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(Originally posted on the Chicago Metroblog)

For the first time in over a decade, I'm living in a place where I don't have free laundry. It's not terrible -- there are only three units in the building, so I've only been trying to do laundry the same time as someone else once in seven months, and it's a $1.50 (six quarters) a load for both the washer and the dryer, but the dryer gets a load done in one cycle (which is better than the (free) dryer at the last place I lived).

But what is terrible is that I've become a quarter-hoarder.

The normal thing, the smart thing to do (what my fiancee does) would be to stop at the bank every so often and change a twenty for two rolls of quarters. That is not what I do. What I do is try to keep the quarters I get in change for laundry. What I do is to try and maximize the amount of quarters I get in change. What I do is to buy little things I don't need, just to get the change. What I do is use dollar bills, even when I have exact change.

It's a problem.

Who suffers? I suffer, because I've constantly got a back pocket full of jangly change. Every cashier I deal with suffers, because they're counting out all these coins. My barista suffers, because a large iced coffee at the place downstairs is $2.25 and in the past that 75¢ would have gone straight into the tip jar, but now it's three. shiny. QUARTERS!