Dollar Bills Waste $500 Million Every Year

eHow Money Blog

Here’s one way to stimulate the U.S. economy: Start using dollar coins instead of bills. Seriously.

blog post photo

We could save $500 million and stimulate the economy by ditching dollar bills. But then we wouldn’t get pictures like this.

Admit it. Dollar bills kinda suck.

Vending machines reject them, they get all grubby, they don’t jingle in your pocket, and if you pull out a wad of them, people think you’re a stripper.

Plus, they’re expensive.

If we switched to using dollar coins, the U.S. would save about $500 million a year. Coins are more expensive on the front end, but they last longer. And coins can be recycled, which practically makes them the Prius of currency.

Our friends across the pond are all about €1 and €2 coins. And the U.S. Mint has been trying to follow suit for years, pushing a variety of special dollar coins, including the Sacagawea dollar, the Susan B. Anthony dollar and the “Presidential” dollar coin.

But we’re just not taking the bait. Which makes us the suckers.

Because not only would coin dollars save the country some money, they could stimulate the economy. Turns out, people spend coins more freely than bills. More spending = economic stimulus.

Plus, when you go digging for change in your couch, you might actually find enough for a pizza.

How Do We Know All This? Cuz we’re brilliant. Also:
The U.S. has been trying the dollar coin thing since 1794. No dice.
Fast-forward to 2008: The U.S. Mint spends $12 million to sell us on dollar coins. Still no dice.
You’re more likely to spend $5 if you have it in coins than bills. It’s a scientifically documented phenomenon.
Dollar coins used to be all weird-looking and non-user-friendly. Let there be no doubt that they are the Priuses of currency.

-Erin Barajas, Serious Coin contributor

Photo credit: Chris Weeks/WireImage

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