Found Money

Today’s guest post comes from Beth-Ann.

On Saturday I responded to a last minute request for volunteers at Minnesotans United for All Families. Since I am recovering from laryngitis, I was ideally suited for the menial gluing and stapling task at the Loring Park office.

After several hours of sign-making I high-fived my young supervisor (his initiative not mine) and headed down Hennepin Avenue to my car. I noticed some money on the sidewalk and bent down to pick it up. There were two crumpled $50 bills!

What could you do with a pair of Fifties?

I was across from the Basilica without a soul in sight. There was nobody who had just passed the spot in either direction and most of the storefronts were empty. I picked up the money and (too) rapidly decided that with possession being 9/10 of the law, the hundred dollars were obviously mine.

I am very fortunate that my life is comfortable enough that I can get along without the money, still I needed to think if it belonged in my pocket or elsewhere. I’ve found money before and never even think twice before putting nickels and quarters in my purse.

I decided that since the only reason I was in the neighborhood was to help Minnesotans United defeat the hurtful marriage amendment, my most appropriate action would be to donate it to the organization. I turned around and went back to hand the money to the staff person processing contributions. I wish she’d been a little more excited about my lucky find.

I’ve since told the story to a number of folks and have truly enjoyed the enthusiasm shown in their plotting to allocate the windfall and their joy in the serendipity of my discovery.

Have you ever found any money?

About these ads

83 thoughts on “Found Money”

  1. From the night Owl:
    My first thought was how good it would feel to donate $100 somewhere; my second thought was that I’d likely send it to the DNC to aid Obama’s campaign. Either way, kudos to you for doing the right thing!

    I’ve never found money, but one New Year’s day, I gave a bunch of it away. It was my first New Year’s day as a single woman and I decided that I should do something uplifting to begin the new year. Armed with several twenties, I ventured into Wayzata with a plan to surprise a few folks with paying for their meals or gas or groceries. I spotted a very old lady sitting by herself and approached, saying that I’d like to pay for her meal. Stunned, she started talking and an hour later, I’d heard her whole life story. I then paid for someone’s gas, a couple more restaurant meals, and ultimately a depressed-looking young man’s groceries. I explained to all of them that giving to them was really giving to ME and this was how I wanted to begin a brand new year. The young man wept, saying, “No one’s ever done anything so nice for me”. With each “gift”, I suggested that they pay it forward in some small way, too. It doesn’t take that much to spread joy. A smile, an unexpected compliment, expressing gratitude for services someone provides or (this is my son’s way of paying it forward) paying for the next car’s coffees at a drive-through.

    Good night, Baboons

    Like this

    1. What a good story, Crystalbay. That sounds like a wonderful to spend New Year’s.
      I once found a $20 in a clothes store, back in a corner where I was shopping. I turned it in to the lost and found, just in case the person came back looking for it. A month or two later someone for the store called me and told me nobody had claimed it, so it was mine. I carried it around for a long time trying to figure out what was a good thing to do with it, but in the end I just spent it on something one of my kids needed. Nothing very inspirational there. I think now I would be more creative. Then I was usually stressed out about money and couldn’t really think of anything else.

      Like this

      1. When I was an impoverished student, any money I might have found would have been used the same way you used that $20, Vicky.

        Like this

  2. Good morning. I don’t remember finding any very large amount of money any place. I helped out at an automobile salvage yard once as a temporary employee. I was told that they found money from time to time in cars they were taking apart to recycle. It was a family operated business. At one time they had a policy of saving up the money they found and using it for a family vacation. I have some tools that they gave me that the found in cars.

    Like this

  3. When I was about twelve, my dad and I went grocery shopping together. While he was buying cigarettes and paying his bill, I decided to park the shopping cart rather than leaving it for some employee to do. In the bottom of the cart I pushed ours up into was some money. I recall it being two dollars. As a kid in central Iowa in the 1950s, I had never heard of “karma,” but I instantly became a believer in it. It was plain as the nose on my face that God had rewarded me for being considerate.

    I go on being considerate, as much as I can, but so far my reward is still capped at $2. Of course, a dollar was worth something then!

