During these last two years many residents throughout Massachusetts, New England, and the United States have fallen on hard times. Some folks had to go on unemployment and many have yet to return to pre-pandemic income levels. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier as food costs continue to rise. Then of course you have gas prices. I recently saw a couple of stations in Pittsfield selling gas for $4.25 per gallon. That's rough. Last week I spent over $100 in less than 24 hours filling up my vehicle and my wife's vehicle.

Massachusetts residents including residents in Berkshire County continue to seek help including obtaining food from local food pantries, reaching out for fuel assistance, and many are desperately in need of affordable housing. Especially in these current times, money cannot be wasted.

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Speaking of wasting money, as I was searching around the internet for content ideas I found that actually burning money (yes, setting money on fire) is illegal in the United States. I knew that defacing U.S. currency was a no-no but I didn't know the details behind the punishment. If you are crazy enough to set money on fire (and who would) not only can you be fined but you could serve up to 10 years in prison. The prison sentence is slim but is still possible. One thing I did remember hearing as a kid is that it's illegal to put a penny on railroad tracks. In addition, you'll want to steer clear of tearing paper currency in half. You can get more details about money defacement laws in the U.S. by going here.

Again I don't know who would actually want to destroy money, especially during these times but I thought these money defacement laws would make for fun conversation. Have you ever literally burned money?

KEEP READING: Speaking of money, here are some very rich towns by state.

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

READ ON: Do you want to live in a small town? One of these may work for you. 

LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America