Ridiculously obvious. And yet, news to me

I swear I was told years ago that banks stopped accepting bags of coins. I have no idea why I’ve been storing  this particular piece of mis-information, but I have been.

But this week I re-educated myself with a visit to my bank … where they gave me a bunch of plastic bags which I used to sort all my coinage after dumping it on the table while watching televsion and entering a strangely meditative counting trance.

I ended up depositing  £262.00 into my bank account.

Before I reached this result, I anticipated I might meet trouble at the bank. The 25 minute walk to my nearest NatWest proved that 43 bags of coins is a lot heavier than I’d imagined and it gave me pause for concern on the chance that I might have to carry that weight all the way home again.

Sure, they’d given me the bags to fill and said as long as I banked with them they’d deposit the money for me — but what if they balked as soon as they saw me lugging in so much loot? What if they failed to mention some signficant detail, like they only accept money bags at special branches or when they amount to less than £20 or some other unguessable bit of bureaucracy. This is one of my least helpful tendencies – mentally rehearsing arguments that aren’t necessarily on the cards. I even have a word for it I do it so often – “argumenting”.

As I said, unhelpful.

Instead the nice cashier at my local NatWest thought it was just great that I’d parcelled so many coins.

She weighed them all on her little scale  before asking me, “What total did you get?” as she started to tot up her sums. Pleased that our numbers matched, she entered the amount into my current account and asked, “Now, aren’t you happy with yourself?” Yes, I am!

To top it off I managed to part with the surplus £18.51 that I still had in my change purse only moments after I left NatWest.

I’d assumed I’d have to spend it somewhere in the hours left before today’s deadline, but no — there before me at the entrance to the tube was a man in a black curly wig and red rubber nose asking for charitable donations and so I  tipped the contents of my purse into the white bucket and skipped off down the stairs substantially lighter than I’d been all morning.

The only thing left for me to do is sort out my foreign coins — mostly euros and cents with a smattering of Chilean pesos. This’ ll be a lot easier to do since I don’t need to sort them into their different currencies and then denominations before bagging them up. All I have to do is carry one big bag of mixed coinage onboard my next British Airways flight and hand it over to the cabin crew who will get it to Comic Relief.

For those of you with your own spare change to sort out, it turns out that many banks will accept coins sorted into money bags — though you might need to arrange it through your own bank. The type I got from NatWest is probably standard issue, each bag can be used for the following amounts:
£20 in either £1 or £2 coins
£10 in either 50p or 20p
£5 in either 10p or 5p
£1 in either 1p or 2p

One of my more enjoyable (and profitable) Counting 000’s assignments thus far. All thanks to my readers for pointing out the ridiculously obvious solution to my problem.

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