Time for Change

Recently, my wife and I have been severely punished for not carrying around change:

  • In October when we arrived in Maui, I lost my wallet (don’t ask). We made 4 calls from a payphone to 2 of my relatives in Canada to see if I had left the wallet at their house, or our house, the previous night. When we saw our credit card statement a couple weeks ago, we saw that we owed about $15.58 CAD for each call, $46.74 in total. Had we had plenty of US quarters on hand, I am sure our calls would not cost this much. Another idea would have been to buy a pre-paid phone card.
  • Recently my wife got a $50 parking ticket because she only had enough change in her wallet for half the time she needed to park for. The machine unfortunately did not take credit card and there was no teller who could take cash. A backup stash of loonies in the glove compartment would have come in handy.
  • I checked my accounts in gnucash for the keywords “bell” and “telus” and found a slew of payphone credit card charges. If I go back a year, it’s quite a bit. I’ve gotten so used to the convenience of swiping my credit card in payphones. I’m so hooked (and I never have any change on me), so I always look for the machine with the swiper.

I think I need to get one of those keychains that can hold two quarters, although the fact that we both have cell phones now should prevent these silly charges (too bad we didn’t bring them to Maui). If I get around to it, I think I’ll stick a roll of quarters and loonies in the glove compartment for “emergencies” such as meter parking. I park at meters so many times without paying it’s a wonder I haven’t been ticketed more.

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