Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Change Breakdown IV

Change Breakdown IV

Updated total: $222.98
Here are the totals of cash in the ChangePot as of May 31,2006:

Bills: 31 (+7 bills)
Total value: $152.00 (+$106.00)

Hundreds: 1
Tens: 2
Ones: 27

Coins: 920 (+154)
Total value: $70.98

Dollar Coins: 1 (new)
Quarters: 138 (+18)
Dimes: 255 (+21)
Nickels: 118 (+18)
Pennies: 408 (+97)

My first Monthly Report

Here's my first attempt to document all found change for the month of MAY.

(16) Bills/Paper Currency
1 dollar coin
56 Quarters
100 Dimes
49 Nickels
579 Pennies

Monthly Total: $154.55
Dollar Finds: 14/31
Hundred Dollar find: (1) May 25th Atlantic City
Five Dollar find: (1) May 9th Jersey Gardens Mall
Largest Day Total: $100.99 (May 25th)
Smallest Day Total: 8 cents (May 2nd) Opera day!

Changepot Maintenance

It's been eons since I've checked the changepot email account and I was pleased to find some Q and A's by Changepot readers. Here are a few emails with my answer in blue:

Dear Mrs. Krabs,

I've been following your blog for a few months and have noticed that your totals are increasing rapidly. What methods are you using to find change since I can only seem to find pennies and nickels at best?


Greetings Heineken,

Love the name, by the way! The dramatic increase in finds is due to the amount of walking around we do as a family. We spend approximately four hours a day in after homework/work activities in order to increase fitness awareness. Four pairs of hawk eyes scouring each nook and cranny yields exaggerated amounts of change at the end of the day. Plus, people in my school hate bending to pick up change. 80% of the coinage in the changepot comes from two college campuses. I lovingly pick up coins of all denominations and add them to the changepot.

Dear Mrs. Krabs,

I dig the idea of documenting found money online and would like to start a blog of my own. Where are the best places to find change, in your opinion?

Broke CSI student

Hola fellow CSI student!

I am happy that you're taking the first step in documenting found cash. I will say that my own enthusiasm stemmed from this awesome blog called "Change is Good". I found that site from a personal finance forum and have been checking it out ever since. While there are a handful of found money blogs online, CIG is by far the best blog if this type that I've seen thus far. As far as good places to find change, these are the areas which I usually find em' suckers:
1. Near/under snack machines at any venue or mall
2. Drive-thru windows (best time to catch prime moolah is in the AM rush hour crunch)
3. Car wash (especially near the vacuum areas)
4. Handball/Tennis Courts
5. Parks/ Jogging Paths
Good luck on your search and please keep me posted on your blog creation!

Today has been RATHER TUFF for change finding. I found ONE PENNY at the handball court. That's it. Un centavo. Well, I guess one penny is better than nothin', right?
Hubby left me a voicemail that he found $2.47 while traveling around the city but until I see it, I won't believe it.


Holy cow! Hubbster walked in with some serious coinage inside our little claire's bag. Inside the changebag, I found the following:

One dollar bill
Five Quarters
Three nickels
and Seven Pennies

Apparently the buck and three quarters (nice find!!) were left by a tourist right by a metrocard machine (the price for two rides is $2- they didn't have enough, I guess) . Hubby gave it the twenty second rule then scooped it up and went on his way. The other two quarters were discovered in the parking lot outside of a local hospital. He's got amazing luck finding money. I, on the other hand, could use a rabbits' foot or something. Speaking of rabbit's foot, I spotted a wild hare on the fort hamilton base today as we "indulged" in some minor food shopping.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.48
Total Since Blog Inception: $222.98

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days

Today I received a pleasant surprise in the mail. A refund check in the amount of $250! While this is TOTALLY UNEXPECTED money, it doesn't count towards the Changepot total because it wasn't found on the floor. Besides, if I found that kind of money on the floor, I'd turn it in because I wouldn't want that on my conscience. I've not yet decided what i'm going to do with the moolah. I guess I'll save it for a rainy day...


Today we found a total of $1.38 in the form of one dollar bill, one quarter, one dime, and three pennies. It was so yucky outside today, I am actually quite shocked we found any change in the first place. The quarter and one penny was found in Micky D's. The dollar was found under a vehicle in Brigantine, NJ. The dime and two pennies were found at Shoprite during a late milk run. I'm so pooped I think i'll edit the post later or tomorrow to add more info.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.38
Total Since Blog Inception: $220.50

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

The above pic was one I was ogling for a few minutes prior to posting my finalized blog entry. Keanu has this natural look that photographers love. This pose is classic. He is classic. All hail Keanuman- the champion metrosexual!!!

Ok, ok... the heat is seriously warping my brain here.


For those of you who don't know, today is MEMORIAL DAY!!! A day for barbecues, fancy parties, and colorful flags. Also a wonderful day for sales. I am not quite the shopoholic in this house, but I do love shopping for change challenges. I can't get enough of those silvery coins!
Okay, I am still exhausted from last nights' shenanigans (didn't get home til 5am) so without further ado, the loot:


Today we found a total of $0.41 in the form of one quarter, one dime, one nickel, and one penny. We concentrated on manicuring the premises (gardening, maintenance) for an upcoming special event. The quarter and dime was found across the street from my home (I heard when the jogger dropped it). We found the nickel and penny at a local pizzeria where we stopped to grab lunch.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.41
Total Since Blog Inception: $219.12

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Good Times

The Krab clan went to visit some great friends on the other side of the island. We had so much fun! We started the summer off right by having a little BBQ and lots of chatty chats. I have also discovered a very lucrative spot for change hunting!!


Today we found a total of $5.43 in the form of a three dollar bills, six quarters, six dimes, two nickels, and twenty three pennies- making it a very profitable day altogether! We found cash in the most obscure places- at handball courts, near garbage cans, under cars in parking lots, and the best place of all, right in front of my house (thanks to the virtual stranger who felt compelled to leave some coinage chez moi!)

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $5.43
Total Since Blog Inception: $218.71

Saturday, May 27, 2006


The pic above is the entrance to the Williamsbridge Oval park. I spent many summers here as a child, and now I brought my children to walk and play in its all-too familiar surrounding. They slid, they swung, they even shared some cotton candy. Heck, hubby even found change here. Life can't get much better than that!

Zoo York, Zoo York!
We went over to the Bronx Zoo again today. The WCS membership has been put to good use this year. The kids joined in the festivities and even designed their own butterfly wings during BUTTERFLY BLAST to commemorate the 25th year of the Children's zoo (wow, now I feel old.. I remember when they first opened it. shhhhh, don't tell hubby!!).


