Monday, April 27, 2009

Cash Flow

How do you get your spending money? I am not talking about the money to pay the bills, buy the groceries, put gas in the tank...I am talking about "extra" spending, discretionary spending, the money spent for something that is not necessary. How did you get it when you were young, when you were preteen or early teens? Did you receive an allowance? Did you do chores and get paid?

This evening, I was thinking back to when Ron and I were young. I remembered how we got the money we needed. We did not get an allowance for chores around the home, we had to come up with it in other ways.

When Ron graduated from the 8th grade, he got a Vespa scooter as a gift. This was pretty cool as it gave him transportation and that meant that sometimes, I got to go along. Gas was cheaper, a lot cheaper back then, but it still cost money. We had to come up with a way to get some money to keep the Vespa going.

Back before LBJ and Lady Bird (if you are coming up with a blank, ask someone older), litter along the highways was common. Surprisingly enough now, littering was something that just about everyone did without giving it a second thought. Well, one man's trash is another man's treasure! We would ride the Vespa along the highway and collect pop bottles. Some of you may be wondering why we would do that. Well, back then, pop bottles were glass and were reused. Yes, I said reused, not recycled. Pop bottles had a refund amount you could collect by turning them back in at the grocery store. It was typically around three cents per bottle. So, we gathered up some bottles that other people threw out their car windows and took them to the store for cash, took the cash to the gas station and filled the tank.

There was one more way that we got money. Cattle guards were fairly common along the highways. Many of them were not real smooth as you drove over them. Cars had hubcaps or spinner hubcaps. As cars drove over the cattle guard, going too fast, they would have a jolt from the bump that would cause a hubcap to come off and run off into the brush. We would check the areas on both sides of the road and gather hubcaps. Since is was not uncommon to lose a hubcap, people were looking for matching hubcaps to replace the one they lost. We were glad sell them. We found enough that we had full sets of some types. There were a couple styles of spinners which we had full sets. These, we could sell for a nice price. For awhile, we replaced Mom's hubcaps with a set of spinners on her station wagon. Station wagon? Yes, that is what an SUV was called in the olden days.

Innovation is the name of the game, especially when you are low on funds. If you are creative, you can usually come up with some way to get some extra cash. If you are even more creative, you can find legal ways to do the same.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Be an extraordinary person and put your creative abilities to work. Do what you need to do to keep your scooter running.


  1. Since I am an extraordinary person, I bought 13 church pews last week for $225 and have already sold one for $150. Anyone need an old church pew?

  2. You, my dear csister, are and inspiration.