I was on my way home from hosting bar trivia in Annandale this week and made a pit stop at Kwik Trip for a bite to eat. When I walked up to the door I was greeted with multiple signs saying:

Due to a nation-wide coin shortage, we are asking our guests if they are paying with cash, to please use exact change whenever possible for your transaction.

All I could think was, "here we go again." The shortages are back.

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I did some research into this and found an article discussing this topic from SouthEast Bank:

Currently, about $48.5 billion coins are in circulation across the country, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are reaching the stores, banks and other vendors who use coins for day-to-day transactions. Because many people are using other forms of payment, like debit and credit cards, some small, cash-dependent businesses are still working to increase their coin volumes.

It comes down to a matter of supply and demand. As things start to open again, more businesses are needing change and demand is outweighing supply. It isn't so much a shortage problem as it is a circulation problem. Insider reported that last year the Mint produced 14.8 billion coins, which was up 24% from 2019. There are plenty of coins, we just aren't using them.

How can we help solve this issue? Cash in those coins that are taking up space in your car's cupholder, sitting in a jar on your dresser, and wedged in the couch cushions. By spending, depositing or cashing them in it puts the physical coins back in circulation instead of sitting dormant.

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke

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