    Like this

  4. A few years ago, I found four crumpled up $20 bills at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. Of course, there were hundreds of people in the immediate vicinity. I approached several and asked if they might have dropped some money; no one had. I took the money to the Market office where I assume it was later claimed by someone. A few weeks later, as serendipity would have it, I realized when I got back to my car after my Saturday morning shopping at the Marker that I had lost my wallet. While I didn’t have much cash left in it since I was already done with my shopping, I was panicked about all the other stuff, credit cards, insurance and Social Security cards and whatnot, that I have to replace. I was much relieved when I went back to the Market office and somebody had found my wallet and had turned it in. The St. Paul Farmers’ Market rocks!

    Like this

  5. i was in turkey on business and the mone in europe was not in the euro yet. italy used the lira and it was like 1600 lira equaled 1 dollar and the price for a meal or a coke was fun to calculate. when we got to turkey the turkish lira was italy with another zero on the end, 16,000 lira equals a dollar. my friend had the great idea to contribute 1,000,000 to the cause in the airport before we got on our plane. we did the math after the fact and figured it was about 60 bucks. he felt good about that. it was worth the smile.

    Like this

  6. i was a kid age 7 walking home from somewhere in the dead of winter. it was winter and the snow was bright white along the railroad tracks i was walking down. there was enough of a breeze that when the dollar bill in its crisp green glory tumbled acoss the bright white crusted snow. i picked it up in a swoosh and could not believe my good fortune. my allowence at the time was a nickle and i had to do chores to get it. a 20 week find was a large deal indeed. the friend i was walking with was looking at the sky not the ground and didnt see it until it was in my mitts. he wasnt as excited for me as i was for myself.

    Like this

  7. I found a rumpled dollar bill around the corner from my house last week. Probably a dollar that was on its way to the liquor store (a good neighborhood business) or change from same that didn’t make it into a pocket. Possibly it was a neighborhood kid’s dollar – but i couldn’t be sure as there was no one nearby that appeared to be en route to or from where the bill was. If the bill was going to or from the liquor store, I could easily get it back there as another purchase soon enough. If it belonged to a neighborhood kid, well, than that is a sadness that I cannot undo. I decided the best course of action was to earmark that dollar for the guitar Daughter wants to buy. I told her if she for half the cost, I would pay for the other half (she earned her portion and then some at a yard sale on Saturday…I earned sunburned knees and a lovely day sitting outside chatting with folks buying my daughter’s outgrown toys and DVDs).

    Like this

      1. We have seen a student model 3/4 size Fender at Twin Town Guitar that seems like it will suit our purposes. Not fancy, but a good, basic starter instrument.

        Like this

        1. Inexpensive guitars often have the strings set so high that the guitar is a nasty thing to play, and very painful. I’d guess you are safe with a Fender though. Be sure to talk to a clerk about needing a guitar with a pleasant “action” (meaning the string height).

          Like this

        2. thats part of paying the dues to get to ba guitar player. if you dont have the determination to keep playing until you build up the callous finger tips needed to play a steel string guitar you too achieve closet guitar status. it the action is too high i can help trim it down , when you are paying 100 bucks for a guitar you get what you get. steel string accoustic are tough on fingertips, electric is easier fender, nylon accoustic (classical) is a kind way to begin. but its too late for this discussion. she has her guitar picked out and that is that. 3/4 sized fender is a great way to begin. perfect size and the fender name isures its not a total piece of crap. they put out pretty good promotional stuff these days

          Like this

        3. I would trust any student model they have at Twin Town to be a good starter model for a kid. They teach lessons there and would want to be sure to have a good model for a range of beginners. Also, the owners have kids that go to Daughter’s school, and I have had good interactions with them in a volunteer capacity. Not a place that is interested in just moving product – they want you to have a good experience with what you sell. (And, yes, acoustic is what we are starting with for Miss S.)

          Like this

      1. Ah – wonderful! I think Daughter is a little young yet to understand the significance, but she’d like the tune none-the-less. Will have to play it for her. :)

        Like this

      2. Think we’re about one step up from “black diamond” – but Daughter his happy. She has her guitar (and actually, it has a pretty good feel for the price). They showed us a higher priced one, but S. wanted the Fender – and the sales guy knew that with a beginner, an attachment to the instrument is a very good thing.

