I was watching 60 minutes last night as saw a story of how it now costs the U.S. 2.5 cents to make a penny and a dime to make a nickel. Another part of the story was about the worthlessness of the penny. They compared it to our appendix and another calculated that it costs each American $41 to use the penny because the time wasted waiting for change or trying to find it. It got me thinking about this old article I wrote and how I feel stronger today about it than I did when I wrote it.
It’s official, as of today I no longer pick up pennies off the ground. Before today, I always picked up a penny any time I saw it laying there . I figured over my life I probably pick up thousands of pennies and “a penny saved was a penny earned”. Not true any more and I’ll tell you why in a second.
There are a few exceptions to these new rules. One, if I dropped the penny I can still pick it up. Two, if it is a nickel or more I still go for the coin. Ok here’s why I’ve made the big change (no pun intended) in my life. I earn more than $75 per hour which comes out to 2 cents a second. The time it takes to pick up a penny I could have kept moving and made double what I put in to it. Even if the value of my time doesn’t come into play then I figure I could put in the 2 seconds it takes to bend over and pick up the penny and go home and hug my daughter or at least throw out a big smile. Definitely worth more than a penny.
Another big part in the decision is my health. Bending over quickly is not good for the back. I’m still in my 30′s but it still is not good to stop and bend over in one sudden movement pick something up. I’m not the most flexible guy, if I hurt something it will take 125 years of picking up pennies to pay for the doctor.
Luck plays a bit of a part as well. I know it sounds a bit crazy but I only would pick up pennies on heads but since I was already down there I would just flip over any pennies on tails and then pick them up. I say I’m not superstitious but evidently after typing this I am. I’m going to be saving myself from potential bad luck.
Lastly, money is pretty dirty. Especially pennies that have been laying on the ground. I’d pick them up and inevitably wipe my face or mouth. Not right away but most likely before I wiped my hands. Somehow that can’t be good for you. Who knows how much bacteria I am going to keep out of my body. Somebody is going to pick up that penny and they are going to be happier because they picked it up. I, my friends have moved on and I will remember this day forever.