#995 Finding money you didn’t even know you lost

An old roommate of mine was sifting through and tossing out some old birthday cards once when a crisply entombed twenty dollar bill slid out of a faded card from Grandma. Her eyebrows perked up, her mouth formed a perfect O, and she raised her hand up top for a high five, which I promptly delivered.

Finding a bill zipped up in last year’s ski jacket, laying wet and crumpled in the washing machine, or folded in the pocket of your booze-smelling blazer is such a great high. There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but this sure comes close.

Such a great highFinding your own money is a lot like discovering an entirely new currency, one that cannot be used to pay down debts or obligations, but only has value when purchasing stuff you probably don’t need and wouldn’t have bought otherwise, like an old-school beanie cap, novelty ten-pound Toblerone bar, or high-octane gasoline. It is disposable income in the truest sense of the phrase.

For the pessimists out there, you may be saying “Barumph! That money has been all chewed up by time and inflation, slowly losing value and unaccumulating interest while prices ramp right on up, making my life less and less affordable. That found money could have purchased more before I lost it than it can today, so why should I celebrate my own stupidity?”

But Pessy, come on, we’re talking about found money here — money that hasn’t been budgeted for, accounted for, remembered for, promised for, or owed for, anything at all, since you lost it! Surely the few sacrificed cents of interest in the bank are a small price to pay for holding that folded up bill, right up to the sky, in your tightly clenched fist, with no claims to satisfy. Sure, it may smell a bit like mothballs, Tide, or Grandma’s skin cream, but that money still works. And it works well.

So let’s call found money what it really is then.


New form of currency


152 thoughts on “#995 Finding money you didn’t even know you lost

  1. I have to say that I intentionally hide money. Every once in a while I will take $100 in twenties and go gallivanting about the house. I put the money in picture frames, books (the ones I know I will read again) and of course that pot in the kitchen you only use once a year. The ultimate is the winter coat. In April or May, you grab a nice crisp $20 and stuff it in the inside pocket and just imagine you super excitement in October when you put and your jacket and score a twenty spot! Sweet.

    1. I love finding money @ the dry cleaners (in a suit pocket -left over after a night of crazy dancing at a wedding!)

    2. its even more AWESOME when you’re at the station, your train whistling, the clerk at the counter refuses to give you your ticket with a curt “No change”, and you frantically dig into your bag…. and Voila! you found some change you never even knew you had!! :):)

  2. One time, I lost a bunch of Sacagewea coins (like $5 worth) and I didn’t really care because I hated those shitty $1 coins so much. I was about 13 when this happened, so $5 was a shitload of money, but even still I did not care.

    I often think kids 20 years from now will say, ” ‘ The fuck you make one dollar coins for?”

    1. um, The Canadian loonie, anyone? i think they’re quite useful. anywho, great post. i love this feeling so much, especially if you’re having a bad day, reach into your pocket, and voila! instant grin and purchasing power to boot :)

  3. Shortly after my grandfather died in the early 90’s, I remember being very scared of his bedroom closet. One day I steeled up the courage to go in there, and I started searching his clothes for anything to remember him by. When I got to his WW2 Uniform, imagine my surprise when I found $1000 in wartime currency! I told my father about it, and he gave me the wisest advice I’ve ever received. The money is still in my safety deposit box.

    1. Wotcher!

      In December, I found a five dollar bill on the floor. :-) I picked it up and unfolded it, and right in the middle there was a note saying, “Merry Christmas!”. :-D Totally made my day. :-)


  4. I seriously doubt that you’re going to find 994 things better than finding money you didn’t know you had. Might have to reorganise this list, man.

  5. The summer before I went away to college, my mom made me clean my bedroom. I found $65 between various purses and jackets I hadn’t used in awhile. It was completely awesome.

      1. i agree! i had been in germany as a foreign exchange student for a year in 2008-2009, and when i came back to my room, i found enough money to get a wii and games (400 or something) in old math books

  6. Every new season when I put away a coat, waiting for the next year, I put a five dollar bill in the pocket! Even though I do it purposely, I am often surprised and delighted with myself!

    This is a great site!!

  7. When I was about twelve I got up to my cottage at the start of the season and was cleaning, when I found last years B-day money. $65.

    A twelve year old with 65 dollars, best summer ever :)

    1. lovvve the feeling. =] I always seem to find bud when cleaning my room. It’s no good to hide stuff so good that you can’t even find it!

  8. when i was 9, on my birthday me and some friends went for a walk through the bush, I found $30 in change that day… that wasn’t mine to begin with!

    1. You won’t believe I had the same situation when was living in NJ. I bought summer shorts in Second Hand Store… I was pleasantly surprised when I found old $1 bill in the side-pocket… Ohhh… that was in 1998….

  9. One time I found like 90 bucks in the pocket of my coat when I took it back out for winter. AND- I was all broke that week, so it was like winning on a scratch-off ticket!

