The exact amount of money needed for a purchase.

Paying with exact change is a lot faster than waiting for cashiers to count out change.

For this reason some places where people are in a hurry, for instance toll booths, have seperate registers (lanes in this case) for exact change and non-exact cash.

It must have been fate...

Three scarves, a candle, a key chain, and tax leaves me with two cents change. "Hm, no penny boxes... Guess I'll just keep these..." I think to myself, letting the pennies drop into my pocket.

Later on, at the Wal-Mart checkout line (red-and-white polka dot ribbon), I thought of the Salvation Army bell-ringer outside. "That job has to suck," I think. "Maybe I'll drop my change in there, make someone smile. After all, someone else probably needs it more than me anyway." I'd like to say that I wasn't guilt-tripped into it, but Salvation Army knows that that's the best way to get things done.

When the man with 27 items in the Speedy Checkout lane finally leaves, I drop my lonely spool of ribbon on the counter. $1.97 magically changes to $2.12 (the wonders of sales tax). I pull out the change in my pocket - the two pennies, four quarters I had forgotten, and a dime that came from nowhere. I hastily unclipped my wallet's clasp, with a slight smirk - exact change. That was the first time something like this happened to me, ever.

I pull out two out of my remaining three dollars, and drop one onto the counter. The sales lady smiles as well - they like exact change as much as I do. It's awesome and amazing. It is a Moment.

I fold the extra bill up in my hand as I exit the store. I approach the bell-ringer and push the folded bill into the slot - that thing is more packed than I had expected. A faint feeling of remorse takes me, followed by guilt - What's wrong with me? It's just a dollar.

The lady smiles and rings her bell as I walk quickly to the car.

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