The world of money has been changing faster than we can keep up with it lately – with new £1 coins, new £2 coins, and recently, a new £5 note.
But did you know that you only have a matter of weeks left to spend any old £5 notes you might have lying around?
The Bank of England have announced that on the 5th May, the old £5 notes we used to know and love will cease to be legal tender, meaning shops will no longer accept them if you try to pay with them.
But there are still plenty of them around – a huge 160 million in fact. That equates to almost 50% of the original bank notes, and means that come the beginning of May, you may be the owner of a pile of money you can no longer spend.
The other 50% have already been returned to the bank and destroyed – which is the plan for the remaining half, too.
(The new £5 note)
So far, the old £5 note and the new £5 note have co-existed quite happily, but the new polymer design, which came into circulation in September last year, was always intended to fully replace the old one eventually.
If you’re lucky, some banks and building societies will still accept old £5 notes, but this is at their discretion, meaining they have the right to refuse it if they choose to.
And it’s not the only new note that has come in. The Bank have announced recently that in September 2017, they’ll issue a new £10 note featuring the face of acclaimed British author Jane Austen, aiming to recognise “her universal appeal and enduring contribution to English literature.”
So dig down the back of your sofa and search through that old bag – if you’ve got an old £5 still lying around, now’s the time to spend it! You don’t have long left…