Before this column is done Iím going to make a point on federal spending that really should open your eyes. Actually, you will think that itís so basic and simple that itís a wonder nobody has presented it to you in this manner before! Youíre soon going to learn that the way weíve been addressing our spending problem --- and it most definitely IS a spending problem Ė is all wrong. Youíve been a newborn puppy long enough. Time to open your eyes.
But first Ö. Iíll address YOUR spending problem, and present a solution that will surprise you. Itís called The Dollar Bill Savings Plan. When you stop laughing you can read on.
OK Ö settled down? Ready?
Are you one of those who believes that you simply cannot save any money month-to-month because youíre living paycheck-to-paycheck? I heard from these people through my 42 years in talk radio. Save money? No way! It takes every penny I make just to get by every month!
Wrong. Not just sometimes wrong. Wrong every time. Stone cold wrong.
Now, hereís what I want you to do if you think that you just canít save money; that thereís no room to cut back.
I want you stop spending one-dollar bills. STOP Ö completely. Now. Do it.
Hereís how you do this: When you leave home every morning the only currency you have with you are $5 dollar bills and higher. Not one single $1 bill anywhere to be seen. Furthermore, during the course of the day if you happen to come into possession of a $1 bill you will cram it into a back pocket or some obscure corner of your purse. That $1 is gone. You cannot touch it. When you get home you will put all the dollar bills youíve hoarded into a jar or stuff it into a box, not to be touched until the end of the month.
I want to be completely sure you know how this works. Youíre on the way to work and you decide you need a cup of coffee at the local convenience store for your drive. The lowest denomination bill you have is a $5 bill. You know that if you buy that coffee for, say, $1.90, you will have a dime and three $1 bills in change, and that those $1 bills are, for all practical purposes, GONE. They cannot be spent for the rest of the day. They cease to exist. You put them away. And no .. you cannot use them for a tip or at a toll booth. Pull out another five, or higher, and ask for change. Then you have even MORE dollar bills to put away.
Yes. Weíre going to be completely anal about this. If you owe a coworker a dollar for something, hand them a twenty and get change. Youíll have a ten and a five you can spend later, but four $1 bills go into that back pocket. Or you can fish four quarters out of the bottom of your purse.