Making Sense Of Dollars – GIVEAWAY

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Like so many people, a big part of our family budget is making sure the loan repayments are made.

Loans are like that 90’s hit by Poison, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn: They look fantastic for getting what you need now instead of later, but you need to be aware of the pitfalls or you could get hurt.

The first question you ask yourself shouldn’t be how quick you can get the loan to buy something, but rather things like: Do you really need the thing your borrowing for right now? Could you save for it instead? Is there a cheaper ‘thing’ (secondhand) which would suit? Can we really afford the extra strain on our family budget?

Basically, is it worth it?

When I make my annual foray into the local primary schools to talk to the year sevens about finance, I always touch on this because although they won’t be considering loans for at least another six years, I think it’s important to plant some basic awareness of this into their malleable pre-teen minds before they harden up into something better described as marble.

Loans have their place in budgets of almost every family. After all, credit cards are a handy way to pay your bills and personal loans are ideal for things like upgrading your car. And if you know anyone who has bought a house without needing to borrow the money send them by my place because I want to shake their hand.

When I do my chat with the grade sevens I always talk about the differences between credit cards, personal loans and home loans, and the good and bad associated with each.

Like with credit cards, I explain how some people borrow money to buy dinner. Unless they pay that card off in full every month, they’re essentially paying that meal off for years. With interest!

The kids catch on pretty quick. Quicker than I did as a 20-something, when a $500 credit card kept me poor.

Then we move on to personal loans which are a great financial tool for families because they allow them to purchase bigger items such as furniture, renovations,  major repairs or maintenance and even the aforementioned cars.

But they can also get people into trouble if not approached sensibly.

“Hand up anyone who thinks borrowing money to go on holidays is a good idea?” I ask the year seven kids.

The example I give here, because I’ve seen it over and over again, is when a couple are getting married and want to take a nice long honeymoon overseas. Having a debt to pay off may not be the best start to a couple’s financial life together. And if they feel they have to borrow for the holiday, maybe something a little less exotic and a lot more local would suffice.

Another reason you might consider a personal loan is to refinance any existing debt with crippling interest into one easy and manageable payment which actually has an end date in sight.

And why wouldn’t you? Not only do personal loan interest rates tend to be up to half those of credit cards, but credit card companies are quite happy for you to pay their minimum payment and then draw it out again (meaning the debt can continue until your estate deals with it) whereas a personal loan is for a set period of time and every payment you make gets you closer to having that payment back in your purse.

The important things to remember when looking at personal loans is to not rush in so you’ve a chance to check out that fine print, shop around for a financial institution with a good rate and terms, and only borrow what you know for certain you can absolutely afford to pay back.

It’s common sense really, but you’d be surprised how many people rush in without considering there’s no use buying the flashest new car if the repayments put you in a position where you can’t afford the fuel to run it.

After all, you want to leave yourself with enough brass in pocket so you and your family have a chance to stop and smell the roses occasionally.1H8A4403 copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to People’s Choice Credit Union, I’m giving away not one but THREE $200 Visa giftcardsAll you need to do is ‘like’ their Facebook page ( then write in the comments below a funny money story (like your funniest financial blunder). Answers will be judged on creativity and humour.

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 ’Raising a family on little more than laughs.’


  • In 2008, my cousin from San Francisco, was touring Australia. His Australian mum had saved her Australian money from her last visit back home. She gave it to my cousin when he came out. The money was our old paper money, not our current plastic currency. Mr D, went into a supermarket and the young check chick had never seen our old currency. Mr D then went to the nearest bank to change it. The young teller had never seen our former paper currency and had to call the manager to verify that Mr D had legal tender. Manager confirmed and Mr D finally got current money. Mr D and I still have a laugh about it

  • Customer rings can u come and shoe my horse today , I’ll be at work so I’ll leave the money in the stables inside the feed bin.. Farrier does his job and goes and looks for his money , to see the corner of a fifty dollar note deposited in the straw in a pile of mulla .lol.

  • When I first lived in Poland, and their currency hadn’t been decimalised (this was in the early 90’s). I did my first real grocery shop (unlike the Poles who shopped each day), I was shopping for a week. Well, the embarrassment of getting to the checkout and being told it was over 3 million Zloties, and then attempting to find the corresponding money while barely understanding the language.. was NOT my idea of fun!

  • No humorous stories spring to mind, but spending 10 months unemployed probably taught me more about budgeting and prioritising than ever before. I’d never been without an income before, and now that I have a new job, I find myself hesitating to buy things even when I actually do need them. New goal, actually saving! (and it’s a little bit exciting, I’ve never been able to keep money in a savings account before)

  • My children are obsessed with money so we started paying them to do jobs. My 4 year old who gets 5c a day for making her bed recently went to Kmart with $4 to buy a toy and I had to count out her pocket money on the counter to pay- all in 5c pieces. Of course there was a giant que and a tantruming 4 year old who wanted her pony now.