Today we found a total of $1.81 in the form of a dollar bill, one quarter, four dimes, two nickels, and six pennies. We spent the better part of the day in my old stompin' ground, and apparently the ground felt compelled to unearth change for us. The dollar find was the most rewarding since I was with two other change hunters and they failed to notice the booty on the floor.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.81
Total Since Blog Inception: $213.28

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bleeps, Bloops, and Blunders (Music inside)

If there's one thing I can't stand it's inappropriate discipline out in public. Today while on my way to the city, I spotted a mother yelling at her son. Apparently the little tot ate something off the floor (i'd be upset too, I guess) . The mother had another child in a stroller whom she neglected while she chased down the dejected floor picker. She slapped him up without a care. I can't say I agree with her methods but I can certainly sympathize with her frustration. Kids. Part of me now understands where these grays came from.

It's raining here. The sky's a vicious grape jelly color blended with thick cigar smoke.

The rain reminds me of Billie Holiday. Lyrics are provided below for sing-along.

Days I knew as happy sweet
Sequestered days
Olden days,
Golden days
Days of mad romance and love
Then gay youth was mine
Truth was mine
Joyous free and flaming life
Then Sooth was mine
Sad am I,
glad am I
For today I'm dreaming of

Yesterdays (snap)
Days I knew as happy sweet Sequestered days
Olden days,
Golden days
Days of mad romance and love
Then gay youth was mine
Then Truth was mine
Free and flaming life
Sooth was mine
Sad am I,
glad am I
For today I'm dreaming of



Today we found a total of $1.97 in the form of three quarters, six dimes, eight nickels, and twenty two pennies. Pickins are slim since school's out and the donut addiction is waning. We also found a two pence coin (1987), and a FAKE NICKEL.
This was the same nickel we spotted months ago at Jersey Gardens. Turns out it wasn't a barbie nickel after all. Fellow change blogger Bailey had the same issue as well with a fake coin. See what he has to say by clicking here. I'll take a pic of the coin later on.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.97
Total Since Blog Inception: $211.47

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Unexpected Outing, Unexpected Finds

I usually write my blog entry later in the day but something rather odd happened last night. Mr. Krabs and I rarely go out by ourselves these days but when we do, it's either a trip into the city or Atlantic City for a few hours of slot machine frenzy. Last night we chose A.C. for a few hours of mindless entertainment. After we spent our allotted play money, we went changehunting. After securing one nickel and five pennies, hubby decided to go into some obscure casino as the last pit-stop before the long last mile home.

This decision contributed a $100.00 bill to our changepot cause.

Ladies and gents, I can't stress enough how rare this is. Finding a hundred dollar bill is perhaps the hardest challenge of all. Finding any money in Atlantic City is quite difficult considering the massive amount of folks that are out there with the exact same purpose. We saw people collecting cans, picking up pennies, we even spotted folks picking up half-smoked cigarette butts like it was some amazing prize. Conmen, Street "workers", and the like are also on the prowl at the midnight hour- making it much more difficult to changehunt comfortably.

Also, I must take into account that this is the largest find ever. Hubby has now officially found $100, $10, $5, and $1. He needs a $50 and a $20 to complete the paper collection. I am adding the hundred and ten cents to today's total since it occurred after Midnight. If I find money today, I'll add it in the form of an update*.

UPDATE- 0810
In addition to the unbelievable find, we found a total of $0.89 in the form of two quarters, two dimes, two nickels, and nine pennies. The morning trip to Dunkin' Donuts yielded 57 cents. The rest of the dough came from a voyage to Manhattan in search of a skirt.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $100.99
Total Since Blog Inception: $209.50

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Change Breakdown III

Change Breakdown III

Mr. Krabs did the totals today. Voila vous-en!

Bills: 24
Total value: $46.00

Tens: 2
Ones: 21

Coins: 766
Total value: $62.51

Quarters: 120 (+6)
Dimes: 234 (+21)
Nickels: 100 (+9)
Pennies: 311 (+97)

Wacky Wednesday

The Wholesaler War- BJ's Versus COSTCO
May 24th, 2006

Suburban American packrats like myself often feel the need to buy copious amounts of items as opposed to the standard supermarket portion. Wholesale shopping saves time and money IF done correctly. When I moved to this island ten years ago, I'd never heard of wholesale stores before. Fast forward a few weeks later and BAM! I found COSTCO. Don't get me wrong, I love the place. Where else could you buy institution sized coffee containers and hundreds of coffee filters for under ten bucks? Hubby spends that on three cups' worth of Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla (Extra large, extra cream and sugar).

Yesterday at COSTCO we spent 100 bucks on things that would normally cost us three times the amount if purchased at an outside convenience store (gotta love brownbagging!!).It is only after you embrace the love of shopping wholesale several times that you start to wonder what's on the other side of the fence. I knew COSTCO had a few competitors (BJ's, SAMs club) and so the frugal detective in me started to wonder, Could this BJ's be a little less costly? Heh heh....WRONG!Last Saturday, Hubby and I intercepted a free sixty day membership pass to BJ's. I felt a little naughty, as though I'd defected to the other side of the wholesale cause but I quickly got over it. At first I was impressed because the store looked alot cleaner than COSTCO. Sadly, that was the only positive in my experience. Aside from a few minor things that aren't available in COSTCO, the rest of the items were equal or slightly higher in price. Green seedless grapes were $9.99 in BJ's while COSTCO has them for $7.99. The biggest jump in price I noticed was in the head and shoulders shampoo- BJ's has it for $9.99 while COSTCO's that and other shampoos for $6.99. The meats were MUCH higher in price... I'm talking at least four to five bucks in difference.I'm thinking location might have something to do with the price difference? If there's one thing I learned from this experience it's this: IT DEFINITELY PAYS TO COMPARISON SHOP, EVEN IN WHOLESALE STORES!!


Today we found a total of $1.36 in the form of four quarters, one dime, and twenty six pennies. The first three pennies were uncovered during our AM workout. The four quarters were all discovered at a car wash in NJ. I followed a hunch since I was in the neighborhood and it paid off! Another nearby carwash yielded the dime and four pennies. The remaining pennies were all found at a taco bell drive-thru. Normally I don't like taco bell for lunch but the 1950 wheat penny was worth it. Thank you, Taco Bell!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.36
Total Since Blog Inception: $108.51

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

High School Musical is out on DVD - Got your copy yet?

