How much would it cost us to eliminate the penny?

A pedestrian walks past a sculpture of a giant penny on New York's 42nd Street in 1993. Pennies remain in use as americans debate whether to eliminate them.

I'll go on the record as saying I personally am in favor of getting rid of the penny. I've got a jarful in my office just collecting dust.

And really over the course of a year how much difference would rounding up or down to the nearest nickel really make, anyway?

As it happens, we have an answer to that question: 

Canada began phasing out its penny at the beginning of last year and a Quebec man kept track of how much he was gaining or losing over a year. Grand total? He was 89 cents ahead after 365 cash transactions.

So there you go: I say get rid of it.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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