Coin-Girl to the Rescue!

by Katy on September 14, 2009 · 28 comments


The following is a reprint of one of my very favorite columns. Enjoy!

I possess a secret talent. And no, it’s not the juggling of flaming chainsaws while whistling the Star Spangled Banner. (I’m actually a pretty poor whistler.)

I find coins on the ground.

Wherever. Whenever. Always have and always will.

My parents joke about how I exhibited this talent from the time I was first walking.

On the bus and at the store. Everywhere my little legs took me. Coins. Coins. Coins.

Their theory was that I was low to the ground, and was physically closer to all the riches of dropped money.

But I’m 5’8″ tall now, so that explanation doesn’t exactly hold water. It’s simply part of my nature.

My eyes constantly scan the ground. I’m like a cross between a Marvel super-hero and a secret government robo-something. (Coin-Girl to the rescue!)

I once saw a nurse at work throw a handful of pennies into the garbage. The garbage, people! I was shocked, and surprised that no one else shared my flabbergasted reaction. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard and fast rule that I do not dig through hospital garbage. (If you knew my job, you’d understand.)

What does this have to do with being a Non-Consumer?


Some people feel it’s not worth the trouble to bend over for small change.

Wrong. It is so worth it.

All money is precious. Valuing small amounts of money is directly connected to paying attention to life’s small expenditures. And it’s the small outlays of money that you have the most control over.

It matters. It all matters.

Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

I think that might have to be the official motto for Coin-girl.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

mary martha September 14, 2009 at 9:59 am

I do the same thing. On Saturday I turned in my jar of coins for $150! Conveniently it was enough to cover my ticket to see U2 that night.

My friends will give me their change because they ‘don’t want to deal with it’. How do you not want to deal with money?


ruth September 14, 2009 at 10:09 am

I completely agree! I have also been picking up “found coins” for over two years now. I save the money in a special little glass jar. In January 2009, I went to my bank’s coin machine and found that we had $52.38! After only two years!
That money was deposited into my daughter’s college account and we’re filling up the glass jar anew.
It might not be much, but maybe over time we’ll find enough to pay for textbooks! (well, maybe one textbook) 🙂


Wendy September 14, 2009 at 10:17 am

I was the same way when I was younger and to this day I still pick up coins and always will! My favorite place to go when I was little was the car wash (the do it yourself ones). I used to find a fortune on the ground!


Marlyn September 14, 2009 at 10:34 am

I too always pick up coins if I seem them on the ground, including pennies. Yes, I agree, all money is valuable and adds up! My hubby is better at finding money on the ground than I am because he is always looking down and scanning the ground.


Cheryl September 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

My son who is now 13 has always found money since he could crawl…He even found a money clip with hundreds of dollars when he was 5 (we returned it to its rightful owner who was flabbergasted that a 5 year old a) found it and b) didn’t resist returning it…The *best* place to find coins is underneath the slopey chairs at the airport gates. They slope in just the right angle that coins fall out of men’s pants pockets when they sit in them…He always find several dollars worth there…


Jupe Blue September 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm

In honor of Coin-Girl I taught my 8 year old son to check all coin return slots. He’s not very interested keeping the change so he hands it over to me! Love that found money.


Cathi September 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm

My husband always had the reputation of picking up whatever coins he found. Our college friends once glued pennies to the front step of our apartment and sat across the road and laughed at him when he couldn’t pick them up. He had the last laugh when he pried them up and they were now his pennies. To this day, he has more money saved up than they do.
My husband has taught my boys to do the same. Last Christmas my 10 year old saw a quarter in the ice of the parking lot. He dug it out, only to discover a men’s ring. We advertised, and no one ever answered for it. We recently had it appraised for $1450. That was definitely worth his time to dig in the ice for a “quarter.”


puppyluv September 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Yay, a fellow coin finder! (although we already knew that). Last time I counted my coin jar cash up, which is money only from the ground, it was at least $6 or so. I’ve been looking by car doors and in change counting machines, for excellent results. i love coins! So shiny! ;P


Tina September 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Funny…my family does the same…hubby and I started it long ago and my little boys now are always on the lookout. We have a special piggy bank on the entertainment center just for our “street cash”. We consider it treasure. :o)


Kate1946 September 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

I’ve always picked up coins. Funny thing tho, in the last year I’ve found very few. Could it be the economy?


nancy from mass September 15, 2009 at 5:39 am

My son is the same way. I once brought him to the park and as we walked across the sand, he bent down, dug in the sand and pulled up a quarter! I asked him if he had metal detectors in his feet. He saves the coins he finds and if he wants a pack of gum, he uses his ‘found’ money for it.
I cant believe someone threw pennies in the trash! That reminds me of the commercial where people are throwing away garbage bags full of dollar bills.


sandy September 15, 2009 at 5:40 am

I always pick up coins when I see them, especially when I’m out for a walk. Unfortunately I haven’t been walking enough lately–too hot. My favorite find was an old buffalo nickel I picked up in a parking lot.


Judy September 15, 2009 at 9:36 am

I always pick up money when I see it. I always remember the little rhyme I learned as a child.
“See a penny pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck. See a penny let it lay, bad luck will follow you all the day.” (Or something like that)


susan smith September 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Hi: Being Canadian, health care always came with the job and now we are retired it is a Godsend. We do pay monthly premiums on a sliding scale depending on our income. It is a far from perfect system. I happened to hear an interview with Michael Moore today. He said that 1 of every 8 people whose houses are foreclosed in the U.S. lose them because of health care costs. How awful that must be, to be sick and homeless. Can anyone explain the anger/fear Mr. Obama’s health care plans seem to have generated? It puzzles me. Susan


Kathy January 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I read somewhere (The Secret? Wayne Dyer? Who knows) that finding coins is the universe’s way of reminding us that there is plenty to go around for everyone and that the universe will provide everything we need. I love that idea. When I find a coin it makes me smile and say “Thank you, universe. I DO have enough.”


Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land January 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

My brother told me once, when you walk outside when it’s dark, look ahead about twenty feet toward a streetlight, and you’ll see the gleam on any money that’s on the ground. It works great. The friend I walk with was amazed at my coin-finding talent. Unfortunately, I told her how, and now she does it, too, so I don’t make as much on our walks as I used to. But we do have fun competing to see who can find the most!


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