Psst... HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL is out on DVD today. Got your copy yet? Sandy Cheeks begged me to get it and I caved in. $14.99 at Best Buy. She is sooo into this right now. Heck, she's even got Kitty chiming along to the soundtrack. Thumbs up, Disney, for finally coming up with something ORIGINAL.

I am so happy! Now that school's out I can catch up on favorite pastimes (READING!!!!) and spend time with my kitty cats. Today we spent 80% of the day outside (it's too beautiful to stay in nowadays) . I did slide a bit on the cleaning up aspect but it's ok, there's always tomorrow!

I've got a few books lined up for summer reading.
Ooh.. on a happier note, I am delighted that my former colleagues raised enough ruckus to get Arnie Kantrowitz a well deserved Dolphin Award for Excellence in Teaching. Love ya Special K!

Here's the poem I was discussing during the ordering, S.

“Alone” by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody
But nobody
Can make it our here along.

Alone, all along
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it our here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can
T use
Their wives round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.

But nobody
No nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can here the moan,
Cause nobody
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone



Today we found a total of $3.36 in the form of TWO dollar bills, one quarter, eight dimes, two nickels, and twenty one pennies. INCREDIBLE! Since we have incorporated healthy exercise in our family's downtime, our treks yield massive amounts of change. Here's the breakdown of loot and where we found it.

DOLLAR#1: Found in the grass by the baseball field (under the bleachers) at school. Judging from the looks of things, the bill has been living there for quite some time (apparently a bird ran out of toilet paper-see below).

DOLLAR #2: Found in the BEST BUY parking lot. Hubby's got excellent peripheral vision- where I usually confuse leaves for dollars, he knew what it was before any of us cared to look. You go boyyy!!!

The rest of the cash: Six dimes, two nickels and fourteen pennies were found all over campus. The rest of the change came from the mall where we had a quick lunch and hubby earned a fan (I'll let him tell the tale).

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $3.36
Total Since Blog Inception: $107.15

Monday, May 22, 2006

It all starts here...

I finished my paper for grad class and now i'm on official vacation YAYYYYY!!!!
Tomorrow is the first day of operation:scrubdown.... this house is filllthy.
Since I am a bit exhausted I'll just cut to the chase and report the changepot findings for today.


Today we found $2.03 in the form of five quarters, four dimes, two nickels, and twenty eight pennies. Even though we found a nice chunk of coinage, our normal changefind spot was EMPTY. Yes ladies and gents... we have officially exhausted our Dunkin' Donuts change hut.
The very first find of the day was discovered quite by accident at my favorite pizzeria . I happened to look down while waiting for my pizza and found a shiny, brand new Indiana state quarter. The rest of the change was found on campus and at the mall where we took the girls in hopes of exhausting them and instead wound up tuckering ourselves out for the night! FYI, there are some mutant looking pennies in my lil' changepot coinholder.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.03
Total Since Blog Inception: $103.79

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sacagewea on the prowl...

Despite Mother Nature's occasional showers, today actually turned out quite beautiful. I love it when the clouds look like fluffy cotton balls swirling across a pale blue sky. I didn't get a chance to go out for too long today. My plants are happy because today was fertilizer day for them. I sprayed them down, pruned their dried leaves, and played some Wagner for them to enjoy.

I noticed a few things today that I'd like to share:

1. I have a total of five gray hairs on my head (which I promptly pulled upon discovering the pesky lil' buggers).

2. People will NEVER exercise good manners unless you initiate first. If and when you do, they are so caught off guard that they wind up murmuring something that vaguely sounds like a half-grunt, half-whimper.

3. Prayers aren't meant to impress others nor do they have to make sense; it's what you feel after the Prayers that dictate the effectiveness of your mini-chat.

4. It takes alot more energy to stay positive than to be negative. I bet it burns calories too! :o)


Today we found $1.44 in the form of a one dollar coin (SACAGEWEA!), one quarter, one dime, one nickel, and four pennies. I was a bit shocked to find so much considering I only went to two places- Dunkin' Donuts for sweet nectar and school. Hubby found the dollar coin at the drive-thru along with a penny. It was cute seeing hubby pop back into the car with that familiar cheshire cat "I-found-something-nice" grin. The soft drink machine at school yielded a quarter and dime. On my way to the library to return a book on literature mogul Norman Corwin, I found a decrepit nickel. This one certainly counts as a pop tart. The remaining three pennies were found walking to the car. My daughter found a free-flying buck at a street fair while hanging out with the Rock and family.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.44
Total Since Blog Inception: $101.76

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Post 121: BJ and lobo...or rather, Why I love Being a New Yorker (PART ONE)

Today is a very special day!!!
First off, we are officially over the $100.00 mark (details forthcoming). Second, my brain is partially liquefied because I have 12 more pages to go and nothing is coming through. Complete writer's block. Instead, I feel like telling the story of my day and let the chips fall where they may....

BJ and lobo....why I love Being a New Yorker (PART ONE)

Today I received a complementary 60 day membership from BJ's in the mail. Curiosity got the best of me so I hopped in the car and off I went. We wandered through the aisles aimlessly, picking up crap we don't need. The total came out to about the same amount we usually spend in Costco. No sweat. We pack up groceries, say goodbye to BJs (mutual decision to not shop here because of price difference), hopped in our car and spot the gas price on the way out. $2.79! (That's 6 cents cheaper than our already super cheap gas price that we happily pay when in Jersey). Immediately hubby hooks a left and gets in line for gas (approximately ten vehicles in front of us). While we wait (not just us, mind you, there were at least a dozen hungry SUV's in line), some dolt with a dark blue BMW decides to cut us all off and pulls up to a pump. People start to fidget. My husband starts catching the vapors (when the eyebrows start to knit together, he gets a Hitleresque look that frightens the skittles outta me) but I shrug it off. What we fail to notice is that Beamer Man's gas tank is on the RIGHT SIDE (popular European gaudiness).

Well, apparently other folks missed that minor detail as well. Our turn came to fill up. As hubby gingerly pulls our car up to the open pump, we hear a barrage of curses fly out in rapid succession. Three different people start yelling at blue BeamerMan because of his blatant show of power ("I can cut the line cuz i'm special"). The already high-on-caffeine-and-something-else gasoline attendant (who looked much like a reject from a Jay and Silent Bob teen movie) tried to reason with the three raucous New Yorkers who continued to sling filthy curses, packed with a few ethnic potshots (the beamer man was Jewish) to no avail. The attendant then ran to the phone and called for a manager. I felt bad for the boy as he was getting a few choice words thrown his way as well but I couldn't focus on him. I was too busy absorbing every minute detail so I can spew it on this blog lol.

