The Half Dollar / Dead Car / Day Care Update ;)

I can really suck sometimes at giving y’all updates on my doings here and there on this blog, so today’s post is all about catching ya up on some of the more interesting ones for all who care… And for those (few) who don’t, haha, take this high five and get the heck outta here ;)

The Half Dollar “I’m Gaming the System!” Project:

Well, it turns out the only one who was gamed here was me. I found exactly 0 silver coins in this latest, crazy, experiment of mine, and I won’t be trying another anytime soon ;)

Although to be fair the “making money” part was only half the reason I cashed in $500 of my cold hard cash for 50 rolls of half dollar coins :) The other half was to help me fill out my Whitman blue books to see if I can get all the years and mintmarks down! And that goal I most definitely accomplished, at least a good 95% of them… I’m still missing a few dates here and there, but overall it was an interesting experience to say the least!

Now to figure out how to GET RID of ’em all now! haha… It’s gonna be a bitch carrying over 950 of them to a coin machine and/or spending them at TJ Maxx ;)

The Update on My Dead Car:

1) It’s not dead.
2) It only needed a new battery ;) But how was I supposed to know – my jump starting didn’t work??

One fateful afternoon as I was scarfing down lunch though (At 3:30 btw – one of the only times I was GLAD to have put it off for so long!) I looked out my window and see a parked van across the street with, I kid you not, “Mobile Battery Van” printed on the side :) What are the odds?? I high-tail it outta there leaving my jacket and half-eaten bowl of Raisin Bran in the dust, and politely ask him if he’d come and check out my car when he was done with the one he was working on.

“Sure! No problem – let me just check inside to make sure I have your specific type of battery in back…” (A few seconds go by) “Yup! It’s your lucky day – I have 1 more left.”

My lucky day indeed! Not only did he come on over about 15 minutes later – enough time for me to finish my food and get properly dressed in the freakin’ snow – but he changed it all out 1-2-3 AND hooked me up with a cool little tool in case I wanted to unhook my battery any time I wish. Since I barely drive the thing but once a week – if that – ‘cuz the winter and non-use will slowly drain it all over again if I don’t give it enough action over time. So I got a new battery AND advice! Gotta love that. (He also replaced a little bolt and screw for me which he says they usually charge $20 for but he’d hook me up for free since I flagged him down and he was gonna get a commission on it all anyways :))

The total cost ended up being about $80 – more than if I had done it myself, of course – but the time and amount of stress I saved in the process was most definitely worth it. And it all went through AAA as it happened to be a van associated with them, and my wife happened to still have her membership with ’em. Unlike myself who had long canceled it ;)

The Day Care Dilemma:

Last I mentioned this I believe we were declined for part-time care because the “baby demand” was too high :( So we were forced to either continue doing things as we were (I watch him every Tuesday and Thursday, and the wife watches him M, W, F) or start looking into home care or group care, or whatever else types of care was out there.

Well, long story short we did none of that and ended up getting accepted back into that same day care center who originally rejected us! (Or, shall I say – accepted us and THEN rejected us when they decided to change their minds and not allow part-time care anymore, those mother bleepers…) I guess their business-skills were in full force again as they soon realized they could have their baby cake and eat it too ;)

It turns out they were willing to let us slip Baby Money in there on days where others called in sick and/or were off on vacation with their beautiful families. Which means not only do they get paid on THOSE kids (cuz you still have to pay for day care whether you show up there or not! It’s crazy!), but now they can double dip and take on NEW ones (aka ours) and make some profit there too. Very very sneaky creative stuff. And very very good for us! ;)

So now we plop him in there roughly once a week – allowing both daddy and mommy to work on their stuff for almost an entire day – and baby Money gets to hang out and meet new friends and toys all the while too. It’s been awesome! Not so much in the wallet area (it costs us $100 a pop – expensive for sure, but certainly not the $1,600 a month it costs for full-time care!) but most definitely in the “life is a bit calmer these days” department ;) And Money Jr. has been LOVING it so far!! Which makes everything that much better.

(On a side note, I must say it was sooooooo HARD for me to drop that little booger off the first time! I was worried/sad for him the entire day! Until I picked him up and “stole the look” (as my wife put it) when he realized we were back and smiled hugely :) One of the best experiences of my life! haha…)

Whew… that was a lot of typing I just did. Was it a lot of reading for you too? ;) I still owe you some other updates from over the months/years, but we’ll get to those bad boys later… If you ever want to ask me anything – whether having to do with money or not – just leave it in the comments and you know I’ll always answer you.

