I Found $20: What Do I Do Now?

This must be my lucky day. I’m walking through the corridor of my apartment complex toting groceries when I look down and see a crumpled twenty dollar bill. Now, before you judge me, I waited 30 seconds and looked in all directions to see if someone was searching for their lost money. No one came back for the funds and so now I have $20 in my wallet.

When I was growing up, there was a saying in the house that if you found any money, you needed to spend it right away. So if someone found $20 like I did, they would physically take that specific $20 bill and spend it ASAP lest the gods curse you with bad luck.

I’m not married to that line of thinking, and while I’ve always had some plans in place for a $1,000 or $10,000 windfall, I’m unsure what to do here. Let’s walk through some options together.


Buy something to eat

This is my gut reaction to found money – my head fills with the latest commercial for a special. Perhaps I will stuff myself with Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster or spend the next two days eating a Grilled Cheese Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut. Whatever the case, it would be easy for me to walk to a nearby restaurant or store and eat something better than ramen noodles and oatmeal.

Donate the money

With the tiny demon finished talking about food, the angel by my left ear whispers “Donate the money…” Twenty dollars isn’t a life-changing amount of money for me, but there are plenty of worthwhile causes that could do plenty of good with $20. I could provide clean water for children in a 3rd world country or donate money to protect animals in danger.

Bank the money

Now it’s my parents and my grandparents’ turns to chime in. On more than one occasion, my grandmother would tell me how she would win the lottery someday, put the whole amount in the bank, and then live off the interest. Now that interest rates are paltry, my $20.00 could become $20.05 or $20.25 even. Well, at least I just spent a moment thinking about family — priceless.

Give $20 to a friend

I don’t borrow money from friends, otherwise paying that debt back would probably rank at the top of this list. However, I do like to treat my friends to coffee or share small gifts when possible. Heck, I could even buy a box of doughnuts for my team at work and be a hero. It’s like having my doughnut and eating it too~


What would you do with $20 you found on the ground?



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