  • My 3 year old daughter wanted a wooden train set. We checked the price and she started saving all her coins. A few months later we saw that the train set had gone on sale for half price. We tipped out her piggy bank to see how much she had saved. She had enough saved to buy two train sets to make ‘da biggest eva twain’! a very happy little girl starting to learn the value of saving…….and also taught her another savvy woman shopping tip: never pay full price for anything! sooner or later the item you covet will go on sale

  • In high school, my mum used to auto deposit $17 a week for pocket money into our bank accounts – a very specific amount so we couldn’t use the ATMs and had to go into the bank and think about our withdrawals a little harder. Crafty, that mum of mine.

  • when I was little, my younger sister was a very impatient person so when her pocket money was due, she wanted it now. one day my parents didn’t have her $5 note so dad paid her in 20cent coins. she was so excited that dad offered her a $50 note to swap for her money. she told him he was trying to steal her monies because she had more than him.

  • I have a boy with a “Midas touch” in our family. Everywhere he goes he finds money. Once he was covered in bites of course late on a Saturday when the doctors weren’t open. So I took him to ED and got a prescription for some steroid creme. Went to the late night chemist and while the script was being filled he found a total of $11.70 in coins that people had dropped under shelving and counters and what not. That was his biggest haul ever!! Never been so happy to be bitten by the Gold Bug!!!

  • My grandmother told me ‘never put money near your mouth, you never know how many strippers cracks it’s been in ‘ wise worlds, put it in the bank instead ;0)

  • My grandmother told me ‘never put money near your mouth, you never know how many strippers cracks it’s been in ‘ wise worlds, put it in the bank instead ;0)

  • My boys just got there first bank statements the look on their face was priceless. Easy Way fir them to see money does not grow on trees but if you put it in the bank it dos grow.

  • My sister and I were at an auction recently and were bidding on a set of two steam mops.
    She put in the first bid of $5 than I put my hand up to my bid of $15
    She looked at me like “why did you just bid against me?!”
    I said I didn’t another bid from over there came through!!
    She didn’t believe me, thought I was silly for bidding against her, until we got up to pay and she seen that there actually was another bid!
    So while she was thinking I was the silly one, I was actually the smart one who was listening!
    Always pays to pay attention when spending money!

  • My husband is Irish and after trips back to Ireland he would always have Irish pounds left and would always put them in a ‘safe place’. When Ireland changed to the Euros, I encouraged him to find those hidden away notes and of course he had hidden them away so well he couldn’t. He assured me there wouldn’t have been many Irish pounds left. In the school holidays I found the missing Irish pounds, over 2000 of them. Probably worth about $4000 in Australian dollars. I nearly died of shock. That money, which is now worthless could have done our family a lot of good!

  • a few years ago my 3 year old son buried his pocket money in the fish tank, i asked him why and he said because if anyone touches my money they can go and sleep with the fishes

  • I told my daughters, 3 & 6 years old, that we just didn’t have the money for a trip to the movies that day. They both nodded and disappeared for a while and when they emerged they had pooled all of their money box coins together. They told me that they knew they probably didn’t have enough for everyone, but I could go. They made such sweet faces that needless to say I found the money and took my girls to the movies!

  • At my daughters 7th birthday party I had a parent sidle up to me and conspiritaly whisper that the money was in the envelope. They moved away so quickly I just thought I must have misheard them. Then a second and third parent did the same thing. Apparently my daughter had told everyone to give her cash instead of presents because she was saving up for an Ipod and we weren’t giving her enough pocket money.

  • I was attempting to teach my son a lesson regarding the value of money and so for his birthday we planned to only give him money to buy the things he wanted, hoping he would then treat his things better (as he had paid for them) and more importantly that he would learn you cannot always have what you want as often you cannot afford it. When his birthday came we told his grandparents (thinking they would give him $20 each) and we gave him $50, we thought he would have about $100 to spend. We were so wrong, in the end he had over $500 to spend and got everything he ever wanted including a digital camera and a Nintendo DS. He asked if we could do that every year cos he gets better stuff that way lol 🙁

  • I always get confused with the gazillion coins in my wallet when travelling in Europe so when I get the counter, I throw out my coins and get the honest shop assistant to pull out the ones she needs!

  • We homeschool and were trying to teach our youngest dd about coins. She is quite sensitive and this made coins particularly difficult for her. She was upset that their values didn’t coincide with their size. She ended up crying so loud and got so upset about this that the neighbors could hear. It was a good laugh for all, obviously not in her presence. 😀

