Monday, December 19, 2005

Penny Pinching

There was an old saw that asked whether it was hypothetically worth Bill Gates' time to pick up a hundred dollar bill should he come across one on the street. The story concluded that it wasn't. In comparison with how much his time was worth, he would lose more money in taking the 30 seconds off his agenda to pick up the c-note.

Now, I don't really know whether Bill would pick up the bill, but I think for the rest of us, it's a given that we would. I mean, it's a hundred dollars, after all.

But let's do a perspective shift here. Since we're not multibillionaires, let's drop the amount drastically. If it was ten centavos (a fifth of a penny), would you pick it up?

As for me, I would. In fact, I often do. Almost every other day I see a coin on the street which even the street kids seem to ignore. So I pick it up.

No, it hasn't made any significant impact on my bank account. Over the months I think I must have collected around five pesos worth of ten- and five-centavo coins. All told, it isn't much.

Why do I pick them up? Well, I like to think that it's good luck. Even if it's just a superstition, I think the fact that I found money on the streets for the taking is good luck in itself.

With this mindset, it was only a matter of time before one gets really lucky. One time, it wasn't five centavos, it wasn't ten centavos, it was fifty pesos! Heh, that paid for dinner and a movie.



  1. I still pick up coins when I see them. Each coin counts. The fare these days is so expensive already. Php 7.50 is the minimum so the coins do help a lot.

    Sometimes I realize I have lots of coins in my bag already: to the point that I paid my shuttle fare (Php 40) in coins! :D

  2. 50 pesos for dinner and movie?

    San yan? Mapuntahan. :)

  3. Hi, all, thanks for commenting.

    Clair: must have been a heavy purse!

    Danielle Nicole: sa Dumaguete. P31 para movie, P15 para barbecue.