Plastic Bag O’ Coins vs. The Everyday Pocket: A Discussion for the Progressive Male Thinker


Spare change has been beating me for ages. You know that phrase, the one that goes “Fool me once, shame on your; fool me twice, shame on me”? Well, shame shame shame on me ‘cause spare change has been fooling me for at least 15 years. In a nutshell, the pattern goes like this:

  1. Purchase item with bill/paper money.
  2. Place coin change in pocket of jeans.
  3. Remove jeans at end of hard day/early evening if Sunday and weather is hot.
  4. Forget to take coins out of pocket of jeans.
  5. Put new pair of jeans on the following morning.
  6. Go to store. Reach into pocket to get change, realize that change is in pocket of jeans from previous day. Curse.
  7. Later, when doing laundry, take change out of jeans pocket.
  8. Place change on desk shelf, where tons of other change sits. Never touch or bother with change again.

Seriously, I’ve amassed so much change over time, I might qualify for the Bush Tax Cut if I ever bothered to count it all. I’ve considered this change problem to be one of life’s necessary evils, or so it seemed until I was in the store the other day and saw a $50 Tommy Hilfiger wallet that changed my thinking.

“Holy crap,” I said, dumbfounded (don’t worry, I was with someone else and was not talking to myself about Tommy Hilfiger wallets like a damn crazy person). “This wallet has a little change pocket inside of it. The pocket’s got a button on it and everything. This is genius! Why don’t all wallets have a change pocket?”

And why don’t they? Women don’t have change problems, because they lug around big purses and can place the change inside, next to their compacts, cell phones, handguns, pet rocks, photo albums, and whatever else women carry with them. But for men, we have to rely on remembering to take the change out of our pockets, and that’s just asking too much. I quickly tried to calculate, in my head (I don’t carry a purse, hence no calculator handy), if buying the $50 wallet would be a good investment, as the coin pocket feature would surely lead to more frugal use of change. I eventually decided it wasn’t worth it, because $50 is like 10 billion coins.

The wheels in the head were turning, though. Proper coin management quickly became a priority. I considered buying a cheap change purse, but then thought, “Why buy a change purse when I can just carry around a plastic sandwich bag with me? It’s essentially the same thing.” This was a good point. I mean, I’m not a man of pride, I don’t need to have some fancy coin purse to show off when I pay for stuff. Things like that matter to rich people, I guess. Not to me.

“What about inventing a fancy cloth sandwich bag?” My entrepreneurial mind was at work. “I bet a rich kid would feel much more comfortable if, instead of having his sandwich in a plastic bag or one of those sandwich cases, he had a nice, hand sewn purse to hold his turkey sandwich.”

I quickly pushed the thought of hand sewn sandwich bags aside. It was a distraction from the coin problem. For the past few days, I’ve been going with the Plastic Bag O’ Coins and it’s been working brilliantly. Still, there seems to be greater alternatives out there.

Thus I propose this: What if the jean companies got together and started making jeans with only one pocket? Hear me out. The other pocket would be what I like to call “The Everyday Pocket,” a detachable device that can be transferred from one pair of jeans to another. That way, I can take the pocket full of change from one day and attach it to the jeans I wear the next day. It would work wonders! I mean, it might take some time to train men not to put their change in the other pocket – the non-Everyday Pocket one – but eventually guys would get the idea (2-3 years, perhaps) and unused spare change would be a thing of the past!

For now, Plastic Bag O’ Coins it is. In the future, one can only hope The Everyday Pocket becomes a reality. Only then could a responsible father have 5 dimes on him, readily available, to pay for his $10.50 hand sewn sandwich bag.