Monday, September 10, 2012

Curb Cash

I don’t think there is a week that goes by that either I or my husband aren’t finding money on the ground or something on the curb that someone threw out that has plenty of use and value left in it.

I know a lot of people don’t think much of dropping a penny and therefore don’t bother to pick it up. But, when you find 2 to 10 cents every day it adds up in the piggy bank. What about finding more than that? My husband and I were on a walk and he found a folded up $20 bill on the ground. When I was little I found a folded up $100 bill on the ground in Chicago. This is nothing to scoff at.

When the money you find is not actual dollars and cents, it can turn out even better for you. How? Who reading this has gone dumpster diving or curb diving or found themselves being an alley-wookie (thanks for the term, Star Wars loving friend of mine)? These things people throw out can have a lot of value to you or someone else. And I don’t just mean by selling the scrap metals.

Here is a list of items my husband in particular has found on curbs, in dumpsters during student move-out, and elsewhere.

-          Dollars upon dollars of change and folded cash

-          Brand new bottles of cleaning products and new boxes of aluminum foil

-          Cut and ready to burn firewood (we haven’t had to buy firewood in years to fuel our backyard get together events)

-          Desks (yes that is plural)

-          Tables and chairs, side tables, and other furniture]

-          Expensive china, still in the box!

-          Live plants

-          Old house parts like doors, hardware, trim, fireplace covers, claw foot tubs, marble sinks, and other hard to find and expensive architectural treasures.

This is by no means a complete list but you see what I mean? All of these things have value and do not belong in landfills. Many of these things, if you don’t need them, you can donate to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Old House Society, and thrift stores. You can even get a tax write off for donating these things. Or, have a yard sale.

It will never cease to amaze me how much people will throw away without thinking twice about it. I know we have become a throw- away society but are we also a lazy society? Do we not value things as much as we used to? I remember my grandmother sewing on numerous buttons and sewing up small holes in clothing. Do people do that now or do these clothes go in the trash? I don’t claim to know anything about sewing but I know a good tailor that does, and that has saved me a lot of money.

So, it all comes back to money. This all goes to show that being environmentally responsible isn’t going to hurt your pocketbook, but can actually help it. Maybe now my husband will have some competition out there while scanning the curb for treasures!

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