The vehicle behind us contained a massive, broad shouldered African American who had a face that looked exactly like Bubba Smith. He didn't get out of the car but I'm sure that if he did, it would have been an absolute nightmare. I think he realized why BeamerMan did what he did so he left it alone. The next vehicle (a jet black Ram 1500) yielded a visibly angry Italian American man. From a distance I observed what seemed to be a dark bluish vein frame the side of his head- he was FUMING. I dare not repeat the words I heard because I'm a God-fearing Catholic woman but I am happy because thanks to him, I have now uncovered new ways to conjugate the German word ficken .

The last potty-mouthed driver sprouted out of a tiny sedan. He didn't say quite as much as the Italian man did but i'm sure the urge was there. The Beamer Man popped out of his vehicle (along with his young son) and for a moment it looked like he was going to confront the Ram Stallion. He then turned and went back into his car. My guess is he was waiting for the manager to show up. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to see the rest of the spectacle because our tank was full. We did manage to catch the Ram driver do a DeNiro style point and nod of the head. I wonder if it'll turn any uglier?

So you're probably wondering why I love being a New Yorker? It's because people like the Ram man build a 'Don't ficken with me' reputation which makes the rest of us look like badasses too. Grrrr ::pounds on chest:: hear me roar!!!


Today we found $2.63 in the form of one dollar, three quarters, six dimes, three nickels, and thirteen pennies!! YAYYY! We have reached $100.00 in less than one year! (October 9, 2005- May 20, 2006) Our first find was one nickel and one penny at the usual Dunkin' Donuts. Our next chunk of change was found on campus during our fitness trek. The rest of the money was found in our coveted change haven outside of school. I have had a wonderful time finding change and it feels good to surpass the hundred dollar mark knowing that not one penny was mine to begin with. Ahhh buon fortuna!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.63
Total Since Blog Inception: $100.32

Friday, May 19, 2006

Paper Trails...

Not much goin' on today really. Been working on my paper and it's got me goin' round and round.... need... more.... sleep.


Today we found a total of $0.69 in the form of two quarters, one dime, and nine pennies. The first find was one penny by an escalator in the mall. Sadly, there was no other mall finds for Mr. and Mrs. Krabs. Sandy found two pennies (one which I called but she held on to the coinage) which I'm sure she's forgotten to add to her own jar. Once the rain cleared, we decided to go play some blue hoops on campus. Hubby cashed in on the metal pop tarts (that's what we call change that shows up in previously scanned areas after a rainstorm)- sixty eight cents in all. One quarter looked like it lived underground for a few years. We now welcome the newest addition to a more spacious living arrangement- inside my changepot.

I am contemplating cashing in the bottles I've collected from on campus and adding it to the totals tomorrow. I can't wait to see how far I get with that bit of coinage.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.69
Total Since Blog Inception: $97.69

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Change Breakdown II

New blog inductee Sandy Cheeks counted the money in the changepot today. Here are the totals:

Bills: 21
Total value: $43.00

Tens: 2
Ones: 18

Coins: 622
Total value: $54.00

Quarters: 104
Dimes: 213
Nickels: 91
Pennies: 214

Cleansing Rains...

It's raining.
Mother Earth comes through for the vegetation once more. All is right with the world... for now.
Today I stocked up on summer reads and gathered some articles for the dreaded term paper (cringe).


Today we found a total of $1.56 in the form of one dollar, three dimes, one nickel, and twenty-one pennies. Two dimes and two pennies waited to be picked up at hubby's usual change niche (Dunkin' Donuts). Hubby found the nickel and five pennies at a popular bus stop by the Ferry. The dollar was an unusual find at an unusual place (McDonalds). I don't usually like eating the stuff ever since I caught snippets of the documentary Super Size Me. The buck was found on the floor in front of the cashier- what luck! The last dime was found at the supermarket and the remaining pennies were found during our 3 mile walk.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.56
Total Since Blog Inception: $97.00!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chicken soup for the Change-Deprived Soul (PART ONE)

Today was Mr. Krabs' first day back to work after CVL. Today was also my last day of grad class (we ended the theme with gay war plays). I am officially out of it, folks.

Change Update:

Today we found an unexpected $1.34 in the form of four quarters, two dimes, and fourteen0 pennies. The first find, a quarter and dime, waited for us at the Dunkin' Donuts drive thru. Two quarters were uncovered while out to lunch. The last quarter and the rest of the booty came from campus (final classes = caffeine binges)

I learned something today.
As I overheard many people imparting chunks of wisdom, one particular conversation stuck out like a sore thumb. Two young women were discussing future professions while waiting for their professor to show up. I was just outside of the classroom so I was well within earshot. This is what my ears were subjected to (in Spanish):

A: "All you need is to get your B.A then take a few tests."
B: "I can't handle anymore tests. I really don't like English"
A: "You should like English. It's what pays you money. You should speak it more"
B: "I know. I can speak it, crazy girl. I just don't want to."

A short time after that remark, "B" explained to "A" that she is a native of Colombia and is here in the U.S with a student visa. She plans to milk the visa as much as she can before heading back to the hills. Ungrateful? Quien Sabe? God bless America.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.34
Total Since Blog Inception: $95.44

Top Ten Change find Moments

The ones without a link were not blog-documented but are personal favorites of ours nonetheless. Now, without further ado...

10. The cha-ching! Twenty eight penny find in traffic on the George Washington Bridge.
9. The "dollar is mine" personal find at the kiddie Tiny Town amusement center
8. Sandy's clever scoop and go quarter and penny find at Woodbridge Mall
7. The Kitty "I see a penny!" under the dumpster find at Dunkin Donuts on Mother's Day
6. The 'penny for your Auntie Anne's Pretzel' find at the Staten Island Mall
5. The Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon dollar find in the dry grass during CSI finals 05'
4. The five dollar pounce in front of Cajun Grill at Jersey Gardens
3. The UP Escalator Dime rescue at Palisades Mall
2. The quarter rescue by the engraved special occasion booth (right by cashier's foot)
1. The make the GAP sales rep get off her lazy butt and go into the display window quarter find (PRICELESS!!!)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Clean Cotton

Here it is-- the last day of Hubby's CVL. Time flew by so quickly! I am typing this in a hurry as I have to prepare the geisha for her spring recital.


Today we found a total of $0.71 in the form of three dimes, three nickels, and twenty six pennies. We also found a 1952 wheat penny but I am not counting it toward todays total. Again, it's funny that we found anything at all considering the weather (occasional showers / overcast skies outside). As we walked to the store, we were caught in the middle of a sunshower... it was kinda cool.

