One Penny -- how far can you go?
For about six weeks now I have been putting myself through probably the tightest budget I have ever put myself through. Not that we really need to, but honestly I’m sick of the debt and want to be done with it as soon as possible. So recently I decided I would make sure I have no stagnant money in every paycheck and use every last bit of it and see how far I can stretch it.
Right now I have two checking accounts. They both have one penny in them. As much as I may be entitled to give my two cents, I really can’t right now because if I go down to zero balance they might mistakenly close my account. Doing this has really helped me stick to my budget and it makes me feel a little safer.
First off, I don’t carry cash and figure if I get robbed I can just call up the bank and play the recording “Your available balance is Zero Dollars and one cent.” and I think at that point I will either be left alone or shot. How can you clean someone out who doesn’t have anything?
Maybe I’ll get lucky and the thief will have some sympathy and give me their weapon so I go pawn it for some cash. Oh, how I can dream!
Also, going through online banking and seeing that there is only one cent in your account really makes it seem like you’re teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. This causes me to stretch it even further. I literally biked to the store this week and bought $5 worth of groceries… and my goal is to make this last all week. Thank goodness for the public library and tap water.
The downside, however, is that when I stopped by Fifth Third Bank this week to inquire about opening up a savings account they pulled up my one penny account and blew me off. The other downside is that I had $10 cash I took with me to get gas on my way to work the other night. As I approached the $10 mark I slowed down and then it skipped right over $10.00 and stopped at $10.01. This almost threw off my entire budget.
I feel like a kid again. Remember how any amount of money was a lot of money? I found a $5 bill on the ground last week and it made my month! So then I rode my bike to the grocery store and put it into the account and then divided it up equally through online banking. $1 went to Verizon, $1 went toward the mortgage, $1 went toward student loan, $1 into savings, and $1 toward the Mastercard.
It has prevented me from making stupid purchases… in fact I got an offer for insurance this week that said “How would you like to protect your assets for pennies on the dollar?”
Sorry…can’t afford it. I can't even afford to make a wish!
So here is the challenge:
Pending you don't have any minimum balance requirement on your checking account -- see how long you can go with the account having only a penny in it.
Whenever I have money left over once I pay all the bills it goes to the EF. And also, I do have a credit card through the same bank that I have my checking/savings through, but the first thing I pay with the paycheck is the current balance on the CC so it does not carry over at all. I call it my "delayed debit" card.