Monday, December 24, 2012

Slickdeals: Find Every Way To Save Your Pennies

It's that time of year when you probably feel like you're just leaking money out of your pores. And that's why it's great that Slickdeals has pushed out a new iPhone app.

What does it do?
Finds you deals snatched from all around the web.

Why do we like it?
We will never argue with saving money. Slickdeals nabs the best offers and puts them on the front page of the app. On a map, it also lists promotions near you from Groupon and LivingSocial. And Slickdeals has a community of spies stalking the internet for the most enticing money-saving options. Find one yourself? You can post it right from the app. Your wallet says thanks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ditch the U.S. dollar for coins? The debate goes on

The Government Accountability Office is suggesting that the United States can solve some of its money problems by eliminating part of its currency. The plan would be to phase out the dollar bill over a four-year period, and switching over to dollar coins.

According to an Associated Press story on, the GAO says replacing dollar bills with coins could save taxpayers about $4.4 billion over the next 30 years. The American people have heard this before. In a 2006 poll, about two-thirds of the country preferred the use of bills, even after hearing about potential savings.

NBC News reports that pennies cost about two and a half cents to mint, mainly due to copper and zinc in each coin. It also costs more than 11 cents to make a nickel, due to the rising prices of copper and nickel. The government makes a profit when money is issued but is not used, and dollar coins last about 30 years, compared to less than five years for a bill.

The U.S. Mint is putting together a report that explores a number of new metal compositions in creating coins.

Vending machine operators support the use of $1 coins because they don't jam machines, saving repair costs and lost sales.

According to Mail Online, the U.S. Mint has produced 2.4 billion of the Presidential $1 coins, but production was suspended about a year ago. New York Representative Carolyn Maloney says dollar coins are hard to tell apart from quarters. She said, “If the people don't want to use It, why in the world are we even talking about changing it?'

Former director of the U.S. Mint Philip Diehl pointed out that Canada has had success removing $1 bills. According to The Week, Canada’s popular $1 coin, the Loonie, with the image of a loon on the back, inspired a $2 coin, the Toonie.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coins of steel seen as money-saving alternative for pennies, nickels

Your change could be a-changin’.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers from Columbus is pushing for production of pennies and nickels to be switched from the existing metal combinations to a makeup that is mostly steel.

The House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing this week tackling the topic in advance of a U.S. Mint report on alternative materials for Americans' money.

“In these times of fiscal strain, we can save millions of dollars,” Stivers said.

Good news for Stivers and interested observers, such as Columbus-based Worthington Industries Inc., was that the steel discussion was well-received by the panel. Executives from Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) didn’t testify, but the company has a vested interest in the topic because it is the supplier of steel for coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. That institution is being looked to as a model after switching to steel in 2000.

Beverley Lepine, Royal Canadian Mint chief operating officer, said the Mint’s multi-ply steel process produces the most economical and durable coins on the market. It produces coins not only for Canada, but makes more than 70 other denominations for 30 countries.

The result? The mint’s profit in the past five years has exceeded its net income in the previous 25. It generated a $43 million (Canadian) on $3.2 billion in revenue in 2011. Stivers cited one study that projected the U.S. could save $182 million to $207 million a year by making a switch to coins made mostly from steel. The debate has been spurred by the fact that since 2006, the cost of producing pennies and nickels has outstripped the coins’ face value.