Saturday, 4 December 2010

Frugal Friday on Saturday - introducing Herdy

This is Herdy.  Herdy, is a sheepy-bank.

Herdy was a Christmas present, last year or the year before.

Every evening, Herdy gets fed with 1p, 2p, 5p and £2 coins.  DH and I have been collecting them since 1999.  We have larger containers for them than Herdy but they were put into storage when we started the building work in March so Herdy came into play.  Today, we emptied a very full Herdy.

It took quite a bit of shaking.

And the £2 coins kept getting in the way.

 Eventually, Herdy was empty.

As you can see from the picture with DH's hand, Herdy is not huge.  Even so, he contained:

£94 x £2 coins
£3.50 x 5p coins
£2.28 x 1p and 2p coins

A grand total of £99.78p, which has now been added to these:

When full, we'll bag them, tag them and take them to the bank.  The coppers jar holds about £22 when full.  The 5p jar has never been emptied, was last counted at 3/4 full and held around £90 then. (Oh, and it weighed in at 20lb today.)  The Maltesers money box holds £600 and is known as the "running away fund" (it goes towards holidays).

Because we fill these in tiny increments, this is money we don't miss.  We do have one rule we (almost always) apply - if you get one of these coins, don't spend it; take it home to feed Herdy.  When we started the collection, I was inspired by a story told by the Australian finance guru, Noel Whittaker, about a client of his, a single mum living on benefits who saved enough for a deposit on a home for her family.  She did it by applying one rule:  never spend a $5 bill.*  When the £2 coin came out, I decided to do the same with that.  It's a good rule - we've saved well over £2,000 of holiday money that way.

- Pam

* When my sister was a mortgage broker, she had a client in almost identical circumstances who did something similar.  In her client's case, she'd realised that every time she went shopping and decided to buy a "little treat" for herself, it cost about $5.  One day, she had a lightbulb moment and realised that if she saved all those $5 treats, she could save enough for a down payment on a home.  And so she did.

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