Date: 27 March 2014. Unconventional Money
Guest author Everywhere Man.
This article is for
The Writer's Block.
It's written by a website guest in response to the age-old quest of
how to have enough cash to live this life. Comments are encouraged.
retired and traveling the United States in a land yacht.
Everywhere Man welcomes visitors to his place on the 'net:
This post is the result of a
conversation I had with a guy this morning where I'm current camping
in Tonto NF [National Forest]. I had been watching him while my
coffee was brewing as he was going through the dumpsters. He had a
big huge red bag, that looked to be about 48 to 60 inches in
diameter that he had fixed up to hang on the side of the dumpster in
an open position. He was using one of the mechanical hands used for
reaching things on high shelves to go through the bags in the
dumpster to remove the cans and bottles.
I gathered up a bunch of the
plastic water bottles and took them over to him rather than just
tossing them in there later after he'd left. He was driving a nice
late model Dodge Ram pick-em-up truck and was dressed nicely which
made be believe this wasn't his only source of income so in an
effort to learn, I asked him how long he'd been doing it.
He said at that particular spot
with it's 6 big dumpsters only about 4 years, but had done other
spots for over 12 yrs. He and his wife began collecting cans and
bottles to help their grandchildren pay for their college. Their
grandkids were long done with college and his wife had since passed
away, but he still did it, he said mostly as a motivation to force
himself out of the house and while it also supplements his
retirement, a lot of it goes to charity and his church.
I asked how many can/bottles he
gets....he said when the weather's nice and people are out
camping....it can be as many as 400 to 600 at that site
alone....when it's not so good it's more like 300 to 400.
One of the most frequently asked
questions in general I get in investing discussions is even when I
mention it only takes a price of a Starbucks a day, is..."I don't
have the price of a Starbucks to spare....I barely make it now. So,
this is to relate some of the ways I've used myself over the years
to save "extra" money, without sacrificing.
Some of these don't
provide additional money,
but only a simplified method of saving a little.
Spare Change.....I've always hated
dealing with change. I don't like having to deal with it. When I'm
checking out and the tab is say $326....I always pay with bills,
going to the next highest dollar....then I toss the change in my
pocket....by the time the end of the day comes, the change in my
pocket is getting too heavy. I never take it out to pay that cents
part of the next tab....it holds up the checkout line, you end up
dropping a coin etc....so I just deal with the folding stuff. Then
at night I toss it into a big coffee can. Usually every 90 days I
roll it up and it ends up being about $300. This amounts to about
$3.33/day I'm saving which is better than 8% more than the $2.75/day
I used in an early example of saving.
I went ashore today and my change
amounted to $1.11. Thanks Everywhere Man. (signed Janice)
Couponing.....Now I'm not a big
coupon clipper and most end up expiring before I use them, but they
do hold a lot of value. I tend to make a game of it. If I get a
coupon for my cats food that is say $2.00 off, before I go to the
store, I'll toss 2 dollar bills into my coffee can, or more commonly
known as my sock. If I'm buying a new camera or lens and it has a
$50 or $100 rebate, I do the same thing....when I get the rebate
check, I just throw in in the coffee can with the change.
Treasure hunting.....this can take
many forms. In my case I enjoy using my metal detector. While I have
found a couple of valuable things...a nice 4ct sapphire in a 14ct
gold men's ring....mostly it's just lost change. I don't do it every
day, or even every week, but when I do, I probably average around $4
during the couple hours I'll be out with it.
Some people can find
deals in flea markets, swap meets and antique stores. My buddy
collects antique radios etc., meaning he knows the values of them.
He came across a Regency TR-1 pocket transistor radio, with case and
original battery (no longer made) in the box NEW....he bought it for
$11 sold it on Ebay a month later for $5,200. Most of us are at
least closet experts on something. Whether it's Barbie's, railroad
lanterns, or bolo ties. I know there's one van dweller that buys and
sells hand printed silk scarves for a profit.
Hobbies can nearly always be
turned into a profit. Maybe not something profitable enough to live
off of, but profitable enough provide money to save and invest.
[My hobby is miniature oil paintings of
nautical scenes inside seashells. Janice.]
Cans & Bottles....In states with
the Redemption values of 5-cents a can or bottle, pickup 55 of them
and turn them in and you have your $2.75. In those states without
the CRV [the California Redemption Value
is a deposit on soda and beer cans] program, you can sell them to the aluminum recyclers by the
pound which fluctuates based on the price of aluminum.
Coin Roll Sorting....
You can buy rolls of coins from your bank from a single roll to
boxes of rolls. Nickels, Dimes, Quarters and Halves. In sorting
them, you're looking for the pre-1964 when they were still made
of silver. This was far more lucrative several years ago than it
is now, as more people have caught onto it. The banks handle
them as face value, but the silver content makes them worth much
more than face value.
As of Friday's [14 March 2014]
close these are
the values of the various denominations.
All considerable more than
their face values. This only came to mind this morning as I was
walking into a Home Depot and saw a dime on the ground and
picked it up....it happened to be a 1954 "silver" Roosevelt
making my 10-cent find worth $1.55.
- Nickel 1942-1945 Face Value = .05
Silver Value = $1.2076
- Dime 1916-1964 Face Value = .10
Silver Value = $1.5526
- Quarter 1916-1964 Face Value .25
Silver Value = $3.8814
- Half Dollars 1916-1964
Silver Value = $7.7629
- Half Dollars 1965-1970
Silver Value 40% = $3.1741.
Collecting cardboard for those
with a pickup can work but again, the price fluctuates widely. I had
a guy picking up our cardboard every week when I still had my
company. He began originally as a way of earning extra money to pay
off $8,000 of credit card debt, but after that was done kept on to
save money for his daughters college. He had a regular route he'd
established that he hit on his way home from his regular job. He
picked it up on his way home at night after work and dropped it at
the recycling place on his way to work in the morning so he wasn't
incurring any additional costs in his collection.
If you're a decent photographer
you can sell select photos that are particularly good on various
sites like smugmug or artists sites etc. Same with other crafts you
may be handy at.
You're not attempting
to make a living
or get rich at it....only to make a few EXTRA dollars.
I'm sure others who may read this
will offer up their own suggestions for ways of saving money to
© Everywhere Man.
His website is:
The Writer's Block
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