  • Living in a small country town is fantastic – someone will always spot you if you run short at the shop (mind you, they always want you to pay it back!!) but what happens when you travel a 500km round trip to Perth and realise that your purse isn’t in your handbag? DISASTER! I needed to take Master 15 to the airport to travel a 1300km flight home after the school holidays. Arriving at the airport, I asked him to get my purse out of my handbag to put the parking ticket in. “Um, mum, no purse” “What do you mean no purse? I popped it in there last night” I sat and thought to myself, oh shit, it’s still sitting on the desk! I was suppose to be doing the girls back to school shopping as well. Luckily for me, Master 15 had $20 in his wallet, which I stole for parking. We had also arranged to meet a friend for lunch. Instead of cancelling our day, I headed to the nearest bank. After a 30 minute wait in line with Misses 8 & 4 whinging at me to hurry up, I made it to the teller. Explaining what had happened, she set about trying to make sure I had money. The account I told her wasn’t linked to another account and they were going to have to ring hubby to get his authority. He drives a fuel tanker and was in the middle of a trip 1000km round trip and had very little phone service where he was (and he has to turn off the phones in order to unload)! I tried to give them his truck number, which they weren’t allowed to call as they needed to use the number they had! PHEW, he actually answered the phone (which is rare when he is travelling due to service problems) and after an hour being in the bank, I finally got my money and our day went on. I have since made sure I carry a small amount of cash in all my handbags and I put my purse in, double and triple check that’s it’s really there!!! One bonus is I now know how hard it is to get money out without ID!

  • As a teenager my Dad offered me $20 to come with him for the weekend and help him set up and watch a stall at a train show. That $20 was the only reason I went, I don’t remember ever getting the cash but I did meet the teenage boy that, once we both grew up, I married. Good trade I reckon.

  • Being one never to want a card of any sort as we always said if you don’t have the cash then don’t buy it. Now being oversea’s a couple of times I have found it so much easier to use a card than trying to convert & work out how much it is to buy in Australian money while at the counter. Now Iam finding that a lot of times now it is all one can use to purchase things or buying on line. I guess I better move with the times before we are a cashless society.

  • When I was 18 I had my first “proper” job and my driver’s licence so it was time to buy a car. As I was a young girl with no knowledge of cars beyond “this one is pretty”, I got my dad to come along with me.

    I found a car I wanted to buy and could afford with finance, so my dad and I went to find a salesman. My dad’s advice was “let me do the talking, pet. These salesmen will try to rip you off and we have to talk them down”. Sounded good to me!

    So we’re sitting in the salesman’s office and the salesman sits down and says “So we’re looking to get $10,995 for this car” (which was the price on the windscreen) “which includes a full tank of petrol, registration for 6 months and we’ll clean it before you drive it away”. Without batting an eyelid my dad said “Oh that sounds good, we’ll buy it”.

    Now that I’m older and wiser, I still rib him about his fantastic negotiating skills in getting a great bargain!

  • back when I was a young boy maybe 9 or 10, the local deli used to buy glass bottles for 5c each. I’d diligently save them all up and at the end of the week go down and trade them in, spending the money straight away on chocolate.

    got to the stage where I’d spy bottles on the way and pick those up too for some free money. then I’d start taking the long way to the shop to try to get more bottles.

    The long way took me to the back of the deli and there was the motherload of bottles. maybe 20 or so. So I added them to my bag and cashed them in. That was a far easier way of making money so I got lazy, would just take a plastic bag to the shop, take the bottles from out the back and bring them round to the front door where I’d get paid for them. I know there were a few occasions where i got multiple 5c from the one bottle. I was making about $2 a week and thought I was an evil mastermind but every evil mastermind has a nemesis. My mum found ou t what I was doing and marched me down to the deli where i was made to apologise to the owner who thankfully saw the funny side and just called me a rascal.

  • When I first started internet banking, I paid my first bill online and I was so proud. When a month later I got my bank statement, I wondered why I had no money in my account. Oh no, guess what I did? Instead of paying $200 to my gas company, I cleaned out my bank account by paying them $2000!!! That extra zero has made me so careful today when I pay my bills.

  • Much as I like to think I’m fairly sensible with my money and haven’t made many blunders (though there’s always the potential to start), as a child I tended to hide odds and ends of cash around my room and in various items of (my) clothing – in order to one day have what I’d read about as the ‘joy of finding money unexpectedly in a jacket pocket’ etc. Sadly my good intentions were never to last long and I’d invariably retrieve the cash long before forgetting its location, in order to pay for some vital need (such as lollies at the tuckshop or a ride at the school fete).
    A blunder? Perhaps not. Amusing? It is now, though I am yet to discover the joys of finding forgotten cash in a jacket pocket. Bother to the Queensland weather that means I wear jackets only once or twice a year…

  • My children recently discovered my old money collection which contains a lot of 1 & 2 cent pieces and the old $1 and $2 notes. They are fascinated with the dates on the back of each coin and asking when all the people in the family were born to compare to all the coins LOL.

  • Dropped my wallet at the train station with my coin pouch still opened, all of the coins fell out an elderly gentlemen offered to help, and then proceeded to pick them all up and then take off without giving me any of my change back!

  • My husband and I get $100 budget a fortnight to spend on whatever we want. I was running low one fortnight so I decided to borrow a $20 note from my husbands wallet, anyway he went to pay for his morning coffee while at work and all he had was a note saying ” I owe u $20, love from wifey” he was a bit embarrassed, but I got a good laugh when he rang me to tell me…..

  • My MIL gave our two girls $20 to share so I asked DD1 if she would give me 2 x $10 of her money and gave her the $20 note….well the look on DD2 face when she seen DD1 received the $20 note and she only got a $10 note was priceless!!!! I left the explaining to hubby!