I visited a former Professor of mine today. The man is an absolute gem! I'll blog more about him later once my ray of sunshine returns from her concert!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.71
Total Since Blog Inception: $94.10

Monday, May 15, 2006

Karma's Blessings

I will start off this entry by saying this:

It helps to have good Karma.

Today I received a call that has elevated my spirits tremendously.
I'll address it further once I come off the cloud lol.


Even though it's still early (1:38pm), hubby and I found $0.41 in the form of two dimes, and nineteen pennies. It's funny that we found anything at all considering the weather (occasional showers / overcast skies outside).

We also found a 1947 nickel which hubby has declared a non-countable find. Apparently, hubby is attached to this coin so I won't question the reason. We found the nickel in the cafeteria during a Masters in Business Management seminar last night. Time to take the GMAT! I wonder if I can do two Masters programs simultaneously? It's alot of work but I like both English and Business (the two go hand-in-hand).

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.41
Total Since Blog Inception: $93.39

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mothers Day

Mother's Day- the only day in the year that mom is praised for all the hard work she does....
the cooking, the cleaning, the baking, the steaming, the dusting, the vacuuming, the linen washing, the laundering, the wiping of runny noses, the helping with homework projects, the reminding of chores, the balancing of bills, the gardening, the occupation of daddy....

Yep.. a woman's work is never done.


Today we found a total of $2.39 in the form of two dollar bills, two dimes, two nickels, and nine pennies. Two locations of the bounties found today are much more rewarding than the amount itself. Here's the breakdown:

$2.02: Whenever hubby and I are on the move, we grab a #3 at the local Dunkin' Donuts. This one particular location has always given us some change every time- yielding at least ten to fifteen cents in the drive-thru lane alone on average. Today while waiting for our order, our youngest shouted, "Penny!" pointing to a spot underneath a dumpster. Hubby immediately unbuckled his seatbelt and went for the penny without hesitation. As he bent over to pick up the penny, another lincoln was spotted near our tire. He picked up penny #2 and noticed a crumpled up green ball under our car. With much skill, hubby made his way under the vehicle and scooped up the ball. The ball turned out to be two george washingtons. Yayyy!

$0.20: The two dimes were found in perilous places that required much skill to secure them. Dime one was found underneath a bucket at a bath & body works store. Sure, it sounds harmless enough, right? W-R-O-N-G! There were swarms of perfume ninjas (definition: overly-aggressive sales reps that slather you with foul- smelling unguents against your wishes) cattily clawing about. As soon as hubby swooped down for the dime, one ninja appeared-basket in hand, asking if we needed assistance. I quickly distracted the ninja as hubby secured the coin.

Dime number two was sitting on the outside banister of an up escalator. I spotted it and informed hubby- who was already on his way around to retrieve it. He used a bag to move the dime forward and grabbed it in less than three seconds. I wanted to take a picture of this daring rescue but I proved too slow for Quick Draw McGraw over there.

On a higher note, my oldest daughter is now an official blogger. She has her own blog, Changepot Junior, which exists under my name on here. She's going to update her total tomorrow and is quite excited about it all. Three writers in the house! Yayy...

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.39
Total Since Blog Inception: $92.98

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Change Breakdown I

I will systematically hand count the change/bills in order to avoid over/under calculations. Today I was off by sixteen cents but that happened because I forgot to add the sixteen cents hubby found a few days ago. Here are the totals:

Bills: 17
Total value: $40.00

Tens: 2
Ones: 15

Coins: 515
Total value: $50.59

Quarters: 100
Dimes: 200
Nickels: 86
Pennies: 129

Walk with me...

Today the whole clan headed to the city in search of a kimono. Even though Staten Island is technically a part of New York City, you won't find any Islander saying "Manhattan". It is, and always will be, "the city" to us. Manhattan gave us 43 cents in the form of two nickels and thirty three pennies. We actually had better luck in Staten Island. Dunkin' Donuts provided us with 0.16 cents in the form of a dime and six pennies during our morning java run. Hubby also gave me 16 cents he'd found a few days ago. I am adding it now.

I'll update more later once I can feel my feet (we walked from the ferry to the village. Here are the mapquest directions:

Start: Staten Island Manhattan Ferry
End:Washington Square Park: 212-360-1311
1 Washington Sq E, New York, NY 10003, US

Total Est. Time: 18 minutes

Total Est. Distance: 5.74 miles

1: Start out going SOUTHEAST on COFFEY ST toward FERRIS ST. 0.2 miles
2: Turn LEFT onto VAN BRUNT ST. 0.8 miles
3: VAN BRUNT ST becomes DEGRAW ST. 0.1 miles
4: Turn LEFT onto COLUMBIA ST. 0.4 miles
5: Turn RIGHT onto ATLANTIC AVE. 0.5 miles
6: Turn LEFT onto BROOKLYN BRIDGE BLVD / BOERUM PL. Continue to follow BROOKLYN BRIDGE BLVD. 0.7 miles
8: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto CENTRE ST. <0.1>

Total Est. Time: 18 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 5.74 miles

We walked both going and coming... meaning our sneakers clocked in 11 miles. NIIICE!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.75
Total Since Blog Inception: $90.59

Friday, May 12, 2006

The power of ONE.

I woke up feeling optimistic for a change. Today's change finds proved my feeling was on the money (literally!). Hubby and I ventured out to run some errands and found many lonely friends. I received a wonderful gift from Hubby- a pink guess watch I've shad my eye on for months hehehe. Today is our "unofficial" anniversary- that is, today is the historical day we met for the first time and spent hours talking on my couch. He arrived at my doorstep in a beat up Mazda 323 flowerless (despite the fact that it was Mothers day a day earlier!) and full of hot air. I didn't like his appearance at first but he grew on me.. especially when he showed up in uniform later on (hubba hubba!) .

I could gush about how it's been since then but i'll spare you the details. Even though it's only one o'clock, the change hunt was quite successful considering last night's insane rainstorm. Here is the update:


Today we found $1.09 in the form of one quarter, five dimes, one nickel, and twenty nine pennies. All five dimes, the nickel, and twenty one pennies were found on campus throughout various buildings as I registered for fall grad classes. The quarter and eight pennies were found at the mall. I'll update more later since I am on my way back out to the city.

