Categories
Finances Simplicity

A Penny Saved…

I went to the bank early this morning and opened that passport savings account with my spare change. The interest stinks on the account–a measly .4%–but that is still better than nothing at all—much better than spending it by sticking it in my checking account!

I plan to link it up with my checking account to use as overdraft protection. By doing this I can still have a safety net on the account while making a little money simultaneously. When the account balance goes above a certain amount (probably $500 depending upon my mood) I’ll transfer the excess the the Discover savings account online so that it can earn more interest.

It felt good to know that all of that change was going to start making me money instead of sitting here waiting for me to spend it! I wish I had gotten off of my duff years ago and created that account—but no reason to cry over spilled milk.  The account is created now!

While there the bank informed me about the new government regulation requiring people to “opt in” to allow the bank to charge overdraft fees on certain debit transactions. It does not apply to checks or ACH transactions that you have—or even on pre-authorized debit transactions but just on debit transactions when there is not enough in the account at that moment to pay for the purchase. Much to her surprise I opted out.  I would much rather my card be declined than face a $34 overdraft fee!

I am working toward paying for all of my everyday expenses in cash anyway—this will prevent me from overspending as well as increase the amount of change that can go into savings! As a result I don’t want or need that brand of overdraft protection!

My whites are now drying in the windy sunshine while I wash a load of colors.  I need to get all of my laundry washed and dried today for they are calling for several days of rain after today!

I have placed the guinea piggies in their makeshift outdoor pen so they can enjoy another day of sunshine and clover—while I enjoy another day of not having to pay for feed or wood chips!  I bring them in every night for fear of predators but take them back outside first thing every pretty morning!

To give you a glimpse into my life I present you with pictures of the piggies happily munching on their clover.  I will move the cage a few times throughout the day to keep them supplied with all of the greenery they can eat while thanking God for providing such a frugal method of providing their dinner!

Here are Bugsy and Teddy happily munching on clover in their makeshift outdoor pen.  I took their original guinea pig cage, removed the bottom and have placed a thin board on the top to give them shelter from the sun. They are never outside in the rain—this is purely a pretty-day exercise.

 

Here’s a close up of Teddy, the brown guinea pig.  His full name is Teddy Red cause he looks like a cute little teddy bear with red eyes! He is the most timid of the pair—and the gentlest.

Here’s a close up of Bugsy—named after the guinea pig in the movie “Bedtime Stories.” While his eyes don’t bug out like the guinea pig in the film he reminds me a bit of the gangsters from old movies that have the funny names. He’s perky with an incredible attitude.  He won’t hesitate to nip if he’s really ticked off but overall he’s a good guy—he’s actually my favorite of the two! Unlike Teddy he will come right up to you and let you pet him without holding him—and will go over anyone or anything that tries to get between him and a piece of Timothy!

Did you know that guinea pigs are actually considered food in the Andes mountains? People there will have a room with a dirt floor filled with these little guys—killing one when they are ready for dinner!

While I don’t know if I could eat one of these little fellows that brings up a valuable point—you can raise small animals like this to supplement your grocery bill.  Rabbits, guinea pigs and even female chickens could be kept easily. The female chickens would not only provide eggs but fill your belly when they got too old to produce!

I’m actually considering the chicken thing. A friend of mine raises them and has offered to help me build a small pen to contain a couple of hens—which would provide the perfect amount of eggs for this household! I am just not sure if I want to commit to more critters however!

Well I’m off to work on this yard some more—I want to get it finished before the rain sets in tonight. Have a wonderful sun-shiney day!

Categories
Finances Frugality

Counting Change

I spent this afternoon rolling change. While I do occasionally add money to my online savings account normally my change just gets stashed or added to the checking account.

I’ve decided to stop that practice and open a passport savings account at my local bank. I can link the account to my checking account for the emergency occasion of an overdraft while still earning money on my change.

Anyhow, I gathered up my change and started rolling.  Ended up with $35.97—an amount I am delighted with.  It takes $25 to open a passport savings account so I have that and some to spare!

I plan to allow my change to accumulate there and when it gets too large I will swap it over into my online savings account so that it can accrue more interest.  It may not be a simple method but it works for me. It is definitely easier than hiding money from myself in my checking account—too much of a temptation when it is in there!

When I looked at all of that change I thought about taking it to the CoinStar machine at my local Wal-Mart.  Fortunately I googled the device before I did.  Those devices charge you 9.8 cents for every single dollar they count—that is like a 10% fee just for counting the stupid stuff! Had I went to the machine I would have been forced to pay $3.53 cents just so that machine could count my money! I like that $3.53 just fine in my pocket, thank you very much, so I rolled the coins myself! 

My bank gives out the coin wrappers as a courtesy to customers so they cost absolutely nothing.. and time is cheap compared to money!

We have become so lazy that we will give a whopping 9.8% to a machine just to count our change!  We are paying almost $10.00 ($9.80) out for every hundred dollars that machine counts!

What pisses me off is that I almost didn’t consider the fact that there would be a fee! I’m sorry, but for a lot of people ten bucks is an hour’s wage and for a restaurant worker making minimum wage that is almost an hour at time and a half!

Sigh.

I placed my teapot back in its’ place leaving some change and a couple of dollar bills within for seed. When I was a child my father taught me to never completely empty a piggy bank cause you needed “seed” to make the money “grow.” Silly perhaps but I never completely empty the thing—in honor of Father’s memory.

Other than that I paid the tags on the van and renewed my drivers license, which means I’m good to go for another year on that front. Tomorrow bright and early I will be at the bank making some poor teller miserable as she verifies all of this rolled change and sets up that savings account!

What do you do with YOUR change?  Do you spend it? Occasionally I spend the quarters but rarely touch the rest.  Until tomorrow it was added to the slush fund in my checking account for lack of a better place to deposit it. I like the thought of it making money muchbetter!