Why I Still Pick Up Pennies

Posted on Posted in Faith, Family, Finance

picking up penniesSo far this week I have found a penny every day.  Remember the old saying… find a penny and you’ll have good luck all day.  Yesterday as I let out a small groan as I stooped down to get the penny I was thinking to myself, “Why am I doing this?”  After all, a penny is fairly insignificant these days.

At most stores if you’re a penny or two short the checker will say, “Don’t worry about it.”  A 2013 New York Post article claims approximately $1.3 million in pennies are thrown away each year.  Some folks dislike the penny so much that there is an organization called Citizens to Retire the Penny.

For me, the penny is a bit illogical since it costs 1.99 cents to produce a 1 cent coin.  But it is also illogical to leave good money sitting on the ground.  Here are just a few thoughts on why I still pick up the penny:

  • It provides a connection to childhood.  I would assume most everyone my age and older remembers the thrill of finding a penny in a parking lot when they were a child.  At that time a few pennies could actually buy a piece of candy.  And checking the coin returns on pay phones (when there were pay phones) was an annoying habit my parents tolerated.  As a child I recognized the value that the loose change had to me and when I see a coin on the ground I am directly connected to those memories.
  • It provides a reminder that Benjamin Franklin never said “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  Many quotes are erroneously credited to Mr. Franklin.  The actual quote is “A penny saved is two pence clear.”  Definitely not as easy to understand.  The quote was in Franklin’s 1737 Almanac from a column titled “Hints For Those That Would Be Rich.”  The implied meaning is that a foolish person skips out on work for the day and racks up a 1 pence debt of merriment.  The wise person works and puts a pence on the ledger sheet.  The difference between wise and foolish decisions is actually two pence.
  • That penny is a reminder that God provides for my family.  Obviously there isn’t much that 1 penny can do on its own, but combined with other pennies, nickles, and dimes it can do some good for our family or for others in need.  A few families at our church recently worked on a project where we were challenged to take some ‘seed money’ and turn it into something more using our talents and abilities.  The families that participated turned $60 into almost $500 in less than a month.  All of those funds were mailed yesterday to the Tipton Children’s Home to help provide the basics for kids who need a safe, stable place to live.

There are other things that come to mind, like the woman at our church who walks the mall daily picking up loose change and paper money (sometimes as much as $100) and the excitement she gets from her finds.  Or the parable of the lost coin that our Lord told and that is recorded in Luke 15:8-10.  Something as simple and seemingly pointless as picking up a penny can sure bring back a lot of memories and spur on a lot of thoughts about life, stewardship, and faithfulness.

Written On My Heart

A huge apology to the Dad is Learning followers who have been following along with my weekly Written On My Heart series.  The worksheets have been written but I haven’t had time to post on the blog lately.  Below are all the weeks you missed.  I will also be updating the Family Devotionals section of this website this week to contain direct links to each week of Written On My Heart.  In coming weeks if I miss a blog post you can find the Written On My Heart worksheet on that page on Wednesday.  God bless your efforts!

Written On My Heart 15

Written On My Heart 16

Written On My Heart 17

2 thoughts on “Why I Still Pick Up Pennies

  1. Believe ME, I will gladly pick up pennies all day long if given the opportunity. Many are the times those found pennies are needed and used. (and I know exactly how many make a dollar and even what year they stopped making them out of copper !) BTW, I’d always heard: Find a penny and pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. Probably 1/2 a dozen variations floating around….of course I learned mine decades before you were born…

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