Of check counting and coin collecting…

It’s a fair bet that every one of us has our own little quips and interesting hobbies. Some of them are more main stream (like cooking, cycling and/or collecting cars). Others might be a bit more obscure (like raising exotic pets, collecting women’s shoes and/or pressing flowers). No matter what your hobby is (or could be), it’s probably something that makes you happy in your very own special way. Here are a couple examples of some fun hobbies in my life that have made me smile lately…

I always hate the end of the month because that’s the time that I have to slow down long enough to write checks and pay the Man. Know what I mean? Au revoir hard earned cash, it’s time to pay the bills.

I’ve found a way to make it fun! Several months ago, when my check register hit 1900, I started playing a little game of “check writing history.” Here’s how it works…for every check I write, I look at the check number and research (or remember) one fact from the calendar year that coincided with the check number. Follow me here…

Check # 1929 = the year the Great Depression began
Check # 1963 = the year JFK was laid to rest
Check # 1968 = the year I was born
Check # 1986 = the year I graduated from high school
Check # 1987 = the *first* year I had a crush on Madonna
Check # 1994 = the year I graduated from business school
Check # 2004 = the year the Red Sox win the World Series

Get it? Give it a try…it might help take your mind off giving your money away and teach you something about history at the same time, too.

The end of July also marked the end of a somewhat busy travel time for me — Houston, New York/Connecticut and Nebraska all in the span of a few weeks was definitely busy. How did I make those trips more memorable you ask? Collecting state quarters along the way, boy! That’s right, there’s almost no better way to collect the 100 state quarters (1 for each state from both the Denver and Philadelphia mints) than by traveling through airports and other cities and collecting quarters along the way. Call me a geek but I love coming home, laying out all the change I collected and checking to see if I picked up the quarters I still need to complete my collection. I love traveling west of the Mississippi because that means I’m in the Denver mint area and those coins with a little “D” on the front versus a “P” from the Philadelphia mint are hard to find when you live on the East Coast.

For example, on my most recent trip, I came home with 4 more Denver mint quarters from states like South Dakota, Wyoming, and Oregon. And who would have thought I’d find a North Carolina quarter from “P” while I was in Nebraska? Now if I could just find a Kentucky quarter….

What are your quips and hobbies? Do tell!