The penny is of little worth, not only in terms of how its manufactured, as it costs more to produce a penny than it is actually worth, but it's also not worth it to the every day consumer.
Once the one-cent piece is completely phased out, all products will be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel. A concerned friend of mine pointed out that companies will just alter their prices so that nothing ever rounds down. He is absolutely right. It's what I would do if I had a product that would be rounded down. Up the price one or two cents and then round for another one or two.
This concern is a little paranoid. At the absolute worst, every single one of our purchases will be four cents higher.
That doesn't need to be the case, however. Physical money is being phased out all together. I certainly never carry change, and I very rarely carry cash. For those people who make a purchase with a debit or credit card, or any other way in which physical money is not changing hands, there is absolutely no need for any rounding. Rounding will only be an issue when paying with cash and change.
I can pay for something that's $16.43 with my debit card, and it doesn't need to be rounded up two cents so I can pay the exact amount or receive the exact change. With many more people paying for things without cash, the penny is more often used to stuff into the pockets of thin people in order to hold them down on a windy day.
Others are worried that all our penny sayings will become extinct. They're right, but we already have more modern phrases for a prosperous world, like nickel and diming. We also won't have need of a take-a-penny, leave-a-penny tray, but I think those have already been eliminated in favour of a general change jar for some charity or other.
Canadians are pretty cool when it comes to our money. For one, we stopped making paper bills a long time ago, despite the fact that our role models to the south have continued to print dollar bills.
And here we go again, getting rid of the penny before the U.S.A. does.
Personally, I’m OK with losing the penny. It’s a really pointless coin and I seem to gather more of them in the bottom of my purse than I ever seem to spend. Rounding prices of items up or down won’t be a huge deal, because what’s the real difference between $19.99 and $20? I always thought that items were priced with a “.99” at the end to make people subconsciously round down, so $19.99 would be thought of as $19. So pricing is almost less tricky now that it’s going to be rounded!
Plus, if the penny costs more to make that it’s actual value, we can’t have that! We can’t run a deficit! We’re Canada! Stephen Harper won’t stand to spend money frivolously! No sir!
I can think of one way that pennies will be greatly missed: penny races. When I was an elementary student at Pleasantdale School, we used to have one day of the year where we rounded up and rolled all of the pennies in our homes and brought them to school. The penny rolls were then lined up end-to-end and snaked around the gym, as a fundraiser. Students were split up into team and chose a car to lead their line of pennies around the gym. It was magical. Just a fun time. One of my favourite memories from elementary school. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in Grade 8, my friends and I organized the race and even performed an embarrassing song in front of the school to open the event. How cute is that?
However, penny races or not, life without the penny will mean lighter purses and easier math at the till. I like both of those things.