Caroline Tison


Coins vs. bills: Do you spend more based on the type of money in your pockets?

So what are you going to do with your pennies now that the Royal Canadian Mint has stopped distributing them? For that matter, what do you do with your loonies and toonies? Do you toss them in the change holder in your car? You would never do that with bills. Coins vs. bills: Do you spend more based on the type of money in your pockets?

Let’s try an exercise.

Step 1: Without opening your wallet, estimate how much money you are carrying on you.  Write that number down.  (I am writing $25).

When you came up with that number, did you only think of the bills in your wallet or did you also think about the coins you are carrying on you?

Step 2: Now open your wallet and count your money – bills only.  We normally have an idea of how much we are carrying on us at any given time, I know I do.  But that approximate number rarely takes into account the coins I have on me.  When I go to pay for something and I open my change compartment in my wallet and find quite a few loonies and toonies, I feel like “Hey, bonus! I am richer than I thought!” (I counted what I had and found $30 and a 50 Euro note that I forgot about and that I’ve been meaning to bring to the Exchange Bureau.  Much higher than I had estimated).

Step 3: Now try to estimate how many coins you have in your wallet, or in your pocket.  Write that number down.  (I am estimating I have $3).

Step 4: Count the actual coins. I’ll bet the actual amount of coins is higher than what you estimated. (I actually had 3 x $1, 11 quarters, 4 dimes, 4 nickels and 20 pennies, for a total of $6.55).  More than double what I estimated I had in coins. What about you? Did you have more than you thought you did?

I am thinking that I am not alone in feeling that these coins are like extra cash and that they are easier to part with when you are standing in line to pay and are tempted by an impulse item.

Oh and about the pennies in your wallet; if they don’t seem too appealing to you, especially now that retailers and merchants are no longer accepting them, you can drop them off at various West Island Iocations and make a difference in your community. Visit this link to find out about the various drop-off locations close to you.


  1. You bring up a very good point Caroline,

    I was once guilty as seeing my loonies and toonies as bonus money but these little coins really add up. Once our daughter was born, I made a pact to through all my loonies and toonies into her Piggy Bank and after 1 year, there is quite a bit of money in there. As far as quarters, dimes and nickels go, they are still used for my coffee fund.


    • By Caroline Tison

      Hi Patrick,
      I know! We counted over $300 in our son’s piggy bank when he was 4 years old….. I couldnt believe it! All loonies, twonies.. but most of all pennies, quarteres, etc. Unreal! Thanks for sharing. Caroline

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