Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hidden Wealth

I forgot to do a blog about this. It's only remotely wedding-related, but it is definitely related to being thrifty!

So awhile ago I blogged that we were going to roll up our loose change (mostly Mr. T's loose change) and deposit it in the wedding fund. Mr. T got about a quarter of the way through and lost steam, and to be honest, I didn't really feel like helping. Rolling change is really unappealing, especially pennies, and we had mostly pennies. I'm a bad helpmeet, I guess. Or is that helpmate? I'm also bad at tossing out archaic terms.

So the change sat there, and Christmas came. Mr. T and I didn't really have a lot of cash to buy each other gifts this year, but we promised each other to finally get the Playstation 3, which is also a BluRay DVD player. Mr. T and I really enjoy playing adventure games--he drives, and I give advice: "Over there! Watch out behind you! Try that door! No, press the red button first, then the yellow one!" Surprisingly, Mr. T appreciates my backseat driving, so it works out. It must be love!

Mr. T had a few unused Amazon gift certificates, and when our friends asked what we wanted for Christmas, we told them more Amazon GCs, and some of them very nicely humored us, so we had oh, maybe half what we needed? A little less? (Mr. T also added a wireless internet base station to the list so we don't have to run a cord into the living room, along with HDMI cables, splitters, the remote control for the PS3, etc.).

Unrelated to this, Mr. T and I decided to do a New Year's purge. Our apartment is pretty small, and any clutter is very hard to hide! So I sold 8 bags of books (although you can hardly tell!) and Mr. T sold two bags. Oddly enough, we both got the same amount of money, due to a sneaky first edition in his stack that we were going to donate to a women's prison last year, but they wouldn't take hardcovers, thank goodness. Anyway, we decided to put the cash toward our purchase.

We also discovered that a little store by our house has a Coinstar machine. You pour all of your change into it, and either it takes a percentage of the total (if you want cash), or it gives you a gift certificate with no fee. Amazon was one of the options for the gift certificates, so we unrolled all our rolled coins (all of Mr. T's hard work down the drain), put all the coins into a bag (a very very heavy bag), and gave the machine our money. It turned out we had $207 in coins! Over 4,000 pennies! Crazy.

So, at this point, we were almost at our goal, but we had more stuff to sell: the old PS2 games we'd already played (which netted us $50) and some movies and CDs ($27).

Enroute we also donated old towels to an animal shelter and old clothes to a thrift store. We felt so liberated!

And, the good news, we ordered and received the PS3--so exciting. We're going to have a movie night soon. I believe our gift certificates and random cash covered almost the whole thing, except maybe $30? And now our house is so much more open! We both feel really good about it. Who knew we had all that money hidden in the house? ;-)


Pica Maloria said...

As to the videogame side seat driver - that's awesome!
My honey has tried to teach me to play standard video games (Bioshock is awful purty and clever), but I've gotten frustrated with my inability to see all of the stuff I need to do unless he's pointing it out to me (which he's more than happy to help with and is totally sweet about it) I do love the wii, however!!

NiCole said...

Wow! (Do you see my impressed look?) No wonder you guys didn't want to finish rolling the pennies--that would have taken forever. That's awesome what you were able to do with sources of loose change.

We decided to itemize deductions on our taxes this year, and so kept receipts from thrift store donations in 2008. We had a significant increase on our return this year, just by keeping track. It's amazing what good can come of being thrifty! (Besides, it's green, too.)