Joan’s Journey: Cash on Hand Comes in Handy

Quarters, dimes and nickels are coveted coins at Holiday Villa East, (HVE) my retirement community in the heart of Santa Monica, California. Having a readily supply of cash on hand goes a long way to enhance one’s quality of life while living in a retirement community.Joan's friends playing bingo

Two quarters buy admission to an enjoyable game of bingo, usually offered three times a week. Lucky players win up to $1.85 per session. I enjoy the social aspect of the game and benefit from the practice of careful listening to the called-out numbers. Bingo also provides eye/hand coordination, dexterity practice to mark the numbers and the emotional satisfaction of the win—even if it is only 35 cents for the round.

At HVE and most senior living communities, clean bed linens and towels are provided, and their cost is included in the monthly fee. For washable personal belongings, some residents prefer to do their own laundry. Others, like me, prefer to have their personal laundry taken care of by housekeeping. Several quarters and dimes cover a week of personal washing and drying in the facility’s laundry room.

Despite three inclusive meals a day available in my community’s dining room, residents have cravings for pizza, Chinese food, ethnic food, hamburgers and french fries. Consequently, delivery trucks frequent our building. Favorite snack foods, beverages and miscellaneous items, like stamps, are often purchased on outings. Having cash on hand to cover these purchases takes away the stress of urgently calling a family member or going to the bank.

Welcome Joan’s Journeyer’s. Before moving to HVE, I was unaware of the hidden costs of joining a retirement community. These costs may only require small amounts of cash as payment, but they are sizable over time, which makes them necessary to include in one’s budget. In the next Joan’s Journey I will blog about the unexpected costs I’ve encountered in the pursuit to enhance my quality of life. I’ll share a few stories of incidences where residents didn’t have cash on hand to even buy a needed box of cough drops. There are solutions, and we will explore them.

Do you keep cash at your residence for small, unexpected and unplanned expenses? and I invite you to share your preferences in the Comment Section. Until the next Joan’s Journey, enjoy the trip day by day.

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