Many people have tried to make money in less conventional ways, but most of them failed, or worse, ended up committing fraud. Gary, on the other hand, is just a nice man who found a legal and incredibly ingenious way of saving/making money.
The 60-year-old Phoenix retiree uses a simple and unique way of making money literally return to his pocket: he hand-writes the following message on every dollar bill he uses : “Please return this bill to me, I am very poor”followed by his home address. To make sure his message is noticeable enough, he writes everything with a red marker. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, what he’s doing is not illegal because the bills, though marked with his hand writing, are still usable and are not used for criminal purposes. Gary is simply asking people for money without forcing them in any way. Surprisingly, his money-saving method turned out to be a very successful one: more and more people are sending back his bills, so he keeps putting more money into circulation.To maximize his chances of actually getting his money back, Gary mainly spends $1 bills, because people are more likely to part with those than with $10, $20 or larger bills. His system is pretty profitable, considering it doesn’t really take much effort on his part. Everyday, the guy receives about $2, which makes an average of $60 per month, but thanks to generous people who sometimes put a financial bonus in the envelopes they send, he can make close to $100 a month.
Gary doesn’t receive his marked dollar bills from the US alone, as you might expect, but also from people in far-away countries the Netherlands or Australia. I imagine sending an envelope to Phoenix from the Land Down Under costs more than the bill found in it, but I guess some people just can’t help being generous. Gary is not ashamed of what he’s doing because he expects people to take it as a joke and play along. “The only time I feel guilty is when somebody takes me seriously,” he says. Moreover, he claims that he’s not getting rich through this method, but that he manages to pay his bills and, most importantly, make people laugh.
Besides the very gesture of sending Gary the bills, some people use letters to show him their appreciation for his innovative way of saving money. In fact, one sender wrote: “this is ingenious, why didn’t I think of that?”.