change jar economics
I've always had a change jar or money box. As a child, all change had value: even a penny, even a hapenny (they were phased out when I was small) - all coins were carefully hoarded in my money box. When I had a pound my mum would exchange all my coppers and silver for a pound note and we would take it to the post office to deposit. As a teenager coins under a certain amount began to lose their value - the money box became a change jar and coppers and five-pence pieces were deposited rather carelessly. In the summer, when I was working as a waitress/chambermaid/low-paid skivvy, ten-pence and even twenty-pence pieces went into the change jar. I didn't want all that low-value shrapnel weighing me down! Of course, during the winter when I wasn't working and impoverished the change jar was regularly raided until it was empty even of coppers.
A couple of weeks ago TA and I had a bit of a heated discussion about what constituted 'change' and what coins should be placed into the change jar. The discussion was prompted by me tidying up our room. TA had left a handful of change on his bedside cabinet and I had, recklessly in his opinion, confiscated all coins upto twenty pence and put them in the change jar. When we were both working anything under a pound would go into the change jar, after we both stopped working I subconsiously reassessed what had value and what didn't - fifty-pence pieces suddenly became worth holding onto. Clearly, TA had decided that twenties and even ten-pence pieces were worth their weight.
I have a job again and I'm looking forward to adding fifty-pence pieces to the change jar.