How to Make Money… fast: Time’s running out for the £1 coin clear out

Are they under the sofa cushions? In your other coat pocket – the one you wear to walk the dog in the rain? In the sparkly clutch-bag you only use on once-in-a-blue-moon nights out?

I’m talking coins. Not just any coins. The old £1 coin. Old as in, this time in a month it won’t be worth a penny. Zilch. Old as in, come the morning of 16 October, no shops will accept them. Some banks may even refuse to exchange them.

This will be annoying if you find a few odd quid stuck down the back seat of the car in two months’ time. But a big old waste of money if you have dozens of the things scuttled away. Maybe hundreds. And it’s likely that many of us do.

The Treasury and Royal Mint reckon that around 500 million of the old round £1 coins are rattling around our homes. That’s *gulps* £500,000,000 quid. Which, if everyone in the UK was to share that would give us around £8 each. All worthless, this time next month.

So where do you look?

Don’t leave it to the last minute. Go a-hunting now. Where to look? Be systematic. I find stacks of old coins when I’m helping clients to clear their homes and the classic places are:

  • The pot of change you keep for emergency money, loose change or in the car for parking
  • Down the back of furniture (sofa is usually pretty lucrative) or underneath
  • In pockets of rarely worn clothes especially winter coats
  • ‘Man drawers’ and any drawer in a hallway area
  • Old handbags and purses you don’t use much, plus evening bags
  • Kids’ piggybanks
  • Gym bag or swimming bag
  • Reusable shopping bags may have coins for shopping trolleys
  • The car’s ‘glove box’ – anything but!
  • Dishes & bedside drawers where you empty out your change
  • Bottom of your handbag/backpack

What do you do with the coins?

If you only find a few, go out and spend them now. Shops might not want to take them but they can’t legally refuse the old £1 coin until 16 October 2017. They shouldn’t be giving out the old £1 coins as the deadline looms but you can bet they’ll try. You can ask for new ones but until the 16th they can refuse.

If you’re a clutter bug and have turned up a fair old haul, take them to the bank or the Post Office. Some banks may refuse the coins from 16 October onwards so if you do miss the deadline get yourself to a bank with the coins as soon as you can.

If you’ve turned up a haul of other coins in your £1 coin hunt you might as well cash them in at the same time. Few banks will count your coins if you’ve mountains of coppers but you find coin counting machines at some supermarkets (try Sainsbury’s) and often NatWest. If you turned up some interesting old coins and pre EU currencies you could try which may buy them from you.

Sure you have lots to do today. And tomorrow. But if a £20 note flew out of your hand and was gone for good you’d feel rudely short-changed. It’ll be the same if, over the next few months, you end up finding stashes of old £1 coins that are fit only for the bin. So do it. Now.