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new project

August 6th, 2013 at 08:41 pm

For some of you newer bloggers out there, you might ask, "what's this with baselle and change?"

Four years ago in mid July I needed a distraction along with a goal to exercise so to combine them I decided to blog about how much change I found living and walking throughout my day. Turns out I found, well, surprising amounts. Nearly $50 the first year, just a hair over $90 the second, a hair over $90 the third, and a hair over $75 just this last.

I need the distraction less ... the condo is plenty distracting, and while I love the hunt for change as a motivation to get me to exercise, I think I've become a hair OCD about it. So after 4 years, its time to re-adjust the change finding project a bit.

I'm finding change, but I'm not going full out and putting on a spreadsheet and tracking how much I find, etc. I find, then I have a little tub I put the findings in. My project is to slowly develop an intimate emergency fund. What's an intimate emergency fund, you ask? Well in a true emergency, like the "big one", the power and the ATM are going to be out. Need money, you'll need the intimate emergency fund.

Because a few pounds of pennies aren't really going to be that helpful, I make reverse change (25 pennies for a quarter) to keep my developing emergency at its most useful. So far a bit over $2.

14 Responses to “new project”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I just finished writing a disaster recovery plan for work...those contingency plans are a good idea!! I know your finds have motivated me over the last few years!

  2. Wino Says:

    There was a study about who survives airplane crashes. Apparently, when some folks don't and others do, the ones who survive are the ones who looked around and located the exits when they sat down. Now, we know they always tell you to find the nearest exit, but how many fliers actually do so?

    When I get on an airplane - and I get on a lot of airplanes - I count the number of seat backs between me and the exit/exit row both forward and back. I also note if there are any walls/partitions between my location and the exit. That way, even without lighting, I can find the exit.

    No, I have never needed this information, but if I ever do, I'll have it.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I like this plan for your change! We all need an 'intimate' EF.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Pheww. For a brief scary moment I thought you were going to give up the change hunt altogether. I remember in the post-Katrina and Post-Sandy weeks folks were discussing how much cash on hand they should have. I'm still thinking $200. Do you have a goal?

  5. snafu Says:

    Smart to have a cash at hand emergency fund as ATMs can be out-of-money or non functioning if there is a power outage. Add an In Case of Emergency ICE 1st Aid kit in the car



  6. scfr Says:

    Good plan! I too am glad that you haven't given up the hunt completely.

  7. CB in the City Says:

    You find amazing amounts of cash! I always tell people (when I'm picking up change) that I'm in competition with someone in Seattle. Of course, I'm not in the same league at all!

  8. Kiki Says:

    I try to stress the idea of this spare cash at home in the preparedness consulting I do for home owners. It is not the money that is used to buy a pizza when you don't want to cook!

    There is no set amount that works but I recommend having the cash on hand you would normally spend in two weeks. That is two tanks of gas, a couple trips to the grocery store, miscellaneous spending. For most folks that should be between $300 and $500.

    And it is important to keep it in small bills. During an emergency you may not get change back for a purchase that was under $5 if all you pay with is a $20.

    Keep this cash locked up but easy to get to, and close to your gran and go bag that if you had to evacuate you have a bag ready to go and just need to grab financial paperwork (if you don't have a copy in your G&G bag) and the cash from the safe.

    And I urge people to get in the habit of filling their gas tanks a minimum of once a week. Then you know you will always have the gas to get out of town if you had to evacuate for some reason. I fill up my tank every Sunday, whether I need it or not. I also do not let the gas tank get below half a tank.

    Great idea for your found money!

  9. baselle Says:

    @Wino - if you and I were on a plane, we'd spot each other. We'd be the ones swiveling our heads and mentally (or if its late, finger point) the seats, the sides, and the exits.

    @MEC - I'm thinking in the $200 - $300 range. I love finding change, and frankly once I reached "goal" I'd just continue on.

    @scfr - Finding change is a lot of fun for me and the possiblity of finding some a much better driver for "one more block" than the classic then-I'll-get-a-muffin. Part of this is that I'm finding less in my new neighborhood than I did in my old neighborhood, so the old goal of finding ever increasing amounts is really not going to work.

    @CB - You are doing a great job. We are in the same league! Some of this was trying to verify Jeffrey's findings that he could find over $100 in change. I came close. I think you can, but in the U.S. I think you run the risk of what I call "d!cklike behavior". As soon you pick out money from fountains, or you interfere with personal space nabbing that floor coin, you risk it. My big rule is "don't be a d!ck".

    Oh, and while I don't have a car, I did buy a Red Cross preparedness backpack. In the condo, I have interior storage with its door right by the door, so that's where it goes. My financial/personal paperwork is imaged on a USB drive. I'm keeping the spare cash in a nondescript plastic grocery tub. I used to joke that the best place to keep spare money is a slightly damp tampon box. (at 51 tampons are in the rearview mirror). Believe me, no robber is gonna dig around in that. Big Grin

  10. baselle Says:

    @MEC - My sister's partner (both live in Milwaukee near Riverwalk) has a unique skill set. She finds big bills on the ground. Man, I wish. She claims that near the bars is good hunting.

  11. IndianGal Says:

    I hope you continue to find all that money while also doing a new project!

  12. MonkeyMama Says:

    I read somewhere on savingadvice that the cat litter box was the best place to hide money. Big Grin Actually, I have also heard "in a baby or a child's room." I think it just depends on the situation. Most random teenagers (most the ruffians where I live) probably would not bother to look in a litter box or a tampon box. Wink Though maybe a professional would.

  13. Wino Says:

    I think that the $300 to $500 estimate might be more correct for cash on hand reserves. That would pay for at least one fill up and two nights in a hotel, plus two or three meals. By that time, the ATMs will be working, or folks will be making accommodations since no one will have cash.

    I keep about $1000, because I'm anal-retentive, and we had to go two weeks after Ike without any electricity. We couldn't get gas without a two hour wait in a very, very long line, so there was no driving across town to use ATM's that were working again. Gas was cash-only for the whole time, to my memory.

  14. baselle Says:

    Oooh, inside the litter genie. Its not dirty (litter is in a bag), but not even remotely obvious.

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