Funny money

I only found out today that the Bank of England paper £5 note becomes valueless at midnight, May 5th. Yes, May 5th. If you’re reading this in the morning, that’s today. Only the new plastic ones will be valid from midnight.

If you’re reading this on Saturday and you have a jar full of paper fivers, then you have a jar of kindling. They have no value at all. Banks are not obliged to change them either. You can use them as toilet paper or Monopoly money, they have no other use.

It wasn’t too well publicised, I think. There’s a good chance of a lot of people being stuck with worthless money… just before an election. Someone wasn’t thinking ahead here, were they?

The Scottish paper notes are to be phased out – as the banks get them, they’ll be burned and new plastic ones issued. The Bank of England will simply declare the English note ‘not money’ from midnight.

Don’t accept paper bank of England £5 notes in change . Alternatively, suddenly think of something else you need to buy and hand them back to the assistant who gave them to you. They then can’t declare them invalid without admitting they knew they were defrauding you with stuff that isn’t money.

There’s also a new £1 coin. The old ones still work until October, and the new ones are already appearing on eBay as if they were worth something. I’ve seen a lot of listings claiming the new £1 dated 2016 is rare. It was first issued in 2017.

I’ve only seen four of the new coins so far. All of them were dated 2016. I don’t think that constitutes ‘rare’ even if it is a very small sample size.

Better to keep back a few of the old £1 coins. Those will become rare in the future and if you get one in excellent condition, you might interest a coin collector. If you have one of the uncommon ones you’ll interest them now.

The main thing to watch out for at the moment is the Bank of England paper fiver. As of midnight, May 5th, it’s completely worthless.

May 6th could see a lot of people getting really quite angry…



19 thoughts on “Funny money

  1. Why the rush? US dollar bills remain valid indefinitely and are one of the few currencies where you can keep your money in cash without having to exchange it each few years for the latest version. Presumably the Bank of England wants to stop us keeping our money “under the bed” out of sight of the taxman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somewhere in my booze-addled memory is something about a limit on how much gold bullion an individual is allowed to hold. If it’s a real memory, it probably only applies to us proles.


  2. You might believe it’s worthless, I believe my bank or the Post Office will accept it. So if you happen to have any spare kindling I’ll be happy to take it off your hands. No charge. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      • I recently found a fiver stashed away that I’d forgotten about. (Yes, that’s how rich I am. I’ve got money stashed away that I forget about. ;-))
        Anyway, I took it into my bank and exchanged it for a brand new plastic one. The information on the internet isn’t very clear so I wasn’t sure if I could just exchange it or if it had to be paid into an account but she just exchanged it.
        My offer still stands by the way. Send me your old kindling and I’ll dispose of it for you. 🙂


    • I don’t understand, they work fine for me. They fit in my wallet, then I spend them, usually a little faster than I would like but hey, easy come, easy go.

      What more do you want for a fiver?


      • I remember when you still got farthings in your change, and you could actually buy farthing sweets. Blackjacks (?) comes to mind, but there were others, too.


        • Fruit salad (which had never even seen a fruit) and aniseed balls. After the farthing was dropped there were, for a time, sweets you couldn’t buy one of because they were two for a ha’penny.


  3. My daughter works in a bank and tells me that although the old fivers can no longer be used in trade, if you have a bank account they will accept them. As far as she is aware, no date has been set for this to end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good news – and different from the article. I suspect someone in government might have realised the total disaster that was looming and done something about it.


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