The other day I had a bunch of errands to run and also needed to get cash out to give the kiddos their allowances (you can see my original post on deciding to give children an allowance or not HERE).  I thought to myself, “Well, I will just get cash back when I use my debit card at Dollar Tree this morning.”  Then I remembered that Dollar Tree charges a fee to get cash back (I think it is $1).

Now I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal.  I would hypothetically save time and gas by just getting the cash back and willingly paying the $1 fee.  Then it occurred to me that I would be driving right by my credit union on the way to take Ben to school.  So I figured that, for the sake of argument, I would stop at the credit union to take the cash out and see just how long it takes me.

Here is what I determined:

  • It took me 4 minutes
  • It wasn’t out of my way
  • I didn’t waste any gas

I saved $1 in 4 minutes.  There are 60 minutes in an hour and 60 minutes divided by 4 minutes is 15.  By stopping at the credit union and getting the cash out, I was being paid an “effective rate” of $15 an hour. If I stop at the credit union once a week while on the way to Ben’s school, instead of just getting cash back at the Dollar Tree, I will save over $50 a year. Yep, I’ll take that 😉


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