Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Found Money

An Australian one dollar coin found in Pemberton, Australia.

I pick up pennies when I see them on the ground.  I don’t do it for good luck and I don’t spend them either.  Not sure what people think of me when they see me picking up pennies out of the dirt but I guess I don’t care.  I take them home and put them in a jar.  Of course I pick up nickels, dimes, quarters and any other money I find.  It all goes in the jar.  Many years ago my dad started doing this.  Not sure why he started doing it but I’ve associated “Found Money” in jars with my dad for as long as I can remember.  

When I was young I spent the money I found.  The first money I remember finding was a $10 bill on my way to school when I was in first or second grade.  I took it to the school office and turned it in to lost & found (even though I found it far from school).  They said I could have it if no one claimed it in 30 days.  I couldn’t stop thinking about that, it seemed like so much money.  No one claimed it and I used the money to buy an HO race car at Sage’s in San Bernadino so I could race on a big track one of the neighbors had set up in their garage.  

When I started traveling on my own I remember saving the money I found to give to my dad as souvenirs of my travels.  Later I started saving it all in a jar like my dad.  My brother and sisters did too.  Many years ago I proposed we have a contest to see who could find the most money each year and the winner could pick a charity to donate everyone’s “Found Money” to.  For many years my dad and I would each find between $25 and $50 a year.  I never donated the actual found money.  We always donate more to the chosen charity than was found anyways.  I keep all my “Found Money” for each year in a jar.  I have a lot of “Found Money” jars and I have no idea what, if anything, I’ll ever do with them.  

We don’t find as much anymore.  Maybe it’s the economy and people are more likely to pick up the change they drop.  My dad doesn’t get out as much as he used to and his eyes aren’t as good as they once were.  I don’t stop at convenience stores and grocery stores as much as I used to so I have fewer opportunities too.  Still wherever I go I’m always on the lookout for “Found Money” and pick up all that I see.  Not because I need it nor because it’s for charity.  I do it because it reminds me of my dad.  
My 2012 "Found Money."  By far the lowest total since I've been saving it in jars.  


  1. I remember finding £40 on someones path once. I knocked on the door and gave it to them. Lets just say they weren't very polite or grateful! I was unemployed at the time and almost wished I'd kept it.

  2. That's strange they weren't grateful and polite. Maybe they were just having a really bad day. I found a few hundred dollars in an ATM once and chased down the man who had used the machine before me. He was very grateful.