Thursday 22 September 2016

How Will You Spend Your #firstfiver?

Over the last couple of weeks, a strange new item has been appearing in the wallets and purses of the nation. The first major innovation to UK currency in decades has given us the plastic five pound note.

The benefits of moving from paper to plastic when it comes to a hard-used item like the fiver are pretty obvious. It's much more hard-wearing, so it can stay in circulation for longer. It's waterproof, which is a relief for those of us who don't check their pockets before putting their clothes in the wash. Most importantly, it's much more difficult to forge, requiring a highly complex set of processes to manufacture.

Our Aussie cousins have been using plastic currency for years now, so the technology has been successfully field-tested. Apart from rampant nostalgia, there's really no reason to see the disappearance of the paper fiver as anything but a great step forwards.

But what do you do with your first fiver? Surely this is an occasion that should be marked with a little celebration. Does it go towards a breakfast treat? Perhaps a glass of prosecco to toast the future?

Well, a lot of people are doing the right thing and donating their first fiver to charity. Social media, using the hashtag #firstfiver, has been all over it. Honestly, it seems like a lovely idea to me. A fiver is the perfect amount for a charity gift: not too little, not too much. It's a gesture, but one with positive benefits. So why not make that first plastic note do something worthwhile? I'm sure you all have a good cause that could benefit, but if not, just do a search on #firstfiver and you'll find plenty of ideas.

Personally, I haven't been given one yet. But once I do, I know what I'll be doing with it.

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