  • My 12 and 2 year old get paid with monopoly money, which they can spend straight away on a trinket or save to get something big from the Mummy Shop. My 12 year old doesn’t like saving, so still has the DS Game at the shop, my 2 year old on the other hand is still saving to get Dorothy Dinosaur and keeps insisting that it is her money to put away and keep safe. It’s very cute lol

  • My friend and I just started full time work and she needed a little bit extra to cover her so I loaned her a bit of extra cash. We went to casino at lunch just for fun and she had $5 left. Yep, she won $300 and gave me back the money she owed and also vowed never to go back to a casino as all her luck was used up!

  • My mum is one of those paranoid people who secrets money around her house. When one of her pipes burst and they had to clean everything up, she found thousands of dollars worth she had hidden over the years, so she put it away in a safe place – and now she can’t remember where it is!

  • Many many years ago a family was talking about the fact that her daughter could always find something she wanted to buy no matter which shop she went into. Her mum said to her, “If you went into a shop and there was a turd sitting on the shelf with a price tag on it you would want to buy that too.” I have never forgotten that and I went on to have a son who was just the same but I never actually said the same thing to him although I should have.

  • my son keEpson hassling memail to buy him toys with the 15 cents in his wallet drives me crazy I really need to teach him the value of money.

  • When me and my sister were children, we got $2 pocket money. Anyway I told my sister do you want me to hold it, you will lose it. She ended up losing it and leaving it on the shelf in the shops. A young boy came up and took the money off the shelf. I asked her where her money was and she said I don’t know. So we saw the boy and I made her ask for it back. She was so embarrassed but she did it.

  • Our little man already understands the value of money, which is why At 6 he is already I. The habit of picking up any stray coins he finds lying around the house and reminding us that it is “finders keepers” around here.

  • Christmas Time… David Jones, Sydney … biggest shopping extravaganza maybe (probably) at Chrissy time in Aus. I lost my 5 year old and my 3 year old loudly told everyone “we are looking at what the rich kids get from santa” …

  • My first month working at a chain sandwich store a customer came in and did the “confuse the poor counter girl with swapping change” scam and ended up $50 better off. I felt so bad I burst into tears. Lucky I had awesome bosses who to this day still laugh at me.

  • When I was in high school I was getting ready to go on a camp. I was working part time and so I thought I would be a grown up and go and do my own shopping and get all the things I “needed” for camp. When I got to the checkout all the items went through and what do you know I didn’t have enough money on my card to pay for it! I asked them to hold my items so I could go to the atm and get money out and combine it with what I had in my wallet to pay for it all. While at the atm I withdrew a little over $100 and without taking the money out of the atm I started counting what was in my wallet to see if I had enough all up. Except I didn’t know that if you leave your money sitting there in the atm too long it swallows it back up! Panic set in I had no idea what was going on.. and needless to say I didn’t get my shopping that day. Mum took me shopping the next day and I definitely didn’t get as many “necessities” this time around.

  • My 5 year old daughter asked me if I could put more money in her lunch order bag, so she could get some change. When I quizzed her as to why, her reply was “so I can get money from the tuck shop to buy an iceacream at lunch, and you won’t have to pay for it”.

  • My daughter is eight and beginning to understand doing chores for money. After a few weeks she said she could not wait to grow up and go to work and do some chores there for even more money…… unrelated to finance but looked at me very weirdly when I hugged her after the above comment and told her she doesnt want to grow up, being a grown up is not cool and stay a kid as long as you can.

  • Our youngest child was very well planned, we had to go through the scary but amazing IVF process to get our gorgeous baby boy. The funny money moment though, came when I had to go and pay for the procedure before everything happened! My eldest daughter (Miss 6) was with me so saw the transaction ‘Wow! That’s a lot of money Mummy! What’s that for?’ My response was ‘Hopefully and baby!’ Then came the fun question! ‘Did you have to pay for me too?’ Asked Miss6. ‘No Darling I got you for free!’ ‘Oh’ she says, ‘That’s lucky! You got one of each! One for free and one for money!’
    Love how kids see things! But yes we are lucky!

  • A funny money story – well, I can’t say finances are exactly my strong point, and even less of a strong point would be my business acumen and sales expertise. To illustrate this: my first venture into trying to make money took place when I was about 10. I must have seen pictures of those neighbourhood stalls people make, selling lemonade or some other delicacy out the front of their house to passers by. Noticing that we had an abundance of gumnuts on the ground from a large tree, I convinced my brother and sisters to collect these gumnuts into small bags, and start up a stall at the front of our house, selling bags of gumnuts (complete with signage). The asking price, 10 cents. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t get any takers. =)

  • My funny money story – I’m an accountant and I can’t add up very well. You know those big questions you get – my budget is this much, we take this from there, save this much and then spend this much more on something new – how much is the budget now??? Don’t look at me. I take my calculator with me to every meeting. Oh and I love spreadsheets 🙂

  • Earlier this year I received a call from the school principal after my 7 year old son had tried to use a $50 note at the tuckshop! They thought it was a bit odd & called me straight away, turns out I was missing $50 from wallet! He was trying to buy ice blocks for himself & all his friends lol.

