Now that the penny's days are officially over, Canadians can start looking forward to a time when the coppery discs will no longer weigh down their pockets and change purses.
[ Related: The penny is gone, should we get rid of nickels too? ]
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced last March that pennies will be phased out of existence due to low purchasing power and rising production costs. The mounds of one-cent coins currently nestled between your couch cushions will eventually become a collector's item since the Royal Canadian Mint stopped distributing pennies to financial institutions this Monday. In a pamphlet outlining reasons for the change, Ottawa labeled the coin a "burden to the economy," citing an $11-million-per-year loss due to rising metal costs and decreasing purchasing value.
To offset the confusion and to ostensibly avoid the need to start drilling nickels into slivers for the appropriate amount of change, prices at cash registers are now rounded up or down to the nearest five-cent increment during cash transactions.
[ Related: Creative Canadians preserve penny ]
And though it will take a while before the copper coins become scarce, here are a few random things that will no longer involve pennies once they finally disappear:
*Unicef change boxes at Halloween.
*Finding a penny, picking it up and all the day having good luck (doesn't have quite the same ring with "dime").
*Making five wishes in a fountain per the single, lonely wish you can make with a nickel.
*Collecting bags full of pennies, hauling them to the drug store to sort and then using the sum total to buy an ice cream.
*Showing off your dexterity at keg parties by flipping pennies into a glass.
*Irritating people in the line behind you by insisting on paying a $9.99 charge in exact change to get rid of those coins.
*Using them at remote Illinois toll booths.
*Improvising when you can't find a screwdriver and need something like-sized.
*Incorporating them as substitutes for your missing board game pieces.
*Drilling holes in a stack and making penny jewelry.
Some inevitable consequences of the penny wipeout:
*Having to import American pennies for something to put in our loafers.
*Changing the lyrics to Pennies from Heaven so our grandchildren's grandchildren will understand what in the world Bing Crosby was singing about.
*Now offering to pay for someone's thoughts just got a little more expensive.
(With suggestions from SavingAdvice.com).
What are some of the uses you'll miss most when pennies go extinct?