Do you hide money?
MSNBC has an article today that discusses people who hide money and the problems that it can cause those who squirrel away the money. Many older people who hide money, may succumb to Alzheimer’s or die and relatives many not know about the hidden money. Also other people who live in the person’s home may not know about the hidden money and dispose of some of the hiding places such as tins, books or pieces of furniture.
Recently there was an Israeli woman who bought her mother a new mattress and tossed the old one. Inside was her mother’s life savings – $1,000,000.
Most of the money that is stashed in and around homes is for emergency purposes. Sometimes people forget where they have hidden money. Unlike when we were kids and would count our money daily, in order to save for that big purchase, some folks just put cash away and then forget it.
Who hasn’t found money in an old bag or jacket pocket just left there or money just in a drawer?
Hiding money in your home and forgetting about it isn’t a good thing. But if you choose to save money at home, buy a safe with a lock or a box with a lock and hide it. Tell someone you trust where you money is – just in case. My grandmother had money hiding places in her home when we sold it, that I knew about, but my mother didn’t. My father was recently shredding some old papers and found several hundred dollars in cash in a paper bag that he said he didn’t remember that he had. The only reason he was going through the box was because my parents were sorting out some things from the garage for donation.
The small amount of interest that you can earn isn’t worth it to take to the bank for certain amounts. Many people have small amounts of cash that they save or even in the case of one episode of a woman on “How Clean Is Your House,” the lady just empties cash out of her pockets onto the floor or whatever surface when she came home. The cleaners found hundreds of dollars that they lady didn’t know she had.
This morning before 8 a.m., it was 80 degrees.
Last week it was on the cool side for June. This mean it is time to turn on the air conditioner.
To save money but still stay cool, close the blinds or drapes and run the fan. This way the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. The newer more efficient energy star air conditioners make a difference in your electric bill. Just because it is 90 outside, doesn’t mean that you need to have your air conditioning set at 68. Air-conditioning units also remove humidity from the air so a 72 or 74 degree setting with a fan going and shades drawn will make it very comfortable inside.
If you have peak periods of sun near your home, keep the curtains drawn during that time. Even if it is early, the sun can really heat up your home and your air conditioner will have to work harder. Generally, there is enough outside light, so you don’t have to turn the lights on either.
Fans do not use as much electricity as air conditioning units. If you aren’t home during the day, use a timer to turn the ac on an hour or so before you get there, so the house will be cooler. Keep the shades and blinds closed during the day so that your home won’t be as hot.
For walkers, runners and bikers, don’t go out in the peak of the day unless you have to, and drink plenty of water.
Are you spoiled? Money magazine talks about people who spoiled their kids by giving them everything they want and not giving them an allowance. The change in the economic climate has changed that for many people.
If you don’t have kids, could it be that you were spoiling yourself? The kids who formerly had carte blanche and no stringent budget are finding that having a budget isn’t fun. Adults may feel the same way too. Who does like to have a budget. A budget doesn’t have to be the death knoll for fun, it can be an epiphany for your spending habits.
Are weekly shopping binges or trips to the mall not really your style? What about dining out or weekly happy hour with friends?
Unpoiling yourself can save you some money but don’t completely stop spoiling yourself. An occasional treat may be within your budget but you need a budget to really figure out what you can afford. Cash is always great way to spoil yourself. If your money to spoil yourself is less that what you had been actually spending, budget some money for spoiling yourself and put that aside in cash.
Completely unspoiling yourself may not be a daunting task and very difficult at first, but it is possible to pare down the truly excessive things or at least try to avoid the temptations.
Luxury. Now the word has become synonymous in some circles with waste. Luxury does not have to be wasteful. Though since more people are spending more time with friends at home, they are also spending more money on their home. Money Magazine listed several household items that you might want. All of the items cost less than five hundred dollars. Depending on where you live, $500 is a good chunk of change – like almost a mortgage payment or monthly utilities.
The luxury items that are being showcased are ones that I could really do without – a heated towel rack or a counter wine chiller. The other suggestions such as a hammock for my yard would be too small for my balcony, ditto for an orchard.
Household improvements that could be made for low or no cost could be selling books or dvds (or other media) that you no longer read or watch. Either way you will have more space in you home.
Don’t scrimp or buy the cheapest gadgets or items that you know you will use. Any item that you like but will not use, start saving for it and revisit the idea of the purchase. You might just want to pass on by it. If you like cappuccino but drink it only occasionally, then walk on by that stove top cappuccino maker and just treat yourself to one when the mood arises. You will save space in your home and keep some extra cash.
What we consider necessities and luxuries has changed since the economic downturn, The Pew Research Center has indicated that from those surveyed there have been some changes in what people consider a necessity. Luxury and necessity are relative terms depending on who you are and your situation but thinking about a serious purchase before you make it would be a wise decision in any economy.
…Nicholas Souleles of the University of Pennsylvania and David Gross of the consultancy Compass Lexecon calculated that the typical consumer unnecessarily spends $200 a year in interest payments by keeping a sizable stash of cash in savings or checking while at the same time carrying a credit-card balance. In our heads, the two don’t line up.
Time recently posted an article about the problem with credit cards – “The Real Problem with Credit Cards: The Cardholders.” This is true, spending is not the same for any two people. My credit card usage leans toward using my cards as cash. In my mind – paying interest is bad, earning interest is good. I may not have the cash today but I will before the bill comes or I just don’t want to carry around a lot of cash. No problem. I can do a quick calculation and determine whether or not I have enough to buy what I want. For larger purchases, they are generally not spur of the moment purchases. Even so, making several purchases for $50-$100 can soon throw a budget out of whack – great interest rate or not.
The credit card problem debate is like the gun debate. Guns aren’t bad if you are using them correctly. Some people should never have guns and do not use them wisely. Even people who hunt for food with guns know that these instruments can do great damage. Credit cards are the same way – these are financial instruments that should be used wisely. Some people should have never ever, ever had a credit card in the first place.