Indiana Man Buys Pickup Truck With Spare Change

Paul Brant of Indiana bought a 2008 Dodge Ram with quarters and gold dollars worth $26,670. The septuagenarian spent thirteen years collecting enough loose change to buy the new pickup, which will replace the Dodge he purchased in 1994 with 144,000 quarters. Brant’s revolutionary method for collecting spare change, after the jump.

Being thrifty, Brant said, comes naturally.

“I reckon I was just brought up that way,” he said.

His father always paid cash, he said, and it’s a tradition he carried on.

Besides, he added, “Checks are no fun.”

He makes it a habit to save his loose change, he said, explaining that he cleans out his pockets every morning, and doesn’t hesitate to pick up stray coins from the ground wherever he goes.

“Once you drop them out of your hand, they’re gone,” he said. “They don’t last very long.”

The dealership can’t convince any bank to accept the water jugs, coffee cans, and piggy banks that hold Brant’s spare change, so they hired an armored car to haul and count the coins.

Man Saves Loose Change, Buys New ’08 Pickup Truck [The Times]
(Photo: emilybean)

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  1. B says:

    This is nice and all, but how did he pay for the back pain treatments?

  2. TheSeeker says:

    Mr Thrifty lost out on a bit of interest while keeping his coins at home. He’ll stoop to find a penny on the ground but won’t put money in the bank
    Kind of KOOOOKY.

    And now the local nogoodnicks will know where to go to rob the old coot of his change.

  3. andrewe says:

    We do the same thing except we spend it every year on a vacation. Your spare change is never missed but it sure is appreciated while you’re sipping mai tais on the beach.

    Canadians have the advantage as our smallest folding money is a five dollar bill. Having a jar full of loonies and toonies (ones and twos) doesn’t look like much but it rolls into a lot of money.

  4. warf0x0r says:

    After working in a casino for 2 years I never carry cash or coin if I can avoid it. Check cards are so clean. Nobody puts their bodily fluids on your checkcard! :)

    Hopefully.

  5. Laffy Daffy says:

    Nice story, but think of how much extra this guy would have gotten if he just deposited that money a few times a year in something, even a low-yield bank savings account. And I thought it was against the law for dealers to accept over $10K cash?

  6. Adam Rock says:

    American change usually barely adds up to one USD for a handful of change. Visiting Europe changed my perspective on how valuable, er, Euro change is.

  7. nglatt says:

    So he saved $171/month.

    If he had invested this money on in yearly payments, at only 1% annual interest, he would have made $1,661.

    Yearly investments at 5% would have been $9,669 in interest payments.

    Insane coin collecting = not very efficient saving method.

  8. persch5 says:

    @lucky Dogs: Not illegal to accept any amount of tender. It is illegal for them not to fill out a Form stating a cash purchase over 10,000 has been made.

  9. qitaana says:

    It’s not against the law to accept over $10k in cash, there’s just some extra paperwork involved. I think it’s to avoid money laundering or somesuch.

  10. youbastid says:

    @TheSeeker: @lucky dogg: @nglatt: Pretty sure the point of this story is that the guy saved $26k in a way that a normal person would have saved $0k. The savings account point is moot. I don’t collect spare change, and I have $0 in change for a new truck. Duh.

  11. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    I saved all my spare change since September and dumped it in all in a coinstar machine last week to buy myself a christmas present on Amazon. I had saved up a whopping $33.42! Since I got it in a gift card, I didn’t have to pay the coinstar fee. I did attempt to bring it to my bank, but they refused to count it unless it was sorted and in coin wrappers. The lady even provided me coin wrappers but I decided to go the laziest route and just dump them in a machine that would sort and count them for me. :)

  12. Kottles says:

    I hope he reported all of that money as income, otherwise the IRS will be having them a new truck.

  13. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    @Kottles: But it was already his money, just leftovers from his paycheck that he already reported…

  14. just_paranoid says:

    @superjanna: wow what a lazy bank. my bank will take whatever container you have filled with coins and cash them in for you for free.

    also, i took my spare change to a casino, but then later found out the machines only take bills, the casino counted and cashed them in for me for free.

  15. The Walking Eye says:

    @Kottles: I’ll make sure to keep track of all my loose change and report it as income so the IRS can double tax it. Thanks for the tax tip!

  16. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I wonder if the dealership tacked on the armored car fee to his purchase price, or ate it?

    Either way, now he gets to use all of his hard earned change buying diesel! Yippee!

  17. nglatt says:

    @youbastid: I am all for keeping spare change; my point is that a simple trip to the bank only ONCE A YEAR would have yielded him over nearly $125 per trip. A monthly errand would be nearly $750/year, or about $60/trip. You obviously need to collect the change first (difficult for you, apparently), but if you already put in some effort to save, it can pay off way more with only a bit more work. In terms of real dollars, not a mute point.