UPDATE!!! 8:50 PM

We found an additional $3.07 at a mall in the form of a dollar bill, four quarters, nine dimes, one nickel, and twelve pennies!! According to hubby, people were "droppin' dime" everywhere- and we were in the right place at the right time to catch them. Even DD caught 30 cents of her own (we are sooo proud of how she deftly retrieved the coinage without calling attention to herself!) . The four quarters were found after school (apparently the rainstorm flushed them out of their hiding places) and the dollar bill was found by a playground area. The dollar was my very first paper currency find and it felt great! What a way to end a week !!!

So here are the change finds today in total:
$4.16 in the form of one dollar, five quarters, fourteen dimes, two nickels, and forty one pennies.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $4.16
Total Since Blog Inception: $89.84

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Happy 65th, Momma.

Here is a photo of hungry butterflies at the Bronx Zoo's Butterfly Garden:

I am exhausted. Today grandma krabs turns 65 . I, being the only child, went on a shopping spree/binge. Our first stop was the Palisades Mall in NY- an area with little coinage ($0.15 worth) but decent shopping nonetheless. I purchased her gifts and headed over to our familiar change haven- Jersey Gardens. The last stop was our favorite grocery store for a quick cake and balloons. My ankle is feeling a bit better though.

Change update:
Today we found a total of $0.78 in the form of five dimes and twenty eight pennies. It was a tough day considering consumers were at work and the handful of shoppers present held on to every coin like a childhood grudge (ughhh.. i tried!). During our change hunt, hubby thought he'd spotted a quarter underneath a vehicle and it turned out to be a BARBIE NICKEL. Had we adopted the change race rules, Hubby would have to carry this thing around in shame.. heheheh hilarious concept!! I love those guys!

Changes a-comin' :

Pretty soon the changepot finds are going to decrease in amount because my partner in crime is returning to work. Our mile long walks are also postponed until my ankle heals. Here is a pic of the ugly pennies we found today- there's all kinds of green glop on it... yay new finds for the ugly change jar!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.78
Total Since Blog Inception: $85.68

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Changes within.... the Changepot

Here is a kamikaze penny- hiding in the wild.

Fellow numismatics:

I have exhausted all approaches in cleaning pennies. Taco sauce, ketchup, vinegar & salt, even tarn-x are no match for the clogged stuff. After lengthy deliberation, hubby and I decided it was in our best interest to convert our corroded currency into cash (whoa.. alliteration!).
Last we counted, the changepot had a little over 800 pennies and a handful of ugly (green, reddish brown, rusted etc.) coins. I took ALL of the changepot pennies to the bank today- smiling because all of it was FOUND MONEY and my reward for this service would be some crispy bills in exchange.

We were given $10. 17 for the exchange- meaning our changepot received an additional $1.05 from the sorter. At first, I questioned the machine's integrity. The teller informed me that prior to our transaction someone had spent an awful lot of time processing sacks of coinage. Apparently the person beforehand forgot to push in what turned out to be a SUSAN B. ANTHONY ($1.00) , a nickel, and a penny into the coin sorter. WHOOPEEE!! A dollar five for showing up on time for some free dough... ::doin the happy dance::

While waiting online to get my dough, hubby spotted a penny and what looks to be a very abused quarter. I will not add the quarter as it is barely recognizable but at least he's got a companion quarter that I found in the mall eons ago. Two other quarters are pictured to show some semblance of normalcy:

Later on we found more change- $0.68 in the form of two quarters, one nickel, and thirteen pennies. I am on my way to grad class so I may find some on campus... who knows? :) $0.09 cents in the snack lounge found by Mr. Krabs himself.

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $1.83
Total Since Blog Inception: $84.90

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Even pigeons get the blues.

Today Hubby and I ventured into Manhattan. What started out as a routine trip to the gym turned into a half hour ferry ride and a four hour walk around the city. We went to various places of historical value. My feet are so swollen
right now!

Changepot Happenings:

Today we have found $0.22 in the form of one dime and twelve pennies. A dime and a penny were discovered at Borders book store in the city and the other eleven pennies were all found in Manhattan. One more thing... I figured Manhattan would be ripe with change considering the amount of people that pour through the streets on any given day- WRONG!


We went back out to the mall and found a total of $5.48 in the form of one five dollar bill, three dimes, one nickel, and thirteen pennies! That makes our total $5.70 exactly. YIPPPEEEEE A new changepot milestone!!

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $5.70
Total Since Blog Inception: $83.07

Monday, May 08, 2006

"I'll take that paper"

The title today pays homage to the greatest video game ever: GRAND THEFT AUTO. heheh.
I am sitting here with extreme writer's block (not good considering my 3500+ word paper is due in less than two weeks). I am in love with my minnie mouse pen.

Changepot Conquests:

New cash record- Our find today is $3.05 in the form of one dollar, four quarters, three dimes, four nickels, and a record breaking fifty five pennies. Sixty two cents of it was found before 2pm. Here is some of the breakdown:

A Quarter and dime were spotted at a handball court. A nickel and two pennies popped up near the cafeteria and the other pennies were scattered all over the place. The penny finds are getting much harder to document for some reason. I think I better create a template to keep track before my weary mind forgets :(

The Dollar bill, two quarters, a dime and a nickel came from our new undisclosed location ;-)
The rest of the money came from Stop & Shop and the mall. Altogether it was quite a busy day!
Love and frankfurters

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $3.05
Total Since Blog Inception: $77.37

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Will.. and graciousness.

I spent the better part of the day on campus. Hubby and I watched our school team battle the John Jay College Hurricanes. The speakers were lousy and the crowd was tiny BUT somewhat tolerable. After traipsing around campus looking for goodies, I sat down to hear Professor Peter Keil (pictured above) give a hearty lecture on Shakespeare's "King Lear". Keil and Shakespeare are as synonymous as PB&J in my school. Personally, I prefer Professors like Keil instead of the antsy, artsy fartsy ivy league schoolers (like Greenfield). Good Job, Professor K (Thumbs up!)

Changepot Conquests:

We have uncovered a new area to find change. I prefer not to disclose the location as it is soooo ripe and continues to amass more fruits DAILY for our hungry changepot collection bags. Today we found a total of $2.45 in the form of five quarters, six dimes, four nickels, and forty pennies. Ok.. I'm off to enjoy some time outside before the sun sets. I also found a Canadian quarter, a Canadian cent, and an odd asian coin. I will take a pic of it and if anyone knows what it is, please email me because I am sooo curious lol.
Muchissimo Amor

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.45
Total Since Blog Inception: $74.32

Cheesecake anyone??

My whole day was spent commemorating events from twenty some odd years ago. We had a family special occasion and I got to spend time with my clan. Perhaps i'll post pictures once I develop them. After the occasion, we trekked over to the cheesecake factory and then walked around this mall for a bit. The mall was packed and, as luck would have it, ripe with change!