Stay warm this weekend!

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  1. Brian February 15, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Yeah, our little guy really enjoys his time at daycare and the ladies there love him (probably because he is such a sweet little boy). Everytime I pick him up he gives me the biggest smile and reaches his hands up for me. It really is the best!

    I never believed everyone when they said the time goes by so fast… but it really does!

    1. J. Money February 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Yeahhh!! Those hands in the air are heart melters! Freakin’ love that.

  2. Lance @ Money Life and More February 15, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    I’m glad you were able to fill out your books but it stinks you didn’t find any silver. Were they all in fairly good shape or you don’t really care as long as it makes your collection more complete? Some people are really strict on only accepting the best coins (items) in their collections.

    1. J. Money February 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Haha yeah – I’m pretty hardcore with what I “allow” in my books when I collect :) What I do is put aside one coin from each year, and then as I get duplicates and triplicates/etc (some years I found like 100 of!) I compare it to the one set aside and keep the better quality one. Then as the rolls go by, I keep swapping out until I’m left with only the best from the group. And then I put them into the physical books and repeat later when I go through newer rolls.

      This has been working pretty well as I go through the quarters and nickels/dimes/etc, but over time I feel like I’ve gotten as close as the best as I can, so now I concentrate more on the remaining years that I still need just to save time and not drive myself insane… There’s always gonna be a “better” coin out there, ya know?

      It’s more important for me to finish out each book though and mark it an accomplishment, and I’m having fun so far along the way :)

  3. John S @ Frugal Rules February 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    “Until I picked him up and “stole the look” (as my wife put it)” Lol! I can so relate J! My wife and I talk about that all the time. Let’s face it, since I am not Mom I rarely get the look. Well, I got it last night after picking the kids up after our night out and it is nice to get that every once in a while. :)

    1. J. Money February 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Exactly!! Haha… And I steal that look as much as I’m able to for precisely that reason ;) I freakin’ love kids – they’re so cute!

  4. Emmy February 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    UGH car battery problems are the worst. With my old PT Cruiser it had A TON of electrical issues. I had to jump the battery all the time and replaced it at least twice. Needless to say, when it finally died (I hit a deer… we think… it was dark), while having to make a car payment now is a pain in the rear, I wasn’t too sad about it. HELLO wonderful Honda Fit!

    1. J. Money February 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      You don’t know what you hit?? Scary!! What if it was Big Foot? ;)

  5. Retire By 40 February 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    I left the light on when we went to the museum last weekend. The security guard had one of those portable jumper and it didn’t work on my car. Then I called a real jump start guy and he was able to jump it with a bigger pack. Man, can’t the museum get a nicer jump machine?

    Glad to hear baby Money is doing well at the daycare. I really need to figure something out too. I’m thinking about one of those preschool co op for next year.

  6. J. Money February 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Yeah man, just a day a week has been helping over here so far. A little break to knock out a whole bunch of stuff and keep everyone sane. And the babies seem to love it! They get a break from all the routine games we do at home, and venture into the real world full of fun and exciting new ones :)

  7. Jose February 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Your dead car reminds me of my experience with my Prius last night. I pulled throught the Starbucks drive-through and they told me one of my headlights was out. Bummer, I’ll get to it after we get back from Florida next week. My next stop was TSC for animal food, when I got out of there and turned the car on, BOTH headlights are out. “You gotta be kidding me”! So the next 45 minutes was spent in front of Advance auto, tearing the front end apart on the Prius and putting in headlights. Toyota gets the “Most ridiculously hard headlight to change award from me. I still had to get home, pay my mid month bills and pack for our road trip. I guess when it rains it pours!

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Ouch – what are the odds? At least you got it taken care of ASAP and can now enjoy your road trip :) That part sounds fun!

  8. Angella February 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    That sucks about the silver! Happy to hear the daycare situation worked out. Isn’t is crazy how daycare works? You pay whether your kid is there or not, and they can double dip by calling in other kids to fill the void. We’re doing full-time right now and it’s a huge drain on us financially, but we have no other choice right now. I’m really hoping to work from home at some point and cut the costs down!