  • Mmmhh my funniest financial blunder would have to be my forgetful husband!! Continually letting things like gift vouchers expire and keeping gifted Euro’s in his drawer for 11 years instead of exchanging them and putting them into interest earning savings or on our mortgage.

    Be assured if I am lucky enough to win a $200 gift voucher I will be ensuring it is spent – and wisely too. 🙂

  • A couple of times my son has asked me if he can have my old credit card to play with, to use in his cash register at home and draw over etc. I have given him the card not really thinking any more about it. One day I was out shopping for groceries and when we got to the cashier my son whipped out his wallet and put up his hand to stop me getting out my purse from my handbag.
    “It’s ok Mum. I’ll pay” and he showed me how he had saved the credit cards in his wallet. My son was 4.
    I like to think he will grow up to be a real gentleman who looks after his Mum. 🙂

  • I’m not a person who makes Financial blunders, I just started working late and have had a few things in life make a good financial start hard. I do get small windfalls these include:
    Finding at least $20 each time I clean my car. When I did pizza deliveries this amount could rise as high as $100.

    Walking into a club, having a small flutter on the poker machines and walking our with over $500.

    Every time I drop a $5 note in public I seem to see another note next to it, thinking I’ve dropped 2 notes not 1 I pick up the second one as well, once it was a bundle of 3 $50 notes.. reported it but no claims were made.

    I’ve purchased large items, found they have been damaged / faulty incorrect, when I’ve returned them I’ve gotten money back twice (cash & cheque, system error processing transaction twice) When I’ve tried to correct it I get told Oh I can’t see that on they system, enjoy your bonus.

    All these things seem to happen when I needed it most.

  • I was 10, I had finally saved enough money to buy myself the barbie car I had always wanted.. I had my money in my pocket and was going to ask mum to take me to the shops the following day.. Went to bed,woke in the morning and mum had washed my jeans in hot water, this was when we had paper money, it was all shredded and virtually useless.. I cried for days, until mums payday, when she had gone and bought me my dream car.. I was still devastated that I hadn’t been able to “buy” it with my money, but happy too.. A mothers love..

  • When traveling in Mexico hubby left me in charge of the money t go order coffee. I came back looking confused and thinking they had given me too much change…until I realised I’d paid in $UD instead of Peco’s…ooops!

  • My funniest financial blunder is my car loan. I took it out 4 years ago and still owe at least twice what the car is actually worth. To top it off, it has dents & dings all over it, none of which are my fault. Half of them are from those thoughtful people who ram your car and take off without leaving their details.

  • With my first job and house, I got sucked in to a “interest-free” furniture package. It even came with a free TV! Well lucky for me that the free 40cm TV lasted a long time, because it took me 7 years to pay it all off!!

    (PS – my 8yo daughter was talking about how to spend her pocket money. My 5 you said “Why are you spending your money? Shouldn’t you be saving up to buy a house?!”)

  • I remember when I was little, being at a wishing well with my Granny, and throwing in a coin and wishing my very hardest for a barbie car for my birthday. My granny knew and bought me a barbie car for my birthday. Best money I ever spent 🙂

  • My 8yo daughter had been nagging for a rabbit for a long time. I ended up agreeing with her that if she could save $125 to cover half the cost of buying the rabbit and all that goes with it, then she could have one. We didn’t think she would really ever save this much because she loves to spend her pocket money. After a few months she came to me with $125 and we agreed she could have the rabbit. After 2 weeks of owning the bunny, she decided that there were too many chores involved in owning a rabbit so she sold a half share to her little sister for $80 so that she would help her with the chores. Who knew that an 8yo could make a profit on a half share in a pet and halve their chores in the process!

  • My funniest recollection is my younger brother who was 8yrs younger than my twin and I decided one day at the age of FOUR to go for a ‘Bike’ride to see our Grandmother.. we lived in a country town at the time and he rode 2 hours away across a newly established highway without one person stopping him, he stopped at the only petrol station and asked the attendant to fill his water bottle with the 10c he had taken with him! Again he wasn’t questioned where his parents were, it wasn’t until he arrived exhausted at Grandma’s house that she called my parents who each thought the other one had him (Mother & Father of the year award lol) Dad quickly drove to pick up his little boy who luckily lived to tell the tale! 33yrs later Im still in disbelief he rode that far

  • I had been saving up my coins for a while (they always weigh down my handbag) and decided to cash them in during my work lunch break. Entering one of the big banks in the city at 11.50am, I was told they couldn’t cash coin during lunch time as they were too busy. My laugh echoed, I was the only customer in the bank and 5 tellers were standing there!! After asking if they were serious, and it wasn’t even lunch time yet, the teller clearly couldn’t care and said they were the rules. So I suggested she check “the rules” with her manager, and if they wanted to stick by them, then I would like to close my 3 accounts with them and could they settle all of those accounts now. My coin was cashed and put into my account pretty quick, and during all of that, only 1 other customer walked in!! So glad there are more choices now than just the Big banks!!

