A Found Change Challenge Update – $31.48

by Katy on October 24, 2013 · 26 comments

The Found Change Challenge

Did you forget about The Found Change Challenge? Well I didn’t. And since yesterday found me sweeping my hand under my credit union’s coin counting machine, (for which I was richly rewarded with $2.05) it’s time for a challenge update.

My coin jar currently holds $31.48, which is not bad at all since I have yet to find any paper money in 2013.

I want to reiterate that to put all your financial focus on large amounts of money is a hugely wasted opportunity. You have daily choices to save (or make) small to medium amounts of money. This money was found penny by penny, nickel by nickel and dime by dime. And now? It’s dollars by dollars.

See how that happened?

Are you participating in the 2013 Found Change Challenge? Please share your thought sin the comments section below. And remember, it’s never too late to join in. So set a jar aside and watch how fast it starts to add up!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan October 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

I found a £20 note in a puddle in a rainy while walking with my son to his guitar lesson. I saved that £20 until the Christmas holidays when we had a nice day out with a leisurely lunch in Leeds. It was bliss.
Simple pleasures.


A. Marie October 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

A couple of Sundays ago, my husband and I found a total of $16 in bills at two different locations. However, we lack your self-control: We came across a really good barn sale on our way out to visit friends in the countryside that afternoon, and spent $12 of the $16. We justified it on the basis of the amazing deals: an interesting old branch-cutter saw for my amateur lumberjack DH, and an assortment of kitchen utensils including a Wagner Ware cast iron cornbread pan (which didn’t even have a huge amount of rust on it) for me!


K D October 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

In the past month I have found $31 in paper money. First a dollar, then the next day two five dollar bills. Finally six days after that my husband and I spotted a $20 bill. All the bills were found in the street, near the curb. Most years I find no paper money. I have about half a jar of (uncounted) change as well. I stoop for pennies.

My other big finds over the years have been gift cards: one time I found a $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card (I gave it to my sister since I don’t shop there) Another time my husband and I found two Home Depot merchandise credit cards, they had a combinded total value of thirty some dollars. Both of those were street finds as well. It’s been a few years since I have found a gift card.

I agree with your sentiments about small amounts adding up. You won’t see me buying lottery tickets as I walk out of the grocery store with my low priced (on sale and often with a coupon to boot) items.


Lori in Michigan October 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Wow, I’d better keep my eyes open when I walk around!


Sharon October 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm

[Sharon makes a mental note to check under coin counting machines when she goes by them.]


megyn October 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Do you ever get interesting looks by the bank employees? Our coin counter is on the opposite side of the tellers, and I would feel really weird about walking over to it and just looking under it…but that’s also probably why I have about $1 in found coins (which I just sent to school with my son for the Coins for Coats program).


Katy October 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I don’t think they care. If they do look at me strangely, that really doesn’t bother me anyway.



Kate October 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I haven’t found a lot of change lately, but I did find a strip of 18 stamps in the parking area at my daughter’s school. I told my 11-year-old son and he got very excited, asking if I’d give him money for any stamps he found. I explained that in my 41.5 years on earth, I had never before seen a single stamp, much less a long strip of them, lying on the ground, so not to get his hopes up. 🙂


jennifer p October 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

thats funny.i found a sheet of stamps and in my 41.1 years i have never found stamps either.


AFS October 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm

53 pennies
2 nickels
8 dimes
4 quarters
the oldest was minted in 1964, the newest 2013


AFS October 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I gound a sheet of stamps in a book from Goodwill. More than covered the price of the book.
Another time I tried on a jacket & found $5 in the pocket. The jacket didn’t fit, I kept the 5-spot.


AFS October 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Found not Gound


Alice October 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

That is an oddly beautiful photo!

My hubby always puts his change in a can, and it adds up. I never thought of trying to find any.


Christine October 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

The story of someone else’s lucky find: When my son went to Boy Scout Camp, he brought a $20 bill with him to use for incidentals for the week. Turns out he didn’t spend it. While he was horseback riding in the lightning and rain to get to the “Cowboy Campout,” it fell out of his pocket and into a mud puddle. He decided to leave it there because he thought the money was ruined and wasn’t good anymore. We now can laugh at that and get pleasure from knowing how much joy that future lucky find must’ve brought someone else!


Helene Rippey October 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Does it count if it is money I find on top of my husband’s dresser?


kris October 25, 2013 at 6:19 am

^^ Right? lol

I do keep all the $$ that I find in our washing machine. I figured it’s my pay, lol.


marie October 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

yes, my husband leaves change around, meaning to put it in the jar and never does.
I scoop it up for the sunday paper


dusty October 25, 2013 at 3:57 am

I don’t have much luck in the finding money department. I did find a wheat penny in my mother-in-law’s condo when I was cleaning it out. She had it wrapped up in a piece of tape. I sent it to my brother (he collects coins) and it turns out to be worth about 99 cents, so that was a good find. A friend of mine was here a couple of months ago and she rented a car and found an old nickle in the drink holder, she too gave it to my brother and it is worth about $85. My bro is making out pretty good I’d say.


Debbie October 25, 2013 at 5:41 am

What a coincidence. Just read in the paper this morning where a guy was arrested for taking money he found under a coin counting machine. It’s considered shoplifting here. Who knew! I think it’s crazy. The article states that the money technically belongs to the business where the machine is located and it is theft if you take it (you also cannot take any money you find in a parking lot – public streets, sidewalks are okay, but nowhere that is owned by a business). Supposedly, the law was originally designed to keep the homeless out of the stores. This is just plain wrong.


Kate October 25, 2013 at 6:20 am

I would love to read what our small-town newspaper editor would do with a story like that if anyone came to arrest me for the penny I snatched from under the Coinstar machine this morning. Of course, this was at the same store where the clerk cheered when my son came back from returning an item to a shelf for me and announced that he’d found a dime on the way. Where do you live so we can all be sure not to pick up privately-owned lost money?


Debbie October 25, 2013 at 6:45 am

I’m in north Texas and it was at a Wal-Mart. I was surprised when I saw the article. I would never have dreamed that was illegal. Though I’ve never looked for change under a coin machine before, I will pick up any I find in a parking lot. I will probably continue to do so; not at Wal-Mart though – I don’t shop there 🙂


Kailey October 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I started this challenge in February. I don’t know what I was thinking but I was sure I’d find something crazy like 50$ over the year. Turns out I’ve found just under four 🙁
I guess the year isn’t over yet so my eyes will still be peeled.


Jennifer October 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

A couple years ago, I found a $100 bill at Taco Bell when there were no customers nearby. Also I found a $100 bill in a parking lot and no cars nearby. Guess I should keep looking! I also have had multiple dreams of finding money all over the place…


cathy October 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Just counted, and I have $56.14. Gotta admit that some of that is from the end of a roll of quarters we got to do laundry on vacation, and there were around a dozen “gold” dollar coins (though I have no idea where they came from). Even deducting that, it’s still $30-something picked up here and there so I’m pretty excited.


Alison October 26, 2013 at 9:12 am

I too collect all found money throughout the year. We gift our jar at Christmas each year to a random stranger. I’m not sure how much we have at this point, but my daughter found a $10 bill early in the spring that is in the jar. I also add any money found in our washer/dryer to our jar. This helps everyone to remember to clean our their pockets! Otherwise the money goes to the jar.


Bridget October 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I did not forget! So far I have a whopping $3.15!! It is actually fun to save this way : )


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