As per blog title, Menlo was a success for both hubby and my daughter. The dynamic duo found a total of 59 cents in the form of five dimes, one nickel, and four pennies- all in various parts of the mall. Some coins were uncovered with a little help by the resourceful Mamma Jambo (spotted 20 cents of it).

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $0.59
Total Since Blog Inception: $71.87

Friday, May 05, 2006

Post 103- New Milestone!!

A couple of days ago, I posted that I had reached close to $70.00 in found money. Last night, I realized I was way off ($1.17) and felt a bit bummed. What I'd failed to realize is that I had amassed a collection of recyclable cans ($1.10 worth). That-along with today's totals has put me into the first of several changepot goals ($70, $100, $150.00+). The reason I chose $70.00 is because when I started the change questing, I had just spent that amount on one book for school. I paid it with my own hard earned cash (mannn it stung!)


And the sun is shining today.


Today we found $1.35 in the form of two quarters, five dimes, two nickels and twenty five pennies. We also cashed in twenty two recyclable cans for a total of $1.10 (One dollar and one dime) . Altogether our total for the day was $2.45- taking our totals well over $70.00! There is nothing sweeter than seeing progress in effect!!!!

The best find was in the middle of an INSANE intersection here on the Island. Hubby parked the vehicle on the side and retrieved forty cents without batting an eyelash. I love this race. That's all for today as I have a BIG DAY tomorrow. I'll be sure to post about it :)
Mucho luvvvv
Change Statistics:

Dollars: Tens (1) = 10.00
Ones (13) = 13.00

Quarters: (85) = 21.25
Dimes: (166) = 16.60
Nickels: ( 72) = 3.60
Pennies: (683) = 6.83

Total units: (1020) = $71.28

Total Cash found and redeemed today: $2.45
Total Since Blog Inception: $71.28

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Playin with Photo progs...


Change in the Wild: POST 101

Do they grow on trees?
Do they propagate?
Are they telepathic?
These coins were photographed "in the wild"- unedited, uncensored.
These and much more were all found on campus (where the starving college students gather day in and day out).
Change Hunting season

Hubby and I set about our morning PT with heated discourse. I enjoy our intense discussions because it gives me a chance to see the world through his perspective. We chatted about writing plays, social decline, and our recent love of finding dropped items. The rest of the day was spent running errands for the big weekend coming up. Ladies and Gents, it is officially change hunting season. I have personally witnessed a few people drop change and walk away from the coins for whatever reason. I am shocked. Numismatics Unite!! Now, without further ado...


Today we found $1.05 in the form of one quarter, three dimes, five nickels, and twenty five pennies. It was a very good day coin-wise. Sixty two cents (Three dimes, three nickels, and seventeen pennies) was found scattered on campus (see pics above). The remaining discovered at the indoor basketball courts (apparently we made it in before the cleaning lady swept up the place). After a decent workout, we made it to school where we found the other dime, two very corroded nickels, and twenty one pennies. The remaining change was uncovered at Walmart in New Jersey as we shopped for a booster seat. All in all, it seemed a most uneventful day-despite the little fights we witnessed along the way.
On an odd note, after counting all the money in the changepot, I noticed that our total is actually $68.73. I am thinking someone has messed with it since the coins are easily accessible-but I can't convict without evidence. It's okay though... it is still very close to $70.00!!

Total Cash Found today: $1.05
Total Since Blog Inception: $68.83

(WHOA.. We're $1.17 away from $70.00!!! woohoo!!!!!!)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The "Operation"


The above pic is of a penny hubby rescued from the air vent earlier today. The fine young lincoln sat there, awaiting our rescue for goodness knows how long. Today we did our usual thang- gym, errands, etc...
Today we found a whopping $0.57 in the form of two dimes, two nickels, and twenty six pennies. The first find (a dime) was discovered at the indoor basketball courts (apparently we made it in before the cleaning lady swept up the place). After a decent workout, we made it to school where we found the other dime, two very corroded nickels, and twenty one pennies. The remaining change was uncovered at Walmart in New Jersey as we shopped for a booster seat. All in all, it seemed a most uneventful day-despite the little fights we witnessed along the way.

Total Cash Found today: $0.57
Total Since Blog Inception: $69.52
(WHOA.. We're forty eight cents away from $70.00!!! woohoo!!!!!!)

Haiku for Charlie

Oh Charlie Sheen.. what happened to you, dear boy?
You were once so strong, so virile... love got to you, didn't it?
People need to stop bashing him- this tuff guy needs a little slack considering he beat addictions to get with his (bleep-obscenity-here) faced soon to be ex wife. Quel Dommage.

Here's a crusty Haiku- fresh outta-my-head at 5:36am for Chucky Estevez (uhh... I mean Sheen):

born free above all
to smack and shove them in style
women run the wild

Ok. End sympathy here. Read allegations HERE. I guess you get what you bargain for. Denise should have known better considering her man was a regular customer of Heidi Fleiss and all. And Charlie's got all these women around him... three daughters for cryin' out loud!!! Some chicks just never learn (pauvre Denise!!)

Or perhaps she's just filling in the size seven stillettos of former rock 80's partygirl Locklear? I think she looked her best in TJ Hooker . I tell ya, Something was passed along inside that kiss in Spin City. (If you want to know more about those kinds of kisses on TV, click HERE)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Mild und leise,
Isolde's aria from Tristan und Isolde

Mild und leise Mildly and gently,
wie er lächelt, how he smiles,
wie das Auge how the eye
hold er öffnet --- he opens sweetly ---
Seht ihr's, Freunde? Do you see it, friends?
Seht ihr's nicht? Don’t you see it?
Immer lichter Brighter and brighter
wie er leuchtet, how he shines,
stern-umstrahlet illuminated by stars
hoch sich hebt? rises high?
Seht ihr's nicht? Don’t you see it?
Wie das Herz ihm How his heart
mutig schwillt, boldly swells,
voll und hehr fully and nobly
im Busen ihm quillt? wells in his breast?
Wie den Lippen, How from his lips
wonnig mild, delightfully, mildly,
süßer Atem sweet breath
sanft entweht --- softly wafts ---
Freunde! Seht! Friends! Look!
Fühlt und seht ihr's nicht? Don’t you feel and see it?
Hör ich nur diese Weise, Do I alone hear this melody,
die so wundervoll und leise, which wonderfully and softly,
Wonne klagend, lamenting delight,
alles sagend, telling it all,
mild versöhnend mildly reconciling
aus ihm tönend, sounds out of him,
in mich dringet , invades me,
auf sich schwinget, swings upwards,
hold erhallend sweetly resonating
um mich klinget? rings around me?
Heller schallend, Sounding more clearly,
mich umwallend --- wafting around me ---
Sind es Wellen Are these waves
sanfter Lüfte? of soft airs?
Sind es Wogen Are these billows
wonniger Düfte? of delightful fragrances?
Wie sie schwellen, How they swell,
mich umrauschen, how they sough around me,
soll ich atmen, shall I breathe,
soll ich lauschen? Shall I listen?
Soll ich schlürfen, Shall I drink,
untertauchen ? immerse?
Süß in Düften Sweetly in fragrances
mich verhauchen? melt away?
In dem wogenden Schwall, In the billowing torrent,
in dem tönenden Schall, in the resonating sound,
in des Welt-Atems wehendem All --- in the wafting Universe of the World-Breath ---
ertrinken, drown,
versinken --- be engulfed ---
unbewußt --- unconscious ---
höchste Lust! supreme delight!


