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Success Story: $71 Found and $70 Saved By Public Transportation

Since November my truck has been going into the shop for issues. Last month the drive shaft fell out when I was returning from the grocery store. It took six people to push it out of traffic and the next day I was given the estimate of $5,000 for repairs. There is no way for me to wrangle this as I have been paying off and getting rid of the creditcards. (Besides they just get me into trouble anyway.) So for the past five weeks I have been using the bus. $1.60 each way/$3.50 for a day pass.

After three days of missing the bus by minutes and having to wait in the cold for 45 or more for the next I started walking part of the way. And that’s when I started finding money.

My grandmother-who recently passed away at 95- was into dumpster diving and reusing before it became popular. Many times growing up I would go out with her and her shopping cart and we would pick up whatever caught her eye. If there was a bead or a button on the sidewalk (or a screw, nail or bolt for that matter) she would find it and take it. ‘Why not? You can always use it.” And she did.

Much to my husband’s annoyace any walk with me involves me scanning the ground for items. Over the years I have found buttons, coins and random broken jewelry. Well in the past five weeks just by walking the 2 mile bus route ten times I have found $19 in pennies, 15 buttons, 3 $2 winning scratch off tickets and a small pile of broken jewelry that I dropped off at the local Cash for Gold store for $50. Four of the buttons have been used on my winter coat.

So I have spent $80 on the bus (Truck gas would have been $150) and have found $71.

The moral? Most people don’t pay attention to what is on the ground. and while a penny can be a pain to deal with they do add up.

– Submitted by Elizabeth

Lesson Learned:
While I did not grow up in a family that was as frugal as to dumpster dive and such, I definitely appreciate the value behind “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. What I love about this story is there are multiple positive representations of frugal living. Using public transportation instead of gas saved the writer $70 in gas costs, and on top of that she found an additional $71 in good on her walk. She actually made money by doing these things. While that won’t always be the case because the walk treasures will eventually die down (though never completely stop), it’s still a good example of how much is wasted by general consumers that frugal folks can benefit from.

I tell you what, I’ll be paying more attention when I take walks at work from now on 🙂

About Crystal Groves, Google+

Crystal Groves is a farmer, web developer, musician, blogger, and personal finance enthusiast from the back hills of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She started Money Drain as a project to encourage people interested in fixing their financial situation to share their stories and learn from the stories of others. We all make mistakes, but in order to change we have to make changes.

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