        Like this

  8. When I was a kid, traveling circuses and carnivals would travel to small towns like Stubbekøbing. I lived a block from the big empty lot where they erected their tents and rides, and for us kids, these were exciting times. We’d go watch, and try to help with all the chores, and look the animals. Sometimes we would get lucky and be rewarded with a free ticket to a performance or a ride. Once the circus or carnival had pulled up stakes and moved on, we kids would descend on the grounds, scouring it for the odd treasure or a coin that would have fallen from someone’s pocket. It was a treasure hunt that never lost it’s allure.

    Like this

    1. we had a couple of small cirque de solei kind of acrobatic european troops come through minneapolis 25 0r 30 years ago that are what i imagine you to be talking about. i think vegas sucked up all those people and changed the culture for today. living out of a wagon or on the vegas strip. there ought to be middle ground. i bet that was really something to look forward to for a kid.

      Like this

      1. You had better believe it, tim! Back in those days, circuses were allowed to have wild animals (they no longer are in Denmark), so we’d get to watch as they used the elephants to carry heavy stuff like huge tent poles. Most parents discouraged or forbade their kids to go anywhere near the carnies, but of course, the temptation was too great to resist. Our normally sleepy little town suddenly alive with blinking lights, music, exotic people in fancy costumes, and animals of all kinds. Those were the days, my friend…

        Like this

        1. If the carnies in Denmark were anything like the ones that bring the rides to our county fair, children should stay away from them. One young boy here disappeared after the fair ended and was found many months latter traveling with a man that worked as a carnie at the fair. That wasn’t good and that wasn’t the first time that carnies have abducted children. I like circuses and fairs, but some people that work as carnies at circuses and fairs can not be trusted.

          Like this

        2. jim, I think the late 40s early 50s were a different time. No kids ever went missing from Stubbekøbing. But, of course, parents should be aware of who their kids are hanging around with. We all know now, despite the prevailing assumption at the time, that priests weren’t necessarily safe for kids to hang around with, and this morning’s newspaper revealed that apparently neither were a lot of Boy Scout leaders.

          Like this

  9. Morning-
    I don’t recall finding much money. Coins mostly.
    After events in the theater I always walk through the seats checking for things. I find lots of pens and pencils, one pad lock, and once a fancy calculator.
    My sister; she’s the lucky one in the family. Last week won an iPad and four days later won $75 on scratch off tickets.

    OT: Porta Potty Party went well on Saturday. Was a beautiful day and my siblings had a good time walking around the barns and sheds reliving old memories of the months we lived in the Machine shed. Mixed right in with my family was an eclectic group of friends from theater people to surgeons to opera singers. And the kids climbed on rock piles and threw rocks in puddles and chased chickens. (Didn’t take long for the chickens to make themselves scarce.)

    Like this

    1. please list future porta potty parties. i would have enjoyed being the if the circumstances would have allowed.
      did you have you sister rub your head?

      Like this

  10. 40 plus years ago we bought groceries at the Shopper’s City Discount store, first we had ever heard of, in the old Coolerator plant in west Duluth. Here they gave you a card and you drove by to have your bags loaded, some person matching card to bags. Last time we ever did that. We drove 40 miles home to find we had the wrong groceries, and about $150 in a small purse, nothing but money, much more than the value of our missing goods. So we called. They said to bring them back. We sighed and did the drive. There awaiting us was the woman who’s groceries we had. We exchanged bags, got her thanks, no one offered names or anything for the cost of the trip back. We got home and were missing some of our groceries, hand-picked from what we had purchased. As I said, we never let anyone load our groceries again.
    3o years ago we bought groceries at a store up by Target in Duluth, unloaded our groceries, and pushed the cart into the cart holder. The cart in front of us had a woman’s wallet, all the cards, license and a great deal of money. We hung around Duluth calling and calling. Finally drove to the address, which was in West Duluth. Non one home. It did not look like a place you want to leave it with anyone. Went home to TH. Three days later we finally got ahold of her. She had not even missed it. We happened to be going to Duluth the next day and met her.
    25 years ago a friend and I were going to a union meeting in Cloquet and stopped to buy gas in Duluth. There on top of the gas pump was a woman’s full wallet. With a Cloquet address, to which we brought it and found her in panic at home.
    Bike riding city sidewalks of Mankato makes me look down. I have found several hospital badges because I ride that neighborhood, two check books, and three wallets. Two of the wallets I found downtown with credit cards and no license and some modest amounts of cash. So I called the police in both those instances; they were well acquainted with the owners on both instances and knew where they lived.
    Twice my wallet dropped out of my pocket while riding (I now have a secure system for carrying it) and had it returned both times, once found by a man who lived three houses away from me.
    Once found a ten dollar billing blowing along the street. Gave it to World Hunger.