Today we found $0.08 in the form of one nickel and three pennies. Hubby found seven cents in the DD drive thru and I found a penny on the way home from a kickass half hour workout at the gym.

Total Cash Found today: $0.08
Total Since Blog Inception: $68.95

Information of relevance for the Class of 06'

Automatic Wealth for Grads
by Michael Masterson
...and anyone else just starting out
(provided by the Dollar Stretcher)

You've just graduated college and you'd like to be wealthy
someday. Of course, you would. Problem is, you have no clue
how to make it happen. First, you're broke and drowning in
student loans. Second, no matter what the "experts" might say,
it feels like there are tons of fellow grads fighting over a
handful of jobs. Third, though you don't mind hard work, you
don't want wealth to come at the expense of a social life, a
family, and the chance to do some good in the world. Should
you give up the dream and content yourself with an average

Not only is it completely possible to become a
multimillionaire before you retire, but also you will never
again have the advantage you have now: youth.

Most young people simply have no concept of how simple it is
to build wealth. I didn't say easy, because hard work and
self-discipline are required, but simple. Any reasonably
intelligent person with a fairly ordinary career trajectory
can do it. But now is the time to get started. With every year
that passes, your window of opportunity closes a little more.
Sounds good, right? Read on:

- Understand the astonishing power of compound interest. If
you take a penny and double it every day for a month, how much
would you end up with? A hundred dollars? A thousand dollars?
How about a million dollars? Not even close. Starting with a
single penny, if you double it every day for 31 days, you end
up with $21,474,836.48. That's compound interest. That's how
you get rich. And that's why, when it comes to wealth
building, your age gives you a major advantage.

- Starting with your first job out of college, invest 15
percent off the top. By the time you retire, you'll be a
multimillionaire. Yes, you've heard the "pay yourself first"
principle before. But you probably don't realize just how
wealthy it can make you. Let's say you start making an average
income (which according to the National Association of
Colleges and Employers is $30,337 a year). Assuming that you
are good at your job and get consistent annual raises of 4
percent, you'd be making $43,170 a year 10 years from now, and
$140,046 in 40 years. Not only will you be making more money,
but also you will be able to save more money. If you
consistently (and that means every year) deposit 15 percent of
your income into investments, compound interest will begin to
accumulate like you wouldn't believe. Assuming a return of 10
percent a year, you'd be worth about $5.5 million when you are
ready to retire.

Pay out your money in the following order:

1. First, pay the government because they can get very nasty
if you don't.

2. Second, pay yourself. Put the aforementioned 15 percent of
your income in some sort of investment.

3. Third, pay the interest on your debts, such as credit
cards, student loans, car, etc. Keeping that debt low is

4. Fourth, pay for non-critical parts of your life. Those
would include entertainment, travel, and toys.

Of course, all of this advice hinges on your finding a decent-
paying first job. Here are a few tips on landing one:

* Forget the standard resume-cover letter program. Instead,
write a direct marketing letter that lets your prospective
employer know you understand what his problems are and that
you have the solution to them.

* Call the office of your prospective future boss and ask for
a short, non-threatening informational interview. This is a
great way to get in that locked door and find out a lot of
personal and professional information about your target
prospect. You may even end up with the job before you leave
the office.

* Remember that the hiring interview is a sales call. Let the
customer talk as much as he wants. Listen. Nod your head.
Smile and agree. When he asks you a question, give him the
answer that he wants to hear. If you've been listening
closely, you will know what that is.

* If you feel you might not get the job you are seeking,
suggest that you can do a project for the company on a
freelance basis. Perhaps even for free. It works in selling
vacuum cleaners. It should work when you're selling yourself.

Don't succumb to the temptation to pay for prestige. A big
part of being able to save the requisite 15 percent involves
not blowing your paycheck on expensive cars, high-dollar
meals, and trendy couture. But that needn't mean depriving

Beautiful, comfortable clothes are not cheap, but they don't
have to cost a fortune. You can buy a great pair of slacks for
$150 or you can spend 10 times that amount. The difference
will be the label on the waistband. The point is this: The
best material things in life are affordable. They are not
cheap (quality never is), but if you buy them selectively and
use them with care, you can enjoy a life as materially rich as
Bill Gates on an income that wouldn't get him through lunch.

Right now, you may think becoming a millionaire is not a
laudable goal. You might say money doesn't matter. Well, it
may not matter now, but it certainly will when your kids are
applying to colleges or when you're approaching retirement.
Financial independence frees you to live a rich, fulfilling,
authentic life. And that's the true definition of wealth.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day!! May Day!!

Today was such a blur! Hubby and I headed over to DC for some official business and didn't get home until 11pm on the dot (just in time for Will and Grace!). We spent 90% of the day on the road so our healthy eating went right out the window. On a happier note, I was able to see some beautiful foliage and spend some quiet time under the sun with Hubby so all was not lost.


I am surprised that we actually found change today. The places we went seemed barren at first but if there's one thing I have learned in my seven plus months of change hunting it's not to doubt the existence of dropped coinage! We found a total of $0.44 in the form of one quarter, one dime, and nine pennies. Three pennies were unearthed at our gym in the wee hours of the AM. Two pennies were found at an underground parking lot in DC. One penny was found in the lobby. A quarter was discovered at a local sandwich shop where we grabbed a quick lunch-I had the worst chicken parm ever. On the way back, we found a dime and three pennies at a rest stop in Md. where we grabbed dinner (Moldy pizza).

Total Cash Found May 1, 2006: $0.44
Total Since Blog Inception: $68.87