People throwing money away

Phillip Hammond has announced a consultation on “Cash and digital payments in the new economy.”  The call for evidence (linked above) is quite short but this bit (bottom of page 10 and top of page 11) left me more than a little shocked.

“In the normal course of the cash cycle, many denominations fall out of circulation, for example, by being placed into savings jars. Surveys suggest that six in ten 1p and 2p coins are used in a transaction once before they leave the cash cycle. They are either saved, or in 8% of cases are thrown away. To meet demand created by such losses from circulation, in previous years the government and the Royal Mint have needed to produce and issue over 500 million 1p and 2p coins each year to replace those falling out of circulation.”

People are literally throwing away money. I was more than a little skeptical until the question was posed on another forum where I hang out and more than a few people said that they wouldn’t stop to pick up small change they dropped and several others testified that their kids, foster kids, young people they know will regularly chuck copper coins on the floor after buying their lunch or snacks.

I’m more than a little boggled by this. I mean I’m one of those people who doesn;t carry much cash these days and prefers to do everything by card because it’s so much easier to download and track my spending that having to try and remember ho I spent my cash. But I do still have the occasional cash in my wallet and I dump out loose coins on a weekly basis into a couple of piggy banks which every quarter get transfered into my saving account – and there’s generally around £50 of 1 & 2ps, 5, 10 and 20p coins when I tot them all up.

I just can’t wrap my head around literally chucking away a couple of hundred quid a year!

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