Guest Post: Would You Pick up a Penny?

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Would You Pick Up a Penny?

My hubby said a couple of months ago that he had hesitated to pick up a penny in front of some friends that day. He said he should have just picked it up anyway because it was worth it. I agreed with him, but since I like proof, I decided to do my own silly experiment. It took me almost 30 seconds to pick up 10 cents. (completely bending over and completely standing up each time before taking a step to the next one) So how worth it is it?

10 pennies in 30 seconds is $.20 in 1 minute. $.20 x 60 minutes = $12 an hour. I’ll keep picking up pennies.

Granted, no one besides maybe Hansel and Gretel would find pennies all in a row to pick up for $12 an hour, but that’s the still the rate per hour that it’s worth. I asked that night on FB if ya’ll picked up pennies. The responses I got were all similar:

“PICK THEM UP! It’s 100% profit!”, “pick up – 99% of the time – they are available sometimes in places where it is just better to leave them”, “pick it up..money is money”

It seems that everyone following my frugal blog knows that a penny is worth something and most save them and deposit them. So I thought I’d ask a non-frugal friend on FB. Here’s our conversation:

Do you stop to pick up a penny off the ground? no joke- real question

no, unless…..maybe it’s really really shiny

Do you throw them away?

i have before, especially if they were yucky gross

When I told him about my 30 second experiment he responded:

or you could float around in a penny fountain and hit the jack pot

Ok, so maybe he was really tired or not so sober at the moment I messaged him my questions, but I think he’s a prime example of what most people think about picking up and keeping pennies. :-)

I think most of us would be willing to take on an extra half hour or hour job (were it available) that paid $12 an hour. Don’t forget taxes though-If you’re an average person and your effective tax rate is 23%, you pay social security and medicaid @ 7% and you tithe 10%, you need to earn $20 at your other job to be able to come up with $12 that’s spendable at the store. (23+7+10=40%, $20*40%= $6 gone!) If you weren’t before, will you be picking up pennies now?

Cricket is an elementary music teacher turned WAHM. She blogs over at Thrifty Texas Penny, a frugal living blog with tips like $5 dinners, ways to save/make money, ways to save time, and scenarios/matchups for CVS and Walgreens. If you missed them, here are her earlier posts on the man who was throwing away pennies and how much difference $0.50 a day could make for your bottom line.

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

1 comment… add one

  • Wow!! I never thought about it that way!! You’re right!!

    Btw, the other day, we were walking to the beach and my husband stopped to pick up a nickel…and the kids and I just died laughing. That just goes to show the way coins are valued these days! We really didn’t think a nickel was worth bending over for, but just think if we could find nickels the way we picked up pennies. Holy moly!

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