    Like this

    1. well organized list of events. a list of moral conduct lessons and the way they should be taught.
      shoppers city was a skuzzy chain that i will always remember because i hesitantly went into one on my last occasion of having the opportunity to do so and upon walking into the store there was a 7 year old boy who looked up, made eye contact, and puked his guts out projectile wise right before my very eyes. i asked if his folks were around and he pointed over to where they were. i wished him better days ahead and have come to link the memory of shopper city with that scene all these many years later.

      Like this

        1. It wasn’t me…for one thing, I wasn’t in Philadelphia and for another, I may be a hardened criminal, but I wouldn’t steal from my own daughter.

          Like this

    2. That is a lot of money found and returned, Clyde. I wonder why you seem to have found so many of those lost money holding items? I can’t remember ever finding a wallet. It seems like you have a talent similar to a person in movie I saw last night who was given the job of collecting evidence from crime scenes because she had a talent for finding evidence that others couldn’t find.

      Like this

      1. Bike riding gives you a talent for looking at the sidewalk and the grass on the edge of it. I used to have an office in the middle of the bars in downtown Minneapolis. I would ride into work early in the morning and would find many things left there, most of which I was busy dodging. I got to know the two women who tended the many many flowers in pots, gardens, and raised planters. They found many things hidden or dropped in the flowers, a few wallets, cell phones, make-up stuff, etc. Only a few coins and a small bill every now and then. Lots of drug paraphanalia. There was a head shop next door to me, run by a sweet little grandma with a big tattoo, who after we moved our office, was caught selling out the backdoor. Downtown Mankato is a hard-drinking place with all the college kids and a pretty large street population. The two wallets I found down there had no license because I am sure that had DWI and chemical abuse issues, which I am sure is how the cops knew the by the names we got off credit cards. One of the two guys came and thanked me and told me the card was invalid. I think he was angling for a handout.
        About ten years ago I lost my wallet. We had to replace everything. Three years later we moved. There it was stuck down in the back of a cushion, inside an open zipper my wife did not even know was there.

        Like this

  11. When living on Dupont Ave, South Mpls, my “new” beloved (now Husband) and I were walking the neighborhood on a crisp autumn day, and I found $16 in bills lying on the sidewalk – just happened to look down then. We looked around for someone, but like Beth-Ann’s spot, there was no one in sight. We talked it out – if I just left it there, someone else would most likely pick it up and pocket it. Could turn it into police, but they might pocket it. I wasn’t poverty stricken, but I did keep it, in the end – hey, it was sixteen dollars. We treated ourselves to a meal out (this was 1978), which we wouldn’t have otherwise thought we could afford.

    Like this

  12. Confession time (I don’t remember telling this here, anyway): I went through a shoplifting phase right after high school – nothing big, but I did go into a Payless-type shoe store twice, and walked out in a pair of new shoes that I had convinced myself I couldn’t afford – and this big company was just ripping people off anyway… I’ve never quite figured out why I was doing this. But I came to my senses and put the money in an envelope addressed “For the Manager”, with an anonymous note explaining what the money was for, and that I was “reformed”. Took it in and left it with the cashier… “Make sure the manager gets this.” Felt a lot better.

    Like this

  13. When son was a 12 year old, he and I were at Walmart and he put some money in one of the soda machines on the outside of the building, and 6 cans came out. He thought he had struck it rich, but I made him take the 5 extra cans to the customer service desk. The woman at the desk wondered why we had bothered to bring in the cans and hadn’t kept them. I felt it was really important to show my son the right thing to do in such a situaion. I always enjoy finding lost bills when I transition from summer to winter coats. I think the only money I find now is change in the washer and dryer since husband always forgets to clear his pockets when he puts clothes in the laundry basket. It drives me crazy to hear the clank clank of loose change in the dryer. He folds and puts the laundery away, so I try to be understanding. I hate folding and putting laundry away.

    Like this

    1. I have been guilty of leaving stuff in my pockets when putting it in the laundry, Renee. I am trainable and I don’t do that very often now. Maybe, when your husband has reached his retirement years, like I have, he will also discover that he can check for things in his pockets before putting his clothes in the laundry. Or maybe he is a fast learner and will discover that before I did.

