Five of Coins/Five of Pentacles
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
― Terry Pratchett, Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms
The Five of Coins is the card of material trouble – it’s financial insecurity and want, and the worry that comes with not knowing if you’re going to have the money for food next month. It’s the strain that comes from choosing between paying your bills on time or getting that noise in your car checked out, because you only have the money for one, and if you guess wrong you’re going to be even poorer than when you started. It’s the pain that comes from not being able to provide for those who depend on you. It can represent health problems – health problems you can’t fix, because you can’t afford that doctor if it turns out to be nothing serious. It can also represent the emotional crises of blaming yourself for your situation. Being poor is a mark of failure to many people, despite the fact that all the successful budgeting in the world sometimes can’t help you out when trouble hits. Unfortunately, that feeling of failure and hopelessness can keep you in poverty forever.
This card can signify that trouble is coming, and that it’s going to unsettle your finances. You’re out in the cold, both physically and spiritually. Beware of anxiety, as it will likely lead you to more errors.
You’re still poor here, mind. But for the moment, you’ve managed to avoid poverty mentality. This is a cautious optimism, keeping your head, and avoiding despair despite physical hardships. While you’re still suffering from want, you at least have the faith to survive and keep a hold of hope, which means you can perhaps change your situation in time. This can also mean a revived interest in the spiritual – getting through hard times by faith, knowing that things are going to turn out alright.