#29 Stash Some Cash

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#29

Stash Some Cash

Remember the last time you went digging through each coat pocket in hopes you’d find a forgotten ten dollar bill? It’s important to have a cash stash for those moments when an ATM isn’t readily available or as a way of tucking away a little savings (‘little’ being the operative word here as it isn’t good financial advice to deny yourself any earning capacity your savings may have).

Loose Change

Many of us have ‘change jars’ or some kind of container that becomes a collection place for the random change that we accumulate. It’s amazing how quickly a few cents here and there can add up over time. You may be surprised at how much can accrue by holding on to the coins we come home with at the end of the day. This is the principle behind apps like Digit who sweep very small – unnoticeable – amounts of cash from the account you give it access to.

This suggestion is more about having the cash in hand, on on the premises though. Once you fill your container with change, turning it into bills is easy with the sorting machines you find at grocery stores and banks. Although, those machines do keep a small percentage of your savings as payment for doing all the work. In my opinion, it’s worth it unless you enjoy sitting for hours to sort, count, and roll all those pennies, dimes, and nickels.

Out of Sight

After you bring home the bills – or if you are starting there – you need a safe place to tuck it away. I’m recommending it’s out of sight or else, unless you have wonderful reserve, you may be likely spend it before it accumulates. The big question is where to hide it so that you’ll remember where it is but it won’t be easy to spot in general. There’s no need to tempt people with shaky principles.

Hiding Spots

After winning a large lottery once, I brought home the cash and tucked several $100 bills on page 100 in several different books on my bookshelf. I believed – at the time – that it was a brilliant way to keep it at distance enough that I wouldn’t spend it all at once. The first problem was that I didn’t record which books I put it in – that was a HUGE error of judgment. The second problem was that I had a LOT of books. I never did find all of them. There’s either still a book in my home with a hundred dollar bill in it or someone else got a big treat as I often donate books that sit around for too long.

Try to pick a spot that’s not obvious but one that is safe as well. Here are a list of ideas that I’ve heard about through the years:

  • An empty food box or canister in your kitchen pantry
  • An empty container in your refrigerator
  • An empty container in your freezer
  • In an envelope taped behind a piece of furniture or wall decor
  • Folded into socks or undies
  • Tucked into shoes or boots
  • Under seat cushions of furniture

There are obvious problems with all of those ideas as none of them except possibly the refrigerator or freezer, will keep your cash safe in the even of natural disaster or fire. In those cases, the best hiding place is a fireproof safe hidden from plain sight. And… I’m certainly not recommending that you stash too much – a number that is very individual but probably doesn’t need to exceed a few hundred dollars. Banks are the best best for larger amounts.

In any event, it’s often good to know that in a dire situation you won’t have to worry about a tank of gas or a loaf of bread because you’ve made the effort to…

Stash some cash.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#266 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#266

Save $5 A Day

Who doesn’t love a sale?? We used to say that you could mark a price UP – add a ‘sale’ sign and my mom wouldn’t even notice. She loved the ‘idea’ of getting a bargain yet often spent money she didn’t have on things she didn’t need just because ‘they were on sale’.  Today…. I am suggesting that you make an effort to save FIVE dollars as you move through the day – spending what you would ordinarily spend. This isn’t a suggestion to buy something you don’t want or need for the mere fact it would save you money ‘in the long run’.

Why $5? It’s a relatively small amount that adds up quickly and over just a little time – it’s big money. In fact, it totals $35 a week and over the course of a year – with consistency – it amounts to $1800 !! What would you do with that much money? A trip to Europe? (I checked this morning and a RT ticket to Barcelona, Spain from Newark, NJ in October is only $396) What about a cruise? Perhaps you’re thinking something more practical… pay off a credit card… buy a new fridge… new carpet perhaps? How about a Christmas fund? Potentially better… how about putting that money in a savings account for emergencies or a longer term savings goal?

Many of us spend five dollars without blinking an eye. We drive through Starbucks and spend more than that on a Venti Latte or at Dunkin Donuts where at least we can get a couple of glazed to go with the coffee. If you are buying lunch every day (instead of grabbing leftovers from your home fridge), you’re spending $7 or more dollars – and perhaps throwing away those dinner remnants. With gas prices at the $3/gal mark, we might be spending five bucks just by driving without considering the most efficient route. Is there a toll road you can bypass? What about using coupons? Extreme savers buy two newspapers to double up on the coupon opportunities but we can print them from our computers too.

If you can’t save $5 – try making it. Use yard sale sites on Facebook or apps like LetGo to sell something that you no longer use. With the snap of a photo, you can transfer ownership of clothes, household goods, tools, etc… very easily. Whether you use this method or focus on saving, you’ll be amazed at how quickly to begin to accumulate funds. Financial security fosters well-being… money in savings reduces anxiety… life satisfaction increases when you stopped to consider how you can …

Save $5 A Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash