Money From Nothing! Found Money Update – And It’s Looking Good!

Hi Skint pals,

Hope you’re all having a good week. Christmas shopping perchance? Hope it’s going well and that you’re doing a better job of sticking to budget than I am. I’ve done about half of mine and I curse the day that Amazon was ever invented – I’m finding it just too easy to keep popping more and more stuff into my virtual shopping basket.

A couple of weeks ago I told you about my new little project to see how much I could make from found money. That’s basically money that either I wasn’t aware I had or else had completely forgotten about – whether leftover foreign currency or a rediscovered tenner in the pocket of an old handbag.

montmartre paris

Those wasted Francs (below) would have been enough for cheap flight to Paris. Bof.

I outlined a few sources of found money that I was going to cash in and now’s the time for a little update on where I’ve got to and how much I’ve made, so here goes – be prepared to get nosey:

  • $100 bill from about a decade ago  – I’ve kind of doubled my money on this one! When I went rooting through my old purse to get the note, it turns out there were two of them folded together, so bonanza, I actually had actually $200 to cash in. And I’ve done it. After shopping around a teeny bit I cashed in my chips with Natwest, which I discovered offered the best rate by using the MoneyMax service which I’ve described before here. Result = £130.07. Not the best the exchange rate’s ever been, but I reckoned it was now or never, since those notes have been lurking round the house for a whole decade now!
  • 550 francs – Oh dear. This is quite rubbish news. From memory, 550 francs is/was equivalent to about £55. At least it was until April of this year. That’s when exchange of francs became consigned to history and so I’m left with some notes which I guess are worthless. I see that some people sell them for buttons on eBay. Doesn’t seem worth the hassle to me. Do you think they might appreciate in value? Or should I frame them and hang them in the loo? Anyone got any suggestions? Result = nada, nothing, zilch – and it’s all my own fault!


paris at night

Another gratuitous photo of Paris, because I love it so. And because it’s way prettier than the photo I took of my old Francs.

  • £50 travellers cheque – ‘Oooh, that’s an old one,’ said the bank teller when I took this in to cash. and she’s right – it was. In fact, the cheque was so archaic she’d to go off and seek advice about it. We had a bit of a laugh about how long it had taken me to cash it in, but thankfully she didn’t make me feel too daft for taking so long. And changing it into hard cash was simple: the cashier arranged for the cheque to go straight into my new account – it’ll clear in about four days. Result = the easiest £50 I ever made!     
  • Overpayment on my credit card – By some fluke I found myself having overpayed on my credit card by £60, so I’ve switched it into the found money account. Result – £60 = ca-ching!  
  • Money found in old handbags, pockets etc. – I haven’t gone looking for this cash, but whenever I’ve found a pound coin at the bottom of a bag or something I’ve added it to a little pile on my dressing table. My daughter’s also excellent at finding money around the house – perhaps because she’s closer to the floor than me – and aged four she doesn’t yet think to snaffle it for herself but presents it to me like a trophy – might as well take advantage while this lasts, as soon she’ll be squirreling it all away for herself! This morning I counted and there’s £3.43 there. 
  • eBay proceeds. I sometimes sell stuff on eBay but since I posted the last update I haven’t done anything other than sort out yet more stuff to sell. I now have four crates of random items, ranging from maternity clothes to outgrown baby clothes to fashion faux-pas waiting to be photographed and sold. This is next on the list.

Grand total so far: £243.50! Not a fortune, but not at all shabby either. And I’ve also identified two more found money sources:

  • 100 Dutch Guilders – Yep, you guessed it. These were from a holiday in Holland, never converted back. And joy, it seems the Dutch are way more sympathetic to slackers than the French, as I’m allowed to cash these in till 2032 – surely even I should manage that? And because De Nederlandsche Bank are so helpful, I’m including the link to their site in case anyone of you have some lurking too. I won’t add this into my total yet till I get the cash back in my account as it takes a few weeks.
  • Jack and Jill markets: As Baby Skint continues to grow at a rate of noughts I’m definitely going to sell stuff this way in January. I’ve got six months worth of baby clothes, plus other newborn things like a Moses basket etc. Jack and Jill sellers seem to usually earn a couple of hundred pounds at a market and in many ways it seems easier just to go and take a stall there for a morning than it is to list everything on eBay. 

So that’s the latest, folks, and I’m really chuffed with this little challenge so far. As you can see, I’m such a procrastinator at heart that I need to set myself tasks like this just to spur myself into action! Still now I’ve started it’s getting kind of addictive. Any of you got anything similar going on? And what do you think – should I use  the found money for treats or for sensible grown-up investing? 

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Photo credit: Trek Earth


About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

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