Loose Change

Awhile back I learned of a technique, a little trick of life, that increases my discretionary income.

It is called “The Rule Of Fives.”

Basically this is how it works.  You cull out your fives (separate them) in your change when you are out doing business in the community.  Each time someone makes change for a twenty and they hand you back a five dollar bill, you cull it out (separate it) from the rest of the herd and put it in your pocket.

Most of the time, my spare change and what knot, I carry on a money clip.  I carry two money clips with me most of the time, when I get a five, I put it on the other money clip.  When I get a hundred dollars worth of fives, I sock ’em away and last year, get this, “I had $1,455.00 in five dollar bills after a 12 month period of time.”

Never being really successful at saving money, this was the best half-assed plan I could come up with to generate mad money or funds for the things I like to do once a year.  Let’s face it, some people can do a vacation fund, Christmas Fund, 401-K and then there are those miserable folks like myself.  My entire life savings at one time consisted of a Folgers Coffee Can on the top of my refrigerator filled with loose change.

Not very impressive … or for that matter … practical.  So something had to give.

It is not like the lottery where folks feel like they can get something for nothing.  You have to work at it, but if you are loyal to it, disciplined, it pays off with some nice rewards.  So I always have a few fives on me most of the time.

Last week I am in a convenience store, a root n scoot, 7-11 kind of deal.  On the counter, taped to the cash register is a hand lettered sign that reads, “We Need $5 Bills.”  So I look at the guy and I say, “How many five dollar bills do you need?”

He quickly replies with “All you have.  How many do you have?”  Which kind of irked me to begin with, Okies are always “answering a question with a question” which has a tendency to drive me up the wall at times.

Which my wife will gladly tell you is a short trip.

So I check my money clip and I find eight $5 bills.  So I say to the guy, I have eight.  He then replies, “I will take them.”  At that point, I say to him, “How about I give you the eight five dollar bills and help you out, and you in turn give me the Big Gulper (Large sized soda)?”

He then says, “Naw, the drink is a buck thirty.”

So I lay out two dollars on the counter to pay for the Big Gulper and he fishes out two twenties from the cash register.  Then he makes change for the drink purchase and asks me “Where are the fives?”

And I reply, “they are in my pocket.”

At this point things are starting to rapidly erode in our customer-merchant-service person relationship.  He looks at me rather sternly and says, “What is this man, I thought we had a deal?”

To which I replied, “Hey, I aint your man, and we did not have any kind of deal.  I was going to scratch your back and I was hoping you would scratch mine (give me a free drink). You failed to do that, so no fives for you.”

Which instantly did not make me any friends at this particular store.

What is it in American business these days, where everyone expects everything from you, but they are not willing to extend the courtesy right back across the counter.  It would seem that with times as hard as they are, you would want to attract as much business as humanely possible.  Now I know some of you are not going to agree with any of this, and that is fine.  Comments section is open, take a shot at it, let us know what you think.

Try the five dollar thing it really works.

Try it for one year and you will be surprised at the end result.  And as an added bonus …. You can take Momma out and buy her something nice next year.  Be forewarned,  you won’t get a free drink, even with a pocket full of fives.



3 thoughts on “Loose Change

  1. I know what you mean…something has REALLY gone amuck in this country…..hmmmm

    Years ago Tony did the same savings thing with change…he paid for everything with paper $$ and then would come home and put all the change in the water jug. At the end of the year we had over $900 that we used to take the kids to Disney. ( Notice that I said YEARS AGO?) Disney would probably be $3000 in this day and age for a family of four.
    We do the change thing, and it works to, albeit it does not generate the amounts that the five dollar drill will produce. Last I heard, Disney was really high, like over $500 for a family of four, and that is just to get in the door. Money isn’t really money anymore.


  2. Know what has really been ticking me off about retail stores? TIP JARS!
    I haven’t seen too many in the USA but you spot them frequently at convenience stores, liquor stores, etc. in Canada. You want me to pay for my purchase (that I went down the aisle to grab myself) and then you want me to tip you for taking my money? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
    Hey Arizona girl, how you doin? I have seen the tip jars, I just blow them off, if the service is not there, no tip. If the attitude isn’t checked at the door, forgetaboutit! Service in America (and I will throw in Canada for good measure) is basically a “lost art.”


  3. I deal in cash everywhere I go. If the merchant doesn’t make me a deal on a large purchase or treats me like this one treated you, the best revenge is to take your cash, including the buck thirty, and buy your drink down the street. Merchants take advantage of us because we let them. They need to be returned to an economy where cash, and the customer carrying it, are king. If they don’t like that, they can let the bank have their store back and someone else may learn the lesson.
    As usual right on the money James, thanks for checking in.


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