Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Trip to the Bank with a Bag of Coins

Journal Entry 3/23/10: Weight = 170.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.25, 50 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter.

Journal Entry 3/24/10: Weight = 170.6 lbs; Coinage = $3.53, 63 pennies, 8 nickels, 10 dimes, 6 quarters.

Journal Entry 3/25/10: Weight = 171.6 lbs; Coinage = $2.44, 59 pennies, 9 nickels, 9 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 9; Ground scores = 5; Best coinage find = a gas pump coin, a quarter. Caution, there are coin finds to be found in the gas station pump drive-thrus, but the drivers are not pedestrian friendly. Also, the practice of looking for coins at gas drive-thrus warrants a high stealth alert. Some attendants have been instructed to discourage non drivers from walking in the areas.

Feature Entry: A Trip to the Bank with a Bag of Coins

The MoneyWalker knew that it was time, time to go to the bank with a bag full of found coins. He had gone earlier in the week, but the coin counting machine was “broken.” “Broken?” I said, “Well not really broken, it just isn’t counting correctly,” she said. So much for my default feeling of machine fidelity. How troubling that all those found coins, carefully cleaned and straightened, and then lugged to the bank might not be counted correctly.

But in went the coins. Clingedy, clingedy, clingedy went the machine as the coins tumbled in. It was a very satisfying sound and the entire process very reinforcing. The machine gives a print-out of totals with frequency distribution by coin denomination. A month of walking yielded $51.15 and a total of 2,070 coins. And who was the king of coins, the denomination that yielded the highest net value of the five denominations—penny, nickel, dime, quarter, coin dollar? And the winner was the lowly penny yielding 35% ($17.35) of the $51.15 or 1735 coins. Next was the shiny dime yielding 32% ($16.60) or 166 coins. Third was the king of coins, the quarter yielding 20% ($10.25) or 41 quarters. Finally, the new dollar coin accounting for 2% of the total from one coin. But here is the concern, recall the repaired coin counter and fidelity—there were no one dollar coins in my cache. Also, these data are skewed. On several occasions, I have used the collected coins to make change from paper dollars. Now that I am using descriptive statistics for the coin finds, future reports will account for the times change are extracted.

Two thousand and seventy coins and one month of walking, a surprisingly high number when you do the frequencies. Also, all found money is donated to the Baptist Friendship House, a Christian ministry for battered women and their children.



  1. While the coin counting machine’s troubles were unfortunate, the part about the pennies yielding the biggest amount struck a chord with me somehow. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t take for granted the smallest or the tiniest things. When many smallest things come together, there’s no telling how big their end product could be! It really does make a difference to keep saving those found coins into a coin bag, isn’t it?