Money

Calling all cash-stuffers: It’s time to use up those £20 notes

Gen Z rebooted the old-school ‘cash stuffing’ method in an attempt to save money, but paper notes are just weeks away from expiring

A roll of £20 notes wrapped in an elastic band

Carbon Trust certified the carbon footprint of a polymer fiver is 16 per cent lower than the paper version. Image: Images Money / Flickr

To all you thrifty, cash stuffing Gen-Z trend-setters: your paper £20 and £50 notes are weeks away from being redundant. 

After September 30, the notes can no longer be used in the UK in favour of their shiny new plastic replacements.

“After this date, paper £20 and £50 banknotes will no longer be legal tender,” according to a recent press release from the Bank of England. “So we are encouraging anyone who still has these to use them or deposit them at their bank or a Post Office.

“The simplest and quickest way to exchange these notes will normally be by depositing them with your bank or building society,” a Bank of England spokesperson told The Big Issue. 

The old-school trick of separating payday cash into labelled envelopes has taken off on TIkTok in recent months as Gen Z get on top of the cost of living crisis (as best they can). 

Dee Kaskonaite, also known by her TikTok handle, Budget with Dee, said she began cash stuffing over two months ago with one video racking up almost 100,000 views. Kaskonaite described it as “a fun way to budget and manage your money by utilising cash as a visual, and physical aid”.

She continued: “We’re currently in a cost of living crisis and young people aren’t exempt from this”. Cash stuffing is a way for young people to “take precautions and action methods” to save money as belts will continue to tighten.

Inflation reached a 40-year high of 11 per cent in August and fuel bills are expected to top £4,000 when the new energy price cap is announced on Friday.

“My advice would be to go through everything and make sure you don’t have any old paper £20 or £50 notes laying around,” Dee told the Big issue. “Whether you have old savings or even going through old purses just to be sure. I know I will be.”

The Bank of England’s chief cashier, Sarah John, described the change as “an important development, because it makes [notes] more difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable” in an announcement.  

The polymer replacements are also more environmentally friendly due to their higher life expectancy and the Carbon Trust certified the carbon footprint of a polymer fiver is 16 per cent lower than the paper version. 

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