1982 pennies were made of copper, and are more valuable than the zinc pennies of today. And if you pick up a 1943 steel penny? I believe those are worth something.

Now don’t strain yourself with that six figure penny picking job, Bryan!

ARB–Angry Retail Banker

By: Bryan Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:51:33 +0000 Abby,

From the first day I found your site, I have liked the name. 🙂

I will have to check the Coinstar options where I can get 100% on my money. If Starbucks is one, that will help fuel my coffee addictions. Here’s hoping. That will also keep me from rolling all those darn pennies.

Take care,

By: Abigail @ipickuppennies Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:41:07 +0000 Aw shucks, thanks for the mention! And congrats on all those steps!

For the record, Coinstar will let you choose certain GCs for 100% of the money you pour in. Could save you the hassle of wrapping them. Then whenever you buy something with the gift card, put that amount in savings. An extra step, sure, but so is wrapping coins and putting your account number on them.