  18. youbastid says:

    @nglatt: Definitely still moot. The guy says “checks are boring,” and obviously enjoys watching his pile of collected change grow. $125 per trip or $750/year isn’t the point. The guy has a HOBBY!

  19. nglatt says:

    @youbastid: The pile of change grows in either system. As for checks, you can still get cash.

  20. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The change thing works…I do it myself. I can’t figure out how the heck the guy saved up $26k though. (I might end up with $400 a year if I’m lucky, and I’m pretty diligent about putting all the loose coins in a jar).

    Granted, I don’t make any interest on that money..but the interest on $400 a year..big whoop.

  21. lostalaska says:

    I keep an old Magnum sized wine bottle sitting in the corner of my living room. Each time I clean the house all loose change goes there. The last time I cleaned it out I had nearly $500 dollars in change in it (it had been more than 3 years since I had emptied it last). My old beat up couch from college was my biggest money maker. It was so beat up that you sat way down into it when you sat down and it would empty everyone’s pockets. I would pull hand fulls of change out of that couch.

    Of course with the $500 I bought a nice comfortable couch to replace my old “money maker” couch. Sadly the new couch doesn’t do as good a job collecting change, although it is much more comfortable.

    I also keep a smaller bottle in my bed room where I empty the change out of my pockets every few days. It takes about 18 months to fill the bottle and then I take it to my bank and they count it all out for me. That bottle is my blow some money on a gadget every 18 months bottle.

  22. coren says:

    @nglatt: There is no pile of change if it’s in the bank. The point is more about how he saved money just by collecting loose change, something many take for granted.

  23. junkmail says:

    Don’t laugh, but my wife and I paid for our wedding with change saved up from waiting tables. Also bought a new futon, (yes, a futon, I know…) with a stack of $1 coins.

  24. chiieddy says:

    We put our ‘spare change’ in a high yield savings account. When it hits $1000, we drop it into our investment account. We then earn, on average, about 10% gains per year on the amount. Eventually, our ‘spare change’ will buy a house.

  25. SadSam says:

    Husband uses our change bottle to fund his lunches at work. Yes, his friends mock him, but money is money.

  26. AD8BC says:

    I’m still waiting for one of the regulars to say that he should have bought a Prius instead.

  27. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @lostalaska: I also keep a magnum sized wine bottle near me at all times. I find it the best way to escape my problems!

  28. Namilia says:

    @lucky dogg: @qitaana: @persch5: Yep, a Currency Transaction Report. They really aren’t fun to fill out (pain in the butt to be honest), but are required for all cash transactions over 10 grand.

    @just_paranoid: My credit union also only accepts rolled coin, but they have free coin machines in most of their branches and are working on getting ones in the others. However, I’ve had a positive experience with the branch I go to..if I bring in a sandwich bag of loose change that’s fine, they just don’t want waterjug after waterjug of loose change to count through and such.

    It is a good question on if the guy had to pay for the armored car or if the dealership ate the cost…I would imagine that if the armored car usually came on that day that they wouldn’t charge him. That’s a tough call.

    I’ve been pondering opening up an Add-on Share Certificate lately…maybe I’ll start putting my spare change in one so that it earns lots of interest ;)

  29. reykjavik says:

    @dwayne_dibbly: He was able to do it because of what he said. He mentioned that he pays cash for everything. If you lived in an entirely cash only world, you’d also accumulate a lot more change then you do now. There are weeks that go by where I never use cash, but I suppose if it was all I used, I’d have tons of change every night to put in a jar.

  30. weg1978 says:

    what a pinhead…he actually rolled all those coins? That’s like working for it twice.

  31. JollyJumjuck says:

    I remember reading a story recently about a retired man who had his life savings of $400,000 in cash confiscated by the FBI until the man could prove that he did not gain the money by selling marijuana (I think the Feds have spent…er, still have the money). This guy better be careful or the FBI will be after him too!

  32. hubris says:

    @weg1978: Do you not read good? The dealer couldn’t find a bank to take the LOOSE coins.

  33. Hawk07 says:

    I’ve considered purchasing one of those coin sorters, but they’re a little pricey for their quality.

    Anyways, I just save my change and bring it to the bank every couple of years. I think the last time I went, I got something like $60 (I do 95% of purchases on CC). Plus, the bank gives me a receipt that shows how many of each denomination I deposited. Pretty cool and they don’t charge any transaction fee.

  34. benko29 says:

    nice photo, it’s all canadian change! there’s even a toonie in there, near the bottom.