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      It’s def. crazy… I mean, it all makes sense due to staffing and what not, but still – you’d think it could at least be 25%-40% less expensive ya know? Makes me want to move to a smaller town even faster :)

  9. Edward Antrobus February 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Awesome news on the car. My car once died on the side of the road while driving to a wedding and a tow truck randomly drove by and offered me a jump. After he got my car started, he then charged me $20!

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      That sounds like a deal! And then you got to hit the wedding in time, haha…

      1. Edward Antrobus February 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        Actually, no. It died again half an hour later and even the VW dealership that I stalled out right in front of couldn’t get it started. Had to get towed to Pep Boys for a new battery and alternator; by the time we were done, I missed the wedding completely and the reception was winding down. :(

        1. J. Money February 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

          oh noooooooo! I’m so sorry to hear man, jeez… that blows all the way :(

  10. Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    We have one more month before we drop out little man off at daycare for the first time. I am not excited about it, but I am sure my wife is going to be a mess. We have to pay full time even though he won’t be there anywhere near full time. Those places can charge some crazy amounts.

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      It only takes a few times for parents to feel better about it all though :) My wife was MUCH better than I had thought – and in fact I was way worse! But then after the 2nd drop off it was easy peasy… but we all work differently.

  11. Erin @ Aim High Erin February 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Buy a Battery Tender for your car at Sears (or probably any auto parts store). Problem solved with the draining battery. :)

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      That’s not a bad idea… but then I wonder how often I’ll end up using it and will it add to clutter?

  12. Pauline February 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    $100 for one day of daycare? wow. How about a college student coming to your house (no driving) for $10 per hour? Sure you probably want to go kiss your bundle of joy every hour or so and may not concentrate on your projects…

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Haha yup! with him in the house it’s much harder to concentrate and not go and play :) Plus, we really want him interacting with other children and getting out of the house more since he’s always at home… Now if there was a place where college students were watching a handful at a time at that rate, I’d sign up right away!

  13. Jacob @ iheartbudgets February 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Our MIL is watching the little guy this weekend, and that’s hard enough to say bye for a day. Sounds like he’s doing great there, though, that’s awesome! Sounds like the car thing worked out like a miracle. Who knows, maybe he reads this blog and just “happened” to be outside your home that day. Stalker status!

    1. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      That’s a stalker I wouldn’t mind having close by! :) Good luck with the day away from the baby – we haven’t done that one yet (except for day care) but we’d like to for a night in the near future and I’m sure it’s gonna be a tough one… I hear it gets better over time though at least :)

  14. Brian February 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I wouldn’t take it personal that you got declined. My wife was just telling me today how the daycare we sent my mini to can only except 6 kids and 1 infant per adult. They probably only have so many people on staff and can not except another little one. It might not be the case, but just wanted to toss that out there because it sounds like you took it personal :-)

    I live in Mid-Michigan and my daycare is $25/day x 5 days a week. $100 a day is crazy high to me, but probably normal in other areas.

  15. J. Money February 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Wowwww that’s a bargain! Let’s trade! ;) But nah, I didn’t take it personally – it just upset me that they suck at communicating and 3 different people (including a manager!) told us we could do one thing, and then when we go to sign we’re told we cannot. I totally get they need to make money and run it as a business, but man they gotta get their stories straight.

  16. Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce February 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    J, Very cool to start reading about your life as well as your finances.

    It’s hard, but very important, for baby money to get out there. You will thank yourself when he doesn’t grab your leg kicking and screaming to school!!

    There is not enough time in the world for me to go back 5 years into your archives to learn more about you. but I’m trying man!!

    Have an awesome weekend..

    1. J. Money February 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Haha, no need to go back in time – I’m sure I end up saying the same thing these days anyways just with a twist ;)

  17. KK @ Student Debt Survivor February 16, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    AAA has saved my butt a number of times (lockouts, dead battery, towing etc), not to mention the hotel discounts. My mom paid for my original membership when I went away to college and just recently asked me if I wanted to continue it. She’s been paying for it for 12 years. I told her I’d get a membership in my own name so she could stop paying, but haven’t done so, thanks for the reminder. Happy Weekend!

    1. J. Money February 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Haha yup! My mom finally took me off last year sometime ;) And I’ve been out of college for like 10 years now! Scary…

  18. Sarah Park February 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Finding a baby day care is quite a daunting task. Hope you’ll find one soon that you will feel really comfortable with.

