There have been signs popping up at various stores across the U.S., asking for customers to help the owners of the store by providing the correct change or using debit and credit cards. When questioned about what has been described as a national coin shortage, businesses and banks have both been looking at ways to encourage the inclusion of more coins into the economy. The shortage of coins has been caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and closing of U.S. borders and businesses that led to the economy shrinking since March. There are several steps each person can take to make sure they are doing their part to ease the pressure on businesses, and perhaps make a little spare change. (pun intended)
Why is there a shortage of spare change?
The shortage of coins has been caused by the lockdowns that took place around the U.S. in March and lasted for weeks and months. The lockdowns have had a major impact on the number of coins moving through the U.S. economy as the way people shopped for months changed largely to online trading. This means that fewer coins were being moved through the economy each month, leaving bank deposits down by an estimated 50 percent.
The other major reason for the lack of coins moving through the economy is the impact of the closure of the U.S. Mint. The coin-producing facility was closed to employees as a precaution to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and keep as many employees as safe as possible. The fears that the U.S. is moving towards a cashless society are unfounded as more states and companies are looking to find ways of bringing coins back into the financial sector.
Use the correct change?
Everybody is trying to find new ways of helping the community during the pandemic with the issue of correct change, one that can be taken with ease. The U.S. Mint and Treasury both estimate there is around $47 billion in change already in circulation in the U.S. that could be reintroduced into society.
One way every person in the U.S. can reintroduce a range of coins and spare change back into circulation is to try and use the exact change at all times. This can be difficult, but avoiding the use of change as much as possible is a good option.
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Switch to debit and credit cards
As the restrictions in the U.S. regarding COVID-19 lockdowns are eased, and government agencies begin to move forward with their changes to open businesses the U.S. Mint will return to normal. This means the short-term switch to debit and credit cards as the primary function for paying for goods and services could be a good option to take. If the use of coins is to return to normal at some point shortly, we will need to spend more time looking to use cards to limit the damage to the economy of the shortage.
Sell back your change
For those who are looking to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic can do so while doing their bit to help have a positive effect on the coin shortage. The change that may be in a piggy bank, water bottle, or another container is now wanted by banks and credit unions to return to circulation. If you are looking for a few extra dollars, some financial institutions are offering a $5 bonus on $100 worth of coins, so you could receive $105 or up to a $500 bonus like one bank in Wisconsin. Other financial institutions are also offering incentives to those who may have a large stash of change they had been saving for a rainy day.
Use a cash machine
The majority of major retailers, including grocery stores and large chain stores, have cash machines that have been created to provide users with a cash payout or a gift card for a major retailer. By choosing to return spare change in this way, the number of coins returning to use will be increased, with many of the leading stores looking for as much change as possible.
Across the board, there will be more change flooding back into the economy as more people begin to learn about the shortage. However, the misinformation that is being presented to the public will not aid a return to success for the majority of businesses and banks who have the job of keeping coins circulating in the economy.
There are a few other options for getting your coins back into the economy, including making donations to a local charity. Major charitable organizations, such as the American Red Cross, will usually deposit change into their bank account where it will move through the banking system and be pushed back into the retail sector. If you have any questions about banking, saving money, the national coin shortage, or how to get out of debt, give us a call today at 1-866-699-2227, and we’d be happy to help!