A penny for your thoughts. A dollar for your dreams.
Does anyone still bend down to pick up a penny on the ground? I do. See a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck. Ditto for all other coins – nickels, dimes, and quarters. While others walk right by, I scoop up what is free money. If pennies were moments, translate that to living in the present, and banking small moments that become a lifetime of memories. Whether you bank time or money, the investment will grow.
The value of both are in using them to attain your dreams and desires.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
I recently emptied a large change jar that sits on the dresser collecting dust. By themselves, a few coins won’t buy a latte at Starbucks or popcorn at the movies. But over time, the pile of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters grows in value. The coins added up to more than $155.00. Not bad for a year of stashing extra change.
Consider this. Start a coin jar. On Day 1, add in one cent. On Day 2 add in two cents. On Day 3 add in three cents. Do this every day for 365 days, adding one cent each day. After one year you will have saved $667.95.
When someone asks you A penny for your thoughts, and you put your two cents in,
what happens to the other penny? – George Carlin
Cash, checks or plastic?
I use all three but the world is changing. I date myself because I still carry cash and know how to write a check. My adult kids are like “I’ve never needed a check, Mom.” I get it. Last year I only wrote eight checks. They went for home maintenance folks like the piano tuner, plumber, and garage door repair company who eschew credit card fees. Paying the landscaper? Always cash.
I still coach my credit-card-only kids to stash some cash in their wallets, just in case. Going to a concert? It’s cash only for the parking lot attendant. Tipping at a nail salon? Cash preferred. Splitting a restaurant bill with friends? Cash is easier. And occasionally, I’ve been in a store where the credit card machines are down. I go to the head of the line with cash.
It’s never been easier or faster to use credit cards now that you just tap your card and go. Parking meters? Credit card only. Buying a drink at the bar? Credit card only. You can’t spend cash when you order online. I use online bill-pay and auto payments whenever I can. I save time, the cost of stamps, and miss fewer deadlines. Zelle and Venmo make it easy to send money to friends or pay my Toastmasters dues. I would sell very few books at a book festival if I didn’t accept credit cards.
Yet, when you don’t touch money, it doesn’t seem as real. You could pay a pretty penny without reading the receipt. I lose track of how much I spend unless I keep a spreadsheet. Credit cards and apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet make spending money so easy. For vendors, electronic money reduces employee theft. Speedy transactions mean lines move faster. Tip income is up now that food sales suggest a ‘reasonable’ tip, even for a cup of coffee.
Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies. – Al Capone
Penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Call someone a “penny-pincher” and a negative image of an accountant or “bean-counter” pops up. Time is also money. Saving a few pennies here and there without looking at the big picture may miss the concept of earnings and value. We need good financial stewards, but a wise decision needs a basis in more than dollars and cents. Time and quality also have value. Translation – don’t always take the lowest bid on a project. Remember the triad: Time, Money and Quality. Pick any two.
When my kids were young, I was so busy keeping up with work, chores and other tasks. We didn’t take a lot of vacations, worrying about the cost. Now I wish I had stressed less and been more willing to live with a less-tidy house. Today I don’t remember what chores kept me busy or what I spent. But I smile every time I look at photos from fun times with family and friends. Time is finite. Translation, make the moments for last-minute fun. Save the pennies, but find the dollars to take that inexpensive camping trip, cross-country road trip or fabulous vacation to Italy. The bankrolled memories and stronger relationships last for a lifetime.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. -Abraham Lincoln
And just for fun, you have to love Shel Silverstein.
My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters ‘
Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!
– Shel Silverstein
Important Side Note – May 3 is Polish Constitution Day! Chicago knows how to celebrate and throw a huge parade! The parade will be this coming Saturday, May 6, 2023, following an entire week of activities. I’m sure other areas of Polonia around the country will also celebrate.
For more information on Polish Constitution Day, visit
Polish Constitution Day Parade.
The economics of minting coins no longer work. (See Money, April 24, 2023.) They cost more to make than they are worth. Still, those metal discs will remain in circulation for years to come. Now, back to refilling the coin jar before cash becomes extinct.