  19. Cassi February 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Baby Money is so adorable, and I’m glad things are looking up! Let’s hope this trend increases!

    1. J. Money February 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Thank you :)

  20. debtgirl February 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    When I had to return to work as a single mother I had to give my daughter to a woman at 8 weeks old who I didn’t know from Adam. To this day, we still call eachother on BDays. She became a dear friend. You have to use your gut instinct and then ofcourse, check! I was very lucky in finding her. You will find the right spot. I chose a private home, when I came there, I could smell cookies and the place was spotless, the kids were happy and she was wonderful. Really, you will find a site.

    1. J. Money February 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      It was the cookies that sold you, huh? :) 8 weeks is scary though for sure – I’m glad it worked out for all of you!

  21. Dan February 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Where do you live that you get battery so cheap?

    1. J. Money February 20, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      DC area! I thought that cost was expensive? I did get fees waved going through AAA, but aren’t batteries usually like $40 or something? I just don’t know much about installing and all that so I’m always happy to pay to have it done properly.

  22. KaeBaeBae February 20, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Omgosh, you are so right about the daycare double dipping! I work child care and have for the past 14 years. But I realized that I was getting paid by the hour no benefits, , so when I was sick, no pay…but if kids were sick, they still paid…so my paycheck was still being made! I hope to change that one day, somehow!

  23. J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Yikes! Maybe one day you can open up your own and then take full advantage of that ;)

  24. Ben Zyl December 14, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    I used to look for the pre 1947 silver in UK coinage and never found any, the time to look was probably before they announced they were stopping and the time to give up was probably the same year. Now fifty years later – no chance and I never believed the unsorted roll tag, maybe not sorted by the seller?

    1. J. Money December 21, 2015 at 1:44 PM

      Hah – yeah, much harder to find pre 1947 for sure :) I’ve actually found two dimes in the past year w/ silver in it here in the States, but still pretty rare to come across. They’re def. still out there though!

  25. WILLIAM February 1, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Yeah….Chase bank has been eyeballin me over asking for rolls of halves or any Ike dollars they might have.
    I think its a completely JOKE that the mint makes these damned Presidential dollars and then you have to pay some outrageous premium from them if you plan on collecting them.
    Because Chase and other banks make it impossible to just go in and casually buy $100 worth of dollar rolls to go thru.
    They act like its more work…it isnt. They fill out the same damned slip for the withdrawal but give me my money in rolls of coins instead of a few bills…$%in-hoo…its not like they have to shut down the @#$in bank for an hour while they count out my money.

    Now when i call ANY Chase branch if I ask for half dollars or BIG dollar rolls they immediately say the ‘dont have any’ without even LOOKING….damn man…at least PRETEND to go to the back and look for MY sake…..K?

    So I figure I give up on that and just try to get some Susan B’s for some emergency coinage instead…just for amusement since theyve ruined the silver hunting for me.
    But theyre catching on that Im buying rolls of dollar coins, removing the Susan B’s and bringing back the others….as if THAT is ruining their business day or something.

    Not even the coin shops around here know where a good source of even Susan B’s would be. Thats pretty damned telling.

    1. J. Money February 3, 2017 at 7:33 AM

      “at least PRETEND to go to the back and look for MY sake…..K?”

      that is hilarious, haha..

      I feel ya man. If I ever accomplish my bucket list item of working at a bank one day, I will let you know and you can call me anytime you wish to search for goodies.. gotta infiltrate from the inside!

      (though of course I’ll be taking all the good stuff first ;))

  26. scott June 27, 2017 at 3:08 PM


    i did the coin box thing back in 2009 with 4 banks and 4 boxes per bank.

    i just cut a vertical slice in the roll with a razor to look at the cross section of the roll and pulled out any silver half dollars and replaced with a normal half. took about 14 min a box all up. it was good pickings for about a year until my banks wouldnt let me return them back to them anymore and i did notice the silver coins were less and less. i think maybe they started culling out the silver before rolling( just a guess). Anyway it seemed like a good game back then. Glad to see someone else figured it out as well.

    1. J. Money June 28, 2017 at 6:23 AM

      Hah – that’s just cheating right there! ;)

      Reminds me though of when you could by up $1 coins from the mint using credit cards to rack up the rewards, and then bringing them straight to the bank to deposit. It was all the rage in the blogging world back then, but shortly there after it was cut off.

      Anyways, glad you had better luck than I did with rolls!