Your money may be worth more money than you think.
Even a dollar bill could be worth enough to pay some of those monthly bills.
The key is the eight-digit serial number, and whether it seems 'fancy' or special to collectors.
When the redesigned $100 bill comes out Oct. 8, the one with the serial number 00000001 could be worth $10,000 to $15,000, Dustin Johnston, director of currency for Heritage Auctions in Dallas, told the Boston Globe.
But, history aside, it's mostly about number patterns. Even $1, $2 and $5 bills can be worth many face value, according to collector Dave Undis of coolserialnumbers.com.
A check of eBay shows examples, like a $1 bill fetching $86 for having the serial number 67676767, or another selling for $66.66 for having the number 00023000.
Patterns to look for include solid (every digit the same), such as 11111111; ladder (counting up or down), such as 12345678; low, 00000100 or lower; high, 99999900 or higher; radar (same backwards and forwards), such as 13466431; repeater (second half same as first half), such as 12791279; super repeater (pair of numbers repeated four times), like the first eBay example above; double quad, such as 55553333, seven in a row and seven of a kind.
Dates can also be collectible, such as 07041776 and 09112001, owned by one collector, the Globe notes. Nonhistoric dates could also be valuable, like 04171982 – if you can find someone with that birthday or anniversary.
The "For sale" list at Undis' website asks $4000 for a 2006 $1 bill with 11111111, $750 for a 1935 $1 bill with the number 00000011, and $750 for a 1935 $1 bill with 19999999, to cite some of the pricier examples. Dozens are listed at under $100.
"The prices on my web site are representative of the current market," he emailed.
Higher asking prices can be found on eBay, like $9,999 for a 1928 $50 bill with the serial number 00009999. The seller has already rejected five offers.
The ceiling is much, much higher.
Royersford, Pa., dealer Billy Baeder has a $10 bill with the serial number A00000001A that he believes is worth $500,000 because it's a rare 1933 Silver Certificate.
Anyone finding a fancy serial number has a variety of options.
He also has a "wanted" list of bills he's looking to buy.
Kind of gives the ad slogan, "What's in your wallet?" a whole new meaning.