Sep 30 2010

When I was a kid, we saved “Lady Head” Dimes.

By the time I was a kid in the 1950s, there was a mixture of “Mercury Dimes,” or lady head dimes as we called them, and Roosevelt Dimes in circulation. I had a girlfriend, a BFF or Best Friend Forever, by today’s vernacular, who belonged to a very functional family that seemed to have every based covered. They were also very frugal and spent their money wisely from everything I could see and from what I can now remember. The concept of saving lady head dimes” was not my own, therefore, but came from my girlfriend, Janet.

A Roosevelt Dime

I remember one day when I was at her home with her and her family, one of them was handling a handful of change for some reason and exclaimed, “Oh! A lady head dime!” The treasure was immediately removed from the handful of change and placed in a savings bank. It was explained to me, that lady head dimes were being saved. Saved? That was a new concept: to save regularly from pocket change. But, saving that way was a formal experience and I enjoyed the immediacy of Janet’s lady head dime method deducted from “cash on hand.”

I thought collecting lady head dimes was a great idea and started saving them on my own in a little round glass fishbowl Daddy had helped me win at a carnival by throwing a ping pong ball at a display of goldfish meekly awaiting their fates. After the fish had decided to move on to better things, the fishbowl sat on my Mother’s old vanity table in my room at home.

The bowl just sat there and the dimes within it grew and grew until one day I had the fishbowl almost full and spent it for some goody at the dime-store, which you have to admit, was appropriate. I have always remembered the thrill of the experience, for it made the idea of saving money for a rainy day into a game of treasure hunt. And the Liberty Dimes were declining in the frequency with which they were found in pocket change, so I did not generally miss the amount subtracted from my cash flow.

I still save that way today saving selected state quarters. It’s a handy way to save and it is amazing how these little subtractions from pocket change add up to provide a nest egg. Why not try selecting a coin for saving out of your pocket change? Then you’ll have a cache of coins for when you need that little extra something.

Why you could even save them in a sugar bowl in the kitchen cabinet, just like they did in all of the farmhouses on TV. If you watched those shows, you’ll remember the mother would think pensively about some otherwise denied purchase, go to the kitchen cabinet, solemnly take out the sugar-bowl and say wistfully, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to take the money out of the sugar-bowl.” Her voice then trailed off into a fear for the future.

Start your Sugar Bowl nestegg today! It’s fun and it accrues quickly.

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