Spare Change

Like most people I have a hard time with change.  In fact I hate change so much I use a credit card to purchase most items so I don’t end up with a pocket full of nickels, dimes, quarters and the worst coin of all….the dreaded penny.  I was recently mowing my yard, using my old trusty John Deere, and pondering my dislike of change.  I wanted to get to the root of my dislike of change and mowing the lawn seemed like the perfect place to do it.

I find it ironic that human beings, an incredible adaptable species, hate change.  We have figured out ways to survive on 7 continents, in freezing cold and scalding hot temperatures and yet when we have to change our daily routine even ever so slightly we complain and bellyache to no end.  So why is that a species so adaptable have such a hard time with change?  Are we too set in our ways?  Do we hate the weight of $5.26 worth of nickels dime and quarters sitting in the left front pocket of a pair of pants?

As I stated earlier, I always use a credit card to make most purchases.  Not because I want to find myself spiraling into massive amount of credit card debt, (I pay the balance off every month) but rather for the convenience of not having to carry cash and coin with me in my daily life.  A few years ago my wife and I went on a small vacation where we decided to use cash for the entire trip.

At first, I thought it was great.  My money clip was full of green and I was walking through the airport like I owned the place.  All of my money was neatly organized in my clip.  A few 20’s, 50’s and even a 100 sat perfectly folded and clipped.  As my wife and I made our way through our vacation a single twenty dollar bill changed into two fives, three singles and a couple of quarters. My neatly stacked clip full of money was rapidly losing value and gaining in size as the large bills present at the start of the trip were now replaced with Washingtons and Lincolns.  What was easily manageable at the start of the trip was now a big ol’ mess of paper.

Not only was my money clip growing larger with smaller valued bills, my pockets were filling up with change.  After a full day of walking around town, I stopped to empty my pockets in the hotel room.  According to my count, I had about six dollars worth of change in my pockets and was carrying around the weight of it everywhere I went.

My little experiment working solely with cash ended when the plane landed back in Minnesota.  I went back to my credit card spending and my money clip once again sits empty, but despite my return to my old ways I learned something from the trip.  When we spent cash and coin we are left with a physical reminder of the change.  In my case a pocket full of loose change and the weight associated with it. The weight of the change forces us to stop and take stock of what we have spent and what we have left.

We need to do this not only with our finances, but also with our daily lives.  Time should be allotted each day to take stock of where we are and where we want to go.  Like it or not each day brings a wide variety of change and we need to be conscious of this change and take a moment to reflect on it so we know where we are going.

Big Bills on the outside

At the end of the day take all the pennies of change out of your pocket and while you are lying in bed, count them up, reflect on why they are there and look with hope towards the future.  Change isn’t something to be feared, but rather something that is to be embraced for without change we are unable to become who God wants us to be.

2 thoughts on “Spare Change

  1. Daniel,
    As I reflect on my change, at the end of the night, I can’t help but think about standing in line at the store behind a little old lady. She had an unbelievably large purse and she was rummaging through it looking for a nickel. She continued to say the whole time, “I know I have one in here somewhere.” It seemed to me that we were standing there for an interminably long time. Indeed change is nothing to fear, but that little old lady with the big purse might be.

    God bless,

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