  35. trollkiller says:

    @omerhi: From the article, “Friday, he handed over the coins, neatly rolled and stored in various containers – water jugs, coffee cans, piggy banks – that had ridden in on the bed of his pickup. …

    … “As for how Raisor’s cashier planned to handle $26,670 in coins, Gephart said, “No bank wants to take them. We’ve got a Loomis armored car coming.”

    No mention of the coins being loose.

  36. trollkiller says:

    I am betting the dealership ate the extra cost of the armored car. They made out like bandits with the “free” publicity.

  37. timmus says:

    “The dealership can’t convince any bank to accept the water jugs, coffee cans, and piggy banks that hold Brant’s spare change”

    Isn’t it illegal for banks to refuse coins? According to the definition of “legal tender” it is payment that, by law, cannot be refused in settlement of a debt.

  38. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @reykjavik: True. I suppose if I paid each and every bill in cash, I would have a lot more coins around. But….I can’t imagine how much time and gas I’d burn up driving around just to pay everyone cash on the barrelhead.

  39. RandomHookup says:

    @Adam Rock:

    That reminds me of a story my Greek friend told me. When the country switched over to the Euro, everyone was overtipping and overspending with the coins, because Greek coins were pretty much worthless and it’s really hard to change a long-held perception.

  40. Trick says:

    It took 13 years to build up that amount. Of course over the past few years he may have earn a little extra interest. But he sure as heck wasn’t earning top interest from day one in 1994.

    Some people just have to bag on everything. Here is some guy buying a truck with no worries of payments or being screwed by a dealer since it wanted to get a little free publicity.

    Oh wait, this is The Consumerist and this type of good deed is just not right!

  41. Myotheralt says:

    @superjanna: What bank are you using? Most banks I found, not credit unions, will count change for free, even if I am not a member. But then I would only bring about 20-30$ in silver change.

  42. m_m says:

    $26k over 13 years is $2k per year, or approx $5 to $6 per day saved. By using change rather than handing even dollars to the cashier each time, you should end up with between 0 and $1 in your pocket each day. The amount of money you have shouldn’t change, and it’s less hassle. How about just putting $5 into a jar every day. Less weight, same idea. Or $5 into a bank account. Again we have less weight, same idea, and interest.

  43. Jesse in Japan says:

    In Japan, where the smallest bill is 1000 yen (about 9 dollars), people always go out of their way to pay with exact change. If something costs 887 yen, and you don’t have a 5 yen piece but you have two 1 yen pieces, you will pay might pay 1002 yen so they can get an even 115 yen back. I’ve gotten into the habit, too. I always pay with cash, but I make every effort to use my coins and avoid getting more coins back as change than necessary. At the end of the day, I rarely have more than a dozen coins on me.

  44. ColoradoShark says:

    @m_m: I thought about the same thing. On average, you should get 50 cents in coins back for every cash transaction if you always hand over bills. The guy saved about 500 cents a day. This means he did an average of ten cash transactions every day for 13 years.

    Hey, can I blame the “victim”? Maybe he was actually siphoning money from vending machines?

  45. coren says:

    @trollkiller: I don’t know about you, but most piggy banks I’ve seen won’t let me put rolled coins in them. The way I read the first sentence you quoted was that some were rolled, some were neatly stored in other devices, but not rolled.

  46. cde says:

    @timmus: Reading comprehension would work miracles for you. Keywords: settlement, payment, debt.

    And even then, it is unreasonable to make payment in only coins when it is thousands of dollars. 20 bucks, sure. 100, maybe. 26,000? If it was only quarters, thats 10,400,000 coins. Weight alone makes it unreasonable. Paying in 1 dollar bills, (1 USD bill = 1 gram) it would be 26,000 grams or 57.5 pounds. In quarters, (26,000 x 4 x 5.67 grams) = 589,680 grams or 1,300 pounds or .65 tons. Imagine mixed coins, with a nickel almost the same weight as a quarter, and cents/dimes half the weight of a quarter.

    //
    Below are the official weights of contemporary U.S. coins:

    Cent – 2.5 grams
    Nickel – 5 grams
    Dime – 2.27 grams
    Quarter – 5.67 grams
    Half Dollar – 11.34 grams
    Dollar (SBA) – 8.1 grams
    //

  47. drjayphd says:

    @Trick: Not to mention he probably didn’t miss the change as it went in the jar, but it kept building up. I’m saving my change to go towards a down payment, either on a car or house, and even though it’s only about $20 (Nantucket Nectar bottle, 1/3 full), it’ll be a drop in a bucket, but in the end, the contribution’s going to make more of a positive impact than throwing the change in the bottle would bother me.