  • This true story isn’t about money per-se but it does involved my wallet (which had money in it). I was shopping at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast with my new, beautiful bride and nature called. My loose pants were fashionable at the time (mid 90’s) and as I lent over to sit on the toilet, unbeknownst to me, my wallet fell into the bowl (strangely not into the water though). I promptly proceeded to pinch a loaf, used half a roll of toilet paper to wipe (you know the waxy thin squares that always seems to smear instead of clean). After pulling my pants up, I realised that my wallet was missing, then when I turned around to flush the carnage away……….I noticed it. My wallet! Sitting there completely calm, peaceful and without a care in the world with a hot steaming turd still sprawled across it, like it was protecting my prized possession to the death. I simply picked up the black leather wallet, wiped off the cow paddy sized bean burrito with a few pieces of corn kennels in it and continued on with my day. When I told my wife what took me so long, she cracked up laughing, until I told her that my wallet was in my back pocket! I still use the same wallet today. This very sadly, is a true story.

  • Recently teaching a grade 1 class as a young graduate teacher, one of my students said “Did you know that in the olden days they used to have $1 and $2 notes and paper money?” That wasn’t the olden days, I remember using both those #makemefeelold

  • We were trying to teach my 4 yr old son about saving, so I bought him a piggy bank from the local cheap shop. He was terribly disappointed to find that the slot in the top does not fit a 50c piece through! New lesson – different countries have different money & this money box must have been made in a country with much smaller coins 🙂

  • Trying to raise four kids on an income and a half is harder than it seems. We don’t buy fancy new cars or clothes, even out furniture I used. But hey, mostly we scape by. One particular day we had splurged in travel soccer for the kids, phew did that leave it’s mark on our bank account. Then the electric bill came due, I was in tears, I didn’t know how I was going to pay it. My daughter then looks at me with this duh look on her face and says, would that money you hid in the &:$:&:@ help? Oh my, yep it sure would! How does one forget they had the money and stached it? Glad I did forget or it would have been gone already! Thank goodness for the sharp mind of an 11 year old

  • As a child my mum used to give me the change from her bedside table that she’d emptied from her pockets to put in my piggie bank. Periodically my piggie would get full, so I’d take the piggie to my mum so she could change it to paper money for me. And where would that change end up? …. Back on her bedside table. Winning!

  • I used to work in a retail store where we had lots of cans of hairspray stacked all around the counter, in front of the register, and lots of customers must have dropped their change in there by accident. Whenever my co-worker had no money for lunch, she would pull out all the cans of hairspray and gather up all the coins and get a free lunch out of it!

  • Being taken for a ride many times in a foreign country for paying too much for something! I’m so wary of it now, I treat everything like a scam and if we’re overseas I am now the queen of haggling!!

  • So many stories to choose from. Let’s choose one that happened today. Señor Partner (that can be his alias) lives by catalogues and visits to supermarkets and stores is all very planned and calculated. Smart spending however it’s steeping on scary ground! Today made trips to supermarkets (note the plural!), chemists (not the plural again!) and clothing store. Went to buy to basic tees at the register and proudly brought out a gift card. Smart again… until the gift card was deemed expired. Proudly, he was like, “Meh, I need them anyway so it doesn’t matter!” My jaw was then picked up off the ground! Haha.

  • My four boys wanted to share a room. I couldn’t fit four beds in one room so needed two sets of bunk beds. I couldn’t afford to buy them new ones and couldn’t find decent matching bunks secondhand. I went to a local auction place and asked if they ever get bunk beds in. The lady said they would only sell new ones due to liability risk and they haven’t had any in years. Several days later she rang to say they had two matching sets that were brand new. The boxes were damaged but contents were fine. Next auction I was the only bidder. Got them for a massive bargain.

  • I’m not sure if my comment went through? Or if it is waiting moderation. So this is a test post.

  • Living on one wage with 2 small children, money was always tight, and we kept a close eye on our budget. One day we had to move the dishwasher out of it’s recess to access the back. We found 3 x $50 notes on top. Our 2 year old had “posted” them! Score for grocery shopping, but I can’t believe I didn’t miss that much money!

  • There are six children in our family. Due to illness we are currently a zero income family. Money is tight right now with little money to spare. When my kids do find money in or around the house it gets counted in lots of 30 cent cones. I love the looks on their faces when they finally find enough 5 cent pieces to buy that ice cream 🙂

  • Went on holiday with the family, scrimped and saved for spending money, when we got to our cabin we decided to hide half the cash so we didn’t carry it all at once. After a week we needed more cash but hubby could not remember where he had hidden it. That weeks activities were all things we could do without money. A few weeks after we got home, hubby got his good shoes out to put on and guess what was inside. Nice surprise anyway.

  • Money was missing from the till and everyone was asked about it, it wasn’t until a few days later when the draw got stuck that it was taken out and we found not only that money but a few other notes that we hadn’t noticed had gone missing.