  10. The happiest day of your life when your poor.. Not long ago I picked out a hoodie out of my wardrobe I hadn’t worn in a while and suprise ! 20 beans. AWESOME.

  11. I switch purses quite often. So, I go to switch back to an old purse I hadn’t used in a while I open up the zipper and BAM! $50 sitting right there.. I was like Hellz to the yeah!!!

  12. my friend always finds random bits of money on the floor, but i never have any luck! lol. But once I found a £50 note on the floor, a blind man[or woman] must have droped that!

  13. This happens to me so often, it’s great. It almost feels as if money just appears for me. XD Unfortunately it doesn’t and it’s just me finding cash I’ve forgot to put into my “piggy bank”. Still great, though!

  14. I love finding money in places!! especially winter coats, that’s where it usually happends!!! I was going through my old winter coats from years ago and I had found an old two dollar bills. Those don’t exist in canada anymore. I had forgotten what they looked like until then.

  15. I found 3 grand in an online savings account I thought I had emptied ages ago. That’s like the most (legit) found money – ever. I also once found a Benjamin on the street. Decided to treat my girlfriend’s friends to dinner and was labeled a show off for doing so. Still, finding money is MONEY!

  16. Love finding money you forgot you had, the best is always like when your harcord broke and you can;t afford to go out and do anything and you sit home and decide to crack open a book. I found 15$ in S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” lol

              1. The UK doesn’t have £1 notes -but we used to. They’re actually thinking about re-introducing them. I think it’d be awesome.
                Also, finding money in a hand-me-down winter coat. Can never decide if it’s stealing or awesomeness.

  17. Gotta admit…finding money anywhere is great-Here recently, I was shopping at Wal-Mart with my fiance & his daughter, and laying there on the ground was what looked like a $100 bill. Went to pick it up, and it was a folded up advertisement with a picture of money on it. It looked so real, we put it back down on the ground and just watched as people either passed right by it or actually picked it up just to get the shock we did…kinda makes me wonder who was watching us, lol.

  18. There’s a name for this…a Sniglet (Google it.) Finding money in your pocket you forgot was there is “Buckstacy.”

    At our house, the “___stacy” suffix now also applies to other things we find that we forgot about.

  19. I was cleaning my room out one day and found a bunch of birthday cards. Before throwing them away I decided to reread them one more time, good thing I did or I would have thrown away a $100 bill without ever knowing.

  20. Once when I was unemployed for a long time and hadn’t been out in ages I decided to cheer myself up by scrapping together the bus fair to go to my friends house (out of my penny jar). When I got off the bus, a piece of paper blew onto my leg and got stuck there – it was £10! I went to my friends and it turned out he had a poker game planned. I was so desperate to win more money that it truly broke my heart when I blew the whole tenner without ever getting ahead in the game. On my way home, while I was lamenting wasting my free mini-fortune, I found £20 at that same bus stop. It wasn’t money I had lost then found, but it was AWESOME

  21. This makes me wonder how much money I may have thrown away that could have been between papers or something like that…. But finding money is always awesome! On halloween night i was walking on the street and I spotted a 20 on the ground. There was another girl walking towards me that was closer to it then I was and I thought for sure she would spot it and pick it up. She walked right over it!! YESSS!!!! I guess it was calling my name :)

  22. I once found a $1.00 bill on the stairs, but it was actually my moms. Ugh! before she told me that was her dollar I was like “jackpot!”

  23. When i was in the sixth grade I found a $50 bill in the hallway. i took it home and told my grandpa and he said keep it and i did and then one day i was looking for it and i could not find it it made me so mad, but i got over it.

    This was my story about finding a $50 bill on the ground at school.

  24. My wife just found $100 in a book that we got for our wedding. We thought, “oh, a money management book. Great gift, I guess,” and swiftly put it on the shelf. When she was reorganizing, she found it with a bookmark. “That’s odd. I didn’t think either of us had read this,” she thought. It wasn’t a bookmark! It was $100!


  25. i know how awesome it is to find money laying around .one day i was walking home from the used bookstore where i’d spent some of my last ten. i was feeling kind of guilty, because that money was supposed to go to my Europe trip when i looked down and saw a ten dollar bill laying in the grass . i felt so incredibly happy.

  26. My story is similar to CK’s story.

    Yesterday night I was looking for something to read at my bookshelf and noticed one of the novels had a bookmark in it. I wondered why I stopped reading that novel, and opened it up, The bookmark was actually $180.

  27. When i start reading this i felt lot boring, but surprised to see these many ppl hv tht experience. Eventhough i also sometimes happens to get money from old clothes, but i wasnt v. happy.

    but interesting to knw these many ppl replied..

  28. that´s just awesome i once found a bill that i put a year ago in the front pocket of a shirt
    i often find some change in the bottom of my backpack

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