Paris Pennies

well-feathered nest

A little nest for a little nest egg.

Sometime last fall, E.g. and I started planning a ten-day trip to Paris, which quickly expanded to include my mother and Jack’s mum and Jack. After much sifting of web sites, we chose a three-bedroom apartment in the 2nd arrondissement where we could all stay and share the rent. Short-term rental is less expensive than staying at a hotel, and less grotty than staying at a hostel.

Still, it’s a good chunk of cash. It’s an even bigger chunk temporarily, because the damage deposit equals the rental price. So we’ve been trying to be a little more careful with our money.

It’s interesting to me to notice how little care is generally taken with that lowliest piece of money, the penny. It’s hard to go for a walk without seeing one, or even several, abandoned on a sidewalk, on a manhole cover, or in the gutter. It may be jagged from being run over countless times, or half-sunk in asphalt tar. They’re everywhere! So I decided to collect them.

I told E.g. and Jack about my project. I took a sturdy plastic container that used to hold laundry detergent, and put some dollar-store bags of coin rollers in it. Jack found a little cardboard box at home, cut a slot in it, and labeled it PARIS PENNIES in thick magic marker. Gillian started filling a little metal coin bank with change from her wallet.

Sometimes I found nickels, and oftener dimes — maybe because they look more like pennies. I found some British leftovers from a standby weekend in London, put it in an envelope, and set that in the plastic container. Since some of that “change” was a ten-pound note, I was inspired to add a few of my own notes — a bit of babysitting money, a little catsitting money, some of my petstore wages.

Yesterday, E.g. was making little worried sounds regarding Paris and other expenses looming on the horizon. I decided to count what had been stashed away. I totted everything up, and had Jack carry the plastic container to E.g. “I need Jack’s help,” I told E.g., “to carry 500 pounds.”

Five hundred and forty-eight, to be more exact. At least in British currency. We had collected $1,104 (1090 American, 1162 Australian, 1389 New Zealand). The stash included 32 rolls of coins, of which 14 were pennies. That’s 700 of those neglected little copper pieces. An old adage comes to mind.

8 Responses to Paris Pennies

  1. livingisdetail says:

    That is amazing lavenderbay! Come to think of it I do see a few 5c pieces dropped on the ground when I am out walking. I’m going to be on the lookout for them now.

  2. Shelley says:

    It is amazing the way that it grows isn’t it?

    Chris and I have “segregated” jars – one for pennies – which goes to the KICX penny drive each December (along with some folding money).

    The nickels dimes and quarter go in a ceramic container that once held dog biscuits, and loonies and toonies get tossed in a Cardigan trophy.

    When you just do it a bit at a time it doesn’t hurt – and it is fascinating how fast hundreds can add up.

    Thankfully it was there when needed for an emergency when we were out of town once!

    PS – Counting days yet?

  3. goodbear says:

    promise me you’ll blog from france!!!!!!!

  4. Yes, please blog while on your travels. Not to take away from your fun of course. And lots of pics.

  5. eyegillian says:

    When you think about it, even though coins are easier to spend without thinking about it, it’s more fun to save coins than to save paper money. After all, which sounds better to you: “change”, or “bills” (all things being equal, of course)? Saving common cents makes good sense to me… and a great big pile of pennies looks soooo impressive!

  6. lavenderbay says:

    With your eye for the things others don’t see, Livingisdetail, you’re bound to make a mint!

    Yes, Shelley, I’m starting to count days… for both events…

    Well, Goodbear, I’d be a cad to refuse seven exclamation marks! E.g. will be taking the pics, Urban Thought, though I’m sure she’ll let me borrow some, as always. I think I’ll try “post card” entries, like Goodbear and Checkers often post; I’ll practise writing a few this month before we go.

    Well, Eyegillian, obviously if I’m getting too many bills, I would like to see a change in spending habits. That was quite the convoluted comment you put together!

  7. goodbear says:

    if there is anything i can do to help, let me know! blog by proxy!

  8. lavenderbay says:

    You’re helping just by getting me to think about it, Goodbear. The thing is, I take hours to write an entry. This means either that writing is my true vocation, or that I have way too much time on my hands.
    Anywho, one thing I could do is to start some of the entries ahead of time. We have a fairly well developed itinerary already, so I could prepare the common-knowledge research bits, like I did for Tahuna Torea or the Mazinaw Rock paintings. Then when we get to Paris I can fill in the fun real-life details and the way I felt about this or that, and include illustrative photos.
    Hmmm… You’ve given me an inspiration for a game! You see, yoklfm dodlll sieonkdlall idiod di ajod….hee hee hee…

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