  • Gift cards are like cash right, well they have an expiry date, and hanging onto one waiting for the perfect item to come on sale, and then discovering the gift card expired a month earlier is a big fail!!!

  • I didn’t even quite understand how interest accumulated when I got a car loan as a teen – I was shocked when I saw the interest bill added on at the end!

  • a close friend was saving for the holiday of a lifetime. Gold coins had just come into circulation. She was happily putting gold coins in those huge $50 note metal money boxes till I suggested she just put the notes in. A couple of years later when she emptied the money box, all of the notes were blank! The coins had worn the pictures off the notes. She threw them away only to find that if she had taken them to the bank, they would had verified their value by their size. Hahahaha!!

  • One of my fave money memories as a kid, was getting my weekly pocket money. The same amount each week, the princely sum of $2, usually given to me as two $1 coins. Imagine my delight when Dad paid it to me as four 50c coins one week – I mean it’s logical right, 4 coins is more money than 2 coins!

  • My funny money story started 4 years ago, when my hubby bought a 1974 kombi ….. it’s funny how much it’s had spent on him! ♥ it & the good times we & 5 kids have spent in it 🙂 Although not being stranded in the middle of Australia ….

  • My son saves his money and loves collecting coins we just wish he could collect in a money box. We have had to open our surround sound subwoofer box soooo many times to retrieve his life savings!

  • With 4 kids in the house it was always inevitable we would spend some time in the emergency department of our local hospital. I always imagined, with 3 boys especially, that we would present with bike accidents, trampoline falls, head injuries, the norm really, but like most things with kids things didn’t really go to plan. Sure we had a few split heads glued back together, an asthma attack or two that required treatment and we did get a broken foot when our then 1 year old had a mishap with a chair, but that same one year old, Lincoln, would see us attending our local ED on several occasions after swallowing money. At first it was a ten cent piece when he was 1, an x ray confirmed it was in his belly and we were assured it would show up in his nappy in due course. The second time it was a $2 coin, again an x ray confirmed it was sitting in his belly waiting for it’s chance to escape. After that visit the Dr told us not to worry when he swallowed more coins, so long as he wasn’t choking on them they would come out again in a day or two…. we lost count of how much money he attempted to digest. One day I am sure he rattled when he moved. Sort of makes you remember to wash your hands after handling money… doesn’t it.

  • As a kid, I would ask my little brother if he would like to swap his “little” $1 or $2 coin for my “big” 50c or 20c piece. He would always oblige 😉
    I managed to do this with our pocket money, our corner shop treat money and any other scenario that arose. I had this neat little system going for ages, until he was a little older and wiser, and figured out the gold was worth more than the silver!

  • When I was in grade 3 some one glued down $2.20 on the foot path in front of the pub. I would walk past if everyday on the way to and from school. Every day I would try and pick this money up praying it would come loose. Anyway after about 3 weeks of not being able to pick this money up. I came up with a plan.
    The very next day I packed my bag for school but this time I also packed a chisel and hammer. I left for school 1 hour early. You can guess where I went. It took me almost the whole extra hour to get that money but I did get it. I then went straight to the shop and brought $2.20 worth of lollies. To this day they were the best tasting lollies I have ever had.

  • My eldest found a coin on the ground and pocketed it, his little but older cousin pipes up loudly with ‘now you have to wash your hands don’t you know people scratch their balls with coins’ (of course in the crowded shops) Nice to know nephew, thanks for that!

  • We have an automatic petrol bowser in town, unmanned, and you prepay with a credit card and then take your fuel. Well, that’s how it works in theory.
    One day I pulled up, inserted my card and pressed 50 when it asked how much fuel I wanted. Went to the pump and……nothing. It put in like $1.03 and just stopped. Odd I thought. Maybe it thought I had asked for 50c of fuel. Yep, thats it. So I swipe the credit card again and enter 5000. Back to the pump and again, nothing, just air.
    Now a sensible person would walk away now but not me. No, I was sure if given just ONE more go I would prevail over the bowser. Again I swipe my card and key in 5000. Nada, Nothing.
    Put $50 of fuel in at the nearest roadhouse and hand over the credit card with no issues.
    On my way to nearest town for my groceries. A cool $135 later at the IGA and I give the girl my credit card. Uh-oh. Card Declined. Hmmmmm.
    Go to the bakery and spend $24. Try the credit card again and YAY, success. Whew. Must have been the IGA machine or I put in the wrong pin.
    Get home and after unpacking the shopping I sit down and idly ask my (sick at home with the man-flu) hubby if next time when he logged on to the internet banking if he could see if I had been charged $1.03 for the fuel at the dicky bowser. What do you mean he says cautiously, eyebrows raised. I explain what had happened and what happened at the IGA and he leaps into action. I have never seen him move so fast.

