For What It’s Worth

Turning cold cash into hot cash

Should you expectedly or unexpectedly come into possession of some cold, hard cash and want to store it somewhere for safekeeping, may I suggest that your hiding place of choice not be the oven in your kitchen.

Maybe your wife hasn’t baked your favorite cake or pie recently or surprised you with a hot pan of freshly baked cornbread at suppertime. Beware, that doesn’t mean she is not familiar with where the oven is or how to use it.

“That’s ridiculous, Harry,” you say. “If I had a fresh wad of bills, the oven is the last place I would hide it. Do you really think someone would do such a thing?”

Yes, my friend, I do. A man in Australia did that very thing recently and it was the last place he would hide the money. It went from being cold cash to hot cash and the picture I saw of it shows the cash to resemble a soufflé.

According to news accounts, a man in Sydney, Australia, sold his car for $15,000 (approximately $15,652 in U.S. dollars) and planned to use the money for his mortgage payment and other bills. The news story I read gives no indication why he didn’t just go to the bank, but he didn’t. He opted instead to squirrel the cash away in a safe hiding place, choosing to ignore more traditional hiding places like a mattress or burying it in the yard.

Instead he chose to hide it in the oven, which he said his wife rarely used.

This reminds me of an old Red Skelton joke in which the comedian says his wife asked him to take her to a place she had never been, so he sent her to the kitchen.

Clearly, the Australian man’s situation is not that extreme. Not only does his wife know where the oven is, she decided to use it that day. She didn’t peek inside before turning the oven on to preheat it to cook some chicken nuggets for their two children.

What she got was cooked cash.

“It was everything I had,” the man told a news station. “I’ve got nothing to my name.”

Equally distraught, his wife reportedly couldn’t stop crying when telling her husband about the cooked cash after she discovered it. Though not incinerated and burned to ashes, the wads of bills were a baked mess.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. The man reached out to his lender and the Reserve Bank of Australia for help. He was advised to take the baked cash to the bank where, according to Reserve Bank policy, “if several pieces of the same banknote are presented, the Reserve Bank’s policy is for each piece to be worth a share of the value in proportion to its size…The combined value paid should be the face value of the original banknote.”

How’s that for getting to turn some hot cash into cold cash?

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One Response to For What It’s Worth

  1. Judi says:

    Happy to know that all worked out for this family.

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