I can’t believe that Saving Mr. Lincoln – November 2013 Update is the 10th post in this series! My how this year has flown by! In February this year, I launched this personal challenge to myself after reading a small sidebar blurb in a magazine about how other people have successfully saved money by saving $5 bills that they receive as a gift or as change from a purchase. I was intrigued and thought “hey, I can do this!”
You see, I’ve never been a “saver”. As a child, I briefly had a savings account set-up by my parents, but it never made it to my young adulthood! There was always something I wanted to buy and as the old-fashioned saying goes, that money always “burned a hole in my pocket”.
It wasn’t until 1981 or 1982, when my employer adopted a 401(k) plan, that I had any kind of savings plan at all. My excuse, for not saving throughout my young adulthood, was that it was difficult to meet month-to-month bills AND party and have a good time, much less save. So, I didn’t save. At all.
Side Note: 401(k) is named after the section of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) code and was enacted as part of ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).
Anyway, I’ve never been a saver until now, so this is kinda, sorta a big thing for me!
Here’s the “key” for me: it’s painless. I don’t even think about it. When I receive a gift of a $5 bill or receive change from a purchase and it includes a $5 bill, I think “woohoo! I have another $5 to add to my stash!” Once I get home, I immediately take it out of my purse or wallet and put it in an envelope to take to the bank to deposit. I never, ever view this money as money that I can use. It’s taboo. Off limits.
If I need $5 for something else, I break a $10 or a $20. I never relinquish those “hard-earned” $5 bills. Painless!
I’ve used the butterfly on the daisy photo above for this post because like a butterfly, my temptation is great! I love things just as much as the next woman. I love beautiful knicks-knacks, dishes, clothes, books, magazines, shoes, purses, cosmetics, etc. and I’m constantly challenged to walk out of a store empty-handed. Those moments are rare, but when I do, I pat myself on the back and say “self, good job! You didn’t buy anything!”
But, when I do, indeed, buy something and use cash, those $5 bills represent attaining goals, achievement, success to me!
BTW – I took the above photo with my fancy, dancy camera in the beautiful garden of Mom’s Pies Julian shop, which is technically not in Julian, California but on the outskirts of Julian in the town of Wynola. And, I walked into the shop and didn’t buy a pie. Walked out empty-handed! In all honesty, I would have bought a pie, but I’d already bought a pie from another pie shop! I was looking for some apple cider!
But, I spent time in their beautiful garden and snapped lots of pictures! The garden has picnic tables so that guests who buy a single-serving of pie, instead of a whole pie, can sit and eat and enjoy the garden. Here’s a picture of their sign:
And, here are some of the flowers from the garden:
In a garden bursting with flowers, it’s hard to take pictures of flowers without bees and butterflies! They are everywhere, flitting from flower to flower! Did you know that there is a “bee shortage”? Yep; there’s a bee shortage in the United States (it might be worldwide; I’m unclear about that). Anyway, this bee shortage has long-term ramifications in that numerous crops are pollinated by bees and without them, there will be shortages of those crops. A story for another day…
Or, you can Google it!
Oh, you want to know how much I saved this month, don’t you? Sorry, I got sidetracked with flowers, bees and butterflies! I saved $65.00! A disclaimer though: this $65.00 includes $5 bills that I receive from Charlie as “gifts”. He’s participating in this challenge by giving me his $5 bills. So, there’s really two of us doing this challenge.
Here are the totals for the last 10 months:
- February 2013 – $40.00
- March 2013 – $110.00
- April 2013 – $80.00
- May 2013 – $70.00
- June 2013 – $145.00
- July 2013 – $100.00
- August 2013 – $130.00
- September 2013 – $125.00
- October 2013 – $75.00
- November 2013 – $65.00
Total for Saving Mr. Lincoln – $940.00
Oh, one more story to share: on this day, at Mom’s Pies, Charlie stayed in the car. We were on a mission to find apple cider made in one of the mountain towns in San Diego County. When we arrived at Mom’s Pies, the parking lot was busy and Charlie decided not to go in. I went into the store, looked around, saw no cider and left through a side door, looking for the restroom. The restroom is located on the side of the building inside their garden area. So, when I came out of the restroom, I stayed for at least a half hour taking pictures in the garden.
When I was done, I left the garden and headed for the car. No car! I walked around the entire (small) parking lot looking for Charlie and the car! No Charlie! No car! I started to panic because I had nothing with me. No cell phone (left in the car). No purse (left in the car). No money (left in the car). Just me and my camera.
I couldn’t figure out what happened. Did he get hijacked? Why would he disappear like that? He wouldn’t leave me stranded; at least not intentionally!
Just as I was getting ready to walk back into the very busy pie shop and ask to use their phone (and announce to a pie shop full of strangers that my husband was missing!), I see our car driving back into the parking lot from the road. I walk up to him and say (as he rolls down the window), “where were you? I was so worried! I thought you’d been hijacked or something!”
“I was worried about you, too! You didn’t come out of the shop and I thought maybe you’d walked down the road to one of the other nearby stores, so I went looking for you!”
Moral of the story: if you leave your hubby behind in the car, make sure you take your cell phone and some money! You never know when they might leave you behind!
If you missed any of the earlier Saving Mr. Lincoln posts, you can catch up by clicking on the links below!
(other Saving Mr. Lincoln posts)
- Saving Mr. Lincoln
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – March 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – April 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – May 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – June 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – July 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – August 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – September 2013 Update
- Saving Mr. Lincoln – October 2013 Update