Long before the current supply chain shortages and current concerns about the availability of toilet paper products, including toilet paper, there was the coin shortage. The toilet paper shortage was the Real McCoy – just ask anyone who ran out of it last year. Fears of another toilet paper shortage have led some chains to impose purchase limits on products.
Is there really a shortage of parts in the United States? The answer is yes and no. Many stores, banks, restaurants, and other places that use currency will say there is a shortage, or at least coins are scarce, but there really is no “coin shortage.”
C / NET Money reports that there are a lot of coins in circulation: “The Fed said it was producing enough of it, minting 14.8 billion pennies, dimes, dimes, 50-cent coins and dollar coins in 2020, an increase of 24% from the 11.9 billion coins produced in 2019. “
So where are they? You and I have them.
The pandemic has changed the way we spend our money. According to the Fed, we conserved our cash and used credit cards during the pandemic. As a result, we held onto our bills and coins rather than spending them. The coins are in domestic piggy banks, rolled up and stored under the sink, in the cup holders of our vehicles and even under the sofa cushions.
The truth is, there is no shortage of coins, but there are plenty of coin hoarders. Intentionally or not, we have created this perception of coin shortage and can end it quickly by cashing all of our coins into the bank. If only avoiding a toilet paper shortage were that easy.
Barry Richard is the host of the Barry Richard Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.