Making Your Change Count

Andy Rooney Cashes In At The Bank

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by correspondent Andy Rooney. This segment originally aired Nov. 28, 2004.
Like just about everyone else, I save my change. At night, I empty my pockets and then I hang my pants by closing the dresser drawer on the cuffs. In the morning, I take a few quarters, but I dump the rest of the change in coffee cans.

I just came from the bank, and I feel great. These cans are all empty now.

There is nothing more annoying than going to the checkout counter in a store and getting four pennies change from a dollar for something that costs 96 cents.

The U.S. Mint ought to stop making pennies. Last year, they made almost 7 billion of them. For what? You can't buy anything with a penny, and they're a pain in the pocket.

This week, I took cans filled with change to the Commerce Bank in New York. Commerce was the only bank I found that has a machine that converts change into real money free.

Some companies charge almost nine cents for every dollar of change you convert to paper. Seems like a rip-off.

The change-counting machine was cuter than necessary: "You win. Press button to make your selection."

It did the job in a hurry, though. And it took me about 10 minutes to feed in the seven cans of change.

There were a few glitches: one metal washer in a batch. When I finished, the machine spit back a handful of coins, too. It turns out it doesn't like French francs, English pence or Euros.

The machine then gives you a receipt. I had six silver dollars, just one 50-cent piece, 171 quarters, 1,745 dimes, 1,010 nickels, and 3,594 pennies. It came to $310.19.

I took that receipt to the cashier and she gave me the cash with four pennies change. Anyway, it was the best money I've made all year -- and no deductions. Now, if the Mint would just stop making those useless damn pennies. I'd only need about two of these cans for change.
Written by Andy Rooney


The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App