    Turns out I had authorised $10,050 to be “”held” in our account just in case I needed to fill up with that much fuel in town over the next 5-10 working days. I had also maxed out the credit card with my remaining bakery purchase. Oops.
    After a mercy dash to the post-office to see who owned the bowser I managed to get a phone number of a lovely girl called Tammy who understood my doghouse plight and agreed to fax the bank to state that they wouldn’t be needing my $10,050 in the near future.
    Gee the doghouse is lonely.

  • Our bank actually said to instead of getting a loan work out what the repayments would be and save that amount for a while that way you can make sure you can afford it but you can also save the money you need and then wont need the loan!

  • My 6 year old son demands we go to the shop to spend his five dollars every time he finds a five cent piece. Takes ten minute conversation to re explain cents and dollars.
    Also my eldest, 8 year old, son collects coins with special pictures on – so each time I get change from checkout it must look like I dont trust the amount they haven given me as I check to see if there is any special coins for my son hehe

  • Several years ago my 13 year old son and I went on a European trip. We arrived first in London and headed out to grab something to eat for dinner.

    I thought I was fine for money as I had 200 GBP in 10 pound notes that I had purchased in Australia as well as several credit cards.

    We had a nice dinner and when we came to pay I took out the cash and was told the 10 pound notes I had were no longer legal tender and that I would have to take them to a bank to exchange – not very useful given it was now eight at night.

    So next I took out my VISA card to pay only to be told that they only accepted chip and PIN now and my old style swipe and sign card could not be used.

    Now I was starting to panic as I looked at my Mastercard only to see that it also did not have a chip.

    Luckily sitting at the back of my wallet was a recently issued debit card attached to my savings account. And right in the middle of it was a chip that I had not noticed before. Tentatively I tried it out with my access PIN and it worked. Major embarrassment averted!

    The next day I changed all my outdated money over at a bank, topped up my savings account via Internet banking and used my debit card for the rest of the trip.

  • I dreamnt i had a lump sum of money in my purse and decided i was going to do some retail shopping. I remember in my dream when i was deciding what i would wear to the city, which bag to bring and was so happy i didnt have to ask my granny for money for once.
    I then woke up so excited so happy, got myself dressed ready for the city told my granny i was going to go shopping got to the door and she said have you got money. I said sure do i will show you. Pulled out purse, NO MONEY!!!
    At that very moment my dream that i thought was reality was in fact still jist a dream. It was a very depressing day in the end!

  • I remember back when I was a broke uni student and I had no money to buy groceries, I made dinner with what I had in the cupboard. Turns out rice & thousand island dressing go quite well together!

  • Our two young girls put their pocket money into their bank accounts to save for something big when they get older. Something I never managed to do 😉 needless to say, husband is in charge of dolling out all three of our pocket money hehe.

  • When I was 17 I used to store my baby sitting money that i kept in a teddy backpack. My little sister found the money ($70.00) and spent it on lollies and a new doll. lesson learnt and now keep all money in the bank 🙂

  • Both my husband and I have gotten caught by not looking at our change before putting it in our wallet. Worst time was when I got change for a 10 but paid with a 50 and only realised an hour later! :/

  • We bought a monopoly scratch it and scratched it according to the instructions. The started shaking and rang our parents to tell them about our windfall, $200,000, and started planning how we could spend the money (deposit for a house, visit my husband’s family in Ireland). We got into the car and went back to the newsagent where we bought the scratch it but of course it was closed. We then drove to a couple of others before we found one that was open. By that stage we were so excited and shaking. Imagine the fall when we found out that we had won a grand total of nothing. Turns out that we had scratched it wrong. We can no longer by a scratch it for anything over $2 – just too complicated for us!

  • During our first ever tooth fairy duties, I saw on Pinterest to spray a note with glitter hairspray. The night of the tooth fairy’s visit I took a $5 note and a can of glitter hairspray into our backyard and sprayed away. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realised my husband’s work clothes were on the clothesline and I had inadvertently got the overspray all over them!

  • When my son was about four, I took him with his first money box to the bank. We would give him coins every now and then for his money box. He was so excited it was “full” that we jumped straight in the car to drive to the bank. The lovely lady at the counter calls us up and off we go to the counter with his money box. The lady made a big deal about how wonderful it was for him to have a full money box and he must have been doing lots of chores and saving etc… We opens the bottom and he tips out….. all the plastic counters from our bingo game, a few monopoly notes AND a bright shiny red monopoly hotel. How he got the hotel in there I will never know! In my defence, it did feel heavy and rattled when I shook it! He deposited about $6.00 that day from memory, and we went home with a money box full of plastic tokens and monopoly money!

  • My kids know the value of money … hubby and I can never leave coins lying around the house. It’s a race to see who can add it to their money box the fastest!

  • My biggest financial blunder happened when I first left home. I watched my Mum put $20 or $50 away for the bills for years. So first pay I did that and sat back. Nearly had a heart attack when the first phone bill came in at nearly $80! Rang Mum demanding to know how her bills were so cheap only to be told, she puts away a set amount per bill per week so there is enough to pay it entirely when due. I learnt two lessons that day. Bills are expensive and pay a little at a time, it hurts a lot less!

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