This is a controversial post, but I am interested in others’ opinions here. If you see a coin on the pavement, what do you do?
- ignore it – you can live without that grubby 2p
- how gross! you’d never touch other people’s filthy lucre!
- pick it up and put it in your purse
- pick it up then put it in the next charity box you see
- let your child pick it up and spend it on sweets
- you didn't see it, you are always looking up not down
- something else?
My usual course of action would be #4. I have always thought of ‘pavement money’ as unexpected blessings to be shared. When the girls were younger, I encouraged them to do that too. They have both grown up to be very generous young women.
But I am very conscious these days that far more people are picking up dropped coins. There are lots of blogs listing how much they have collected, and what they plan to do with the purseful come Christmas/ holidays/ etc.
But if I am trying to be truly frugal and really watch the pennies, should I change the habit of a lifetime and start pocketing the cash?
Then there’s the Change question. If I pay in cash, and the item is £x and 95p or £x and 99p, my habit has been to put the 5p or 1p in the Charity box by the till. That seems a particularly appropriate action in Charity Shops – if I get a great dress for £4.99, then I think the 1p change should go in the pot.
I have honestly no idea how often I do that, or how much the hospice/ air-ambulance/ Battersea etc have benefitted down the years. It probably hasn’t added up to much – but the important thing is, I have not noticed the pennies going out, but I am sure that the charities have been blessed by the pounds coming in.
Sometimes I feel that we are developing a Lottery Mentality – folk will only give in the hope of a return. People support Children In Need by bidding to get some sort of prize. They buy Charity Raffle Tickets in the hopes of the £1000 windfall. I wonder how many of the winners will return a proportion of their prize money to the Hospice? Having been brought up to eschew all forms of financial gambling, I just don’t buy raffle tickets. It sometimes causes great confusion if I say “I will make a donation to your good cause, but I do not want a ticket”
Please do not think I am judging you if your habits and practices differ. I am just aware that there are some aspects of my thriftiness and frugality which may easily tip over into being mean and ‘tightwad’ [although I do not like that adjective one little bit]
I didn’t do a sponsored run this summer, and one reason was that I felt uncomfortable about asking the same group of friends to sponsor me again, when I know many of them already give lots away to charities and good causes. I would like to give more to friends who are fund-raising- but I honesty cannot support them all!
How do other people maintain a balance between wise spending and stewardship of their resources, and loving, open-handed generosity?