  48. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    @RandomHookup:
    I thought this was all hashed out in all the posts about Apple not taking cash for iPhones – the bank isn’t owed anything, so they aren’t required to take the cash, there is no debt yet.

    @myotheralt:
    A Bank of America! In Glendale, CA. And it was just a little sandwich bag full! I was obviously peeved. I had to go out of my way to find a grocery store with a coinstar that would give out the kind of giftcard I wanted.

  49. marcus1060 says:

    Ha! That’s Canadian money.
    You can see the queen, the maple leaves, and toonies.

  50. quail says:

    Some banks go out of their way to make it costly or not worth your bother to bring them your change, rolled or not. I had one bank that had a coin machine and wouldn’t charge you if you put all of the money into your account. Then they started to charge you no matter what you did. Finally they required you to roll it and then the money wouldn’t show up in your account for 5 days.

  51. glass says:

    thats what… 40 a week in change? right. this guy just wants to make the news every so often.

  52. nutrigm says:

    At first I thought ‘How awesome!’ but then I read what ‘Glass’ wrote.

  53. econobiker says:

    I use extra change in the self serve check out at the grocery store- screw them if it takes too long. I used to buy stamps with it but they have now discontinued the old style stamp coin vending machines infavor of the credit card only weigh and scan machines…

  54. vanillabean says:

    I wonder how much of this was found change vs. his own money. I have a friend that picks up stuff off the street (gross). He likes hardware but he also gets a lot of coins, and he keeps his stash in little jars. It’s amazing what you can accumulate if you keep your eyes peeled.

    @dwayne_dibbly: That was a great story about your money maker couch! I’ll be laughing all day about that.

  55. Sonnymooks says:

    I guess I am not old fashioned.

    I keep a coin sorter in my room, when change reaches a certain dollar amount, I go and get cash for it, and deposit it in my bank.

    hmmmm, not as a good as a story about saving change, getting no interest on it, and buying a truck.

  56. erica.blog says:

    I’m pretty surprised a bank wouldn’t accept the stuff. Mine accepts the big jar of coins I haul in every year, they just dump it in their coin counter and give me the total.

    (I do have to admit, I’ve never brought in $26k at a time. Who has that much loose change in their pocket? Dayum.)

  57. Ghede says:

    How the hell did he know he had $26K? Did he sort and weigh them?

  58. saphyrre says:

    @ghede

    I guess he told the dealer they can keep the change;)

  59. xanax25mg says:

    I think people are viewing this story in the “aw, what a sweet, eccentric old guy” like the dude that drove his lawnmower to wisconsin, but frankly this guy seems like a real douche. Ignoring the fact on all the interest he lost out on, what about the poor cashier at the dealership that has to count all that change? And this guy says he always picks up coins off the street, so the poor girl at the dealership has to touch his filthy pennies and nickels.

  60. Sonnymooks says:

    @Ghede:

    SInce they were all in rolls, my guess is he either did count it himself, or he has rolls, and simply adds to them each time out (i.e. counts as they come in, instead of doing it down the road).

  61. Sonnymooks says:

    @xanax25mg:

    I doubt they are going to pay the cashier for count change for several days.

    More likely, they could just buy a coin sorter, or simply weigh the amounts.

  62. kc-guy says:

    I hope Canada hasn’t changed the composition of its’ coins as much as we have in the US. The weight and electric properties change as the price of certain metals increases.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  63. 00exmachina says:

    It’s really no different then putting your change in a far and buying something random for yourself when the jar’s full.

    Septuagenarian would mean approximately 70 + years old, so odds are this guy remembers the depression, and possibly has a mistrust of banks. This also explains why he prefers to deal in cash.

    As for why the dealership accepted it, my guess which comes from knowing a couple sales people at dealerships, is the sales person got it ok’d by the sales manager because they knew it would make the papers and get the dealership free publicity.

    That and possibly the sales people were bored, I’ve heard a lot of stories about unofficial competitions between sales people for the best/most entertaining trade in or method of payment. Dealerships have accepted goats, and bicycles as trade ins for vehicles. And honestly, they wouldn’t have accepted the payment if they weren’t making a profit on the sale after hiring the armored card service to process the change. Especially since this guy has done this before.

  64. Mr. Moto says:

    Seems that he has some gold dollars as well… I don’t think he got that back in change. Depending on how many gold dollars, that changes the story quite a bit.

  65. MYarms says:

    What??? The dealership didn’t even count the money before they let him drive off with the truck????

  66. AlphaTeam says:

    Come on guys. Nobody will be counting anything. Just put the coins in the sorter and it counts for you!