      Like this

    2. Renee – I had a similar experience when Teenager was about four. We had been to a salon shop to pick up something and when we got back to the car, she pulled a little bottle of nail polish out of her pocket. She hardly even understood what stealing was, but I had her go back to the store with me and give the nail polish back. The clerk in the store said “Oh, that’s ok, honey” to her. I said “No, it’s not.” Then the clerk asked me if she could give the Child a piece of candy. I said “No, she doesn’t get a reward for taking something that doesn’t belong to her.” The clerk clearly thought I was some kind of monster.

      Like this

      1. Wow. I can understand not wanting to be the heavy, but “That’s ok, honey”???? Good for you for saying, “No it’s not.”

        Like this

    1. Yes, what would you like to know?
      Actually, Robin and I met at T’ai Chi – then discovered we’d met before, and and that we lived a block from each other (at the time).

      Like this

    2. my chinese friends all do it. my feldenkraius trainer turned me on to it 20 years ago and the discipline and balance without beating yourself up is tremendous.

      Like this

      1. I bet a lot of the Chinese who are not your friends do it. I saw them doing Tai Chi in parks and other public places all over China.

        Like this

        1. no, those are my friends, thats why china doesnt allow facebook, everyone has 100 million friends and they all do tai chi in the park and shopping areas all over china.

          Like this

  14. No. I’ll look for some on my walk tonight.

    This is not the same, but the idea is similar. The former owner of my house did a bad job replacing the roof. He omitted the flashing between the garage roof and the east wall of the house. A storm came through and water came into the east wall of the house, damaging the wall and the interior of the house (there were mushrooms in my carpet!). I applied for and received a Minnesota Valley Action Council grant for home repair. I had to get the bids and hire contractors, but finally several things that had been done incorrectly by the former owner were repaired. After all the work was done and the completion papers were signed, my only obligation was to stay in this house for ten years. Signed and done. Prison sentenced commenced.

    A few weeks later, someone asked me why I’d done that. I explained the virtues of the grant and my obligation. They asked if I’d checked with my insurance company. I hadn’t because I assumed that it was a structural defect and it wouldn’t be covered, but I called them to ask. They did some checking and sent an adjuster over. He said there had been a storm and that the water damage portion of the repairs were insured. He wrote me out a check for $2,000 on the spot.

    This threw me into a moral dilemma. I couldn’t possibly have my house repaired and pocket $2,000 to boot! That’s double dipping! So, I pulled out an envelope, typed a letter to Minnesota Valley Action Council, folded a check for $2,000 inside the letter, and mailed it off. A few days later I received a call. They sounded confused. Why had I sent the money? I explained the double dipping moral dilemma. They said they’d get back to me. A few weeks later, a letter appeared from the Minnesota Valley Action Council. They returned my check. They said it was so nice that I’d tried to return it, but they felt that I needed it (I did) and they wouldn’t accept it from me.

    Karma is good!

    Like this

  15. Evening all — enjoyed catcing up tonight. Busy busy busy at work today!

    About ten years after the divorce and in a different house, I was rearranging some books on the downstairs shelves when $100 fell out of “Das Kapital”. When wasband and I had been together we would occasionally stash a $20 in the book when we were feeling flush. Apparently wasband was feeling flush more than I realized and when we split up, all the cash had stayed with me. (Now that I think about it, now sure why I ended up with “Das Kapital”.) I wish I could say that I considered sending half of my little windfall to the wasband but I didn’t.

    Like this

  16. I have found two wallets and a checkbook on separate occasions. All had addresses making the safe return of the objects possible.

    Once I found a gift card on the floor at Target. I turned it in at the “guest services” desk, where they told me it contained $25 and I could have it if no one claimed it. I checked back later and they told me it had been claimed by a little girl with her parents, and they had been very happy to get it back.

    I have found cash many times, but I think the largest amounts in any single find were $10 once, and $7 another time. I haven’t ever found a way to return the cash finds. There’s some pleasure in being able to arrange the return to the owner, but there’s also pleasure in keeping the money if you can do so with a clear conscience. So I kept it.

    “Money poisons you when you’ve got it, and starves you when you haven’t.”
    – D. H. Lawrence

    “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”
    – Woody Allen

    Like this

Comments are closed.