Less may be more in a lot of respects, but when it comes to personal finance, more is definitely better. Ideas should be scalable. Why double when you can 10X? In a world so focused on growing gaps, increasing income, and building entrepreneurial empires, it makes sense to focus on more. Still, after reaching some pretty serious financial milestones, I still find myself getting just as excited about bronze and silver as I do about those crisp evergreen bills…and direct deposit.
I still pick up pennies. And quarters. And whatever else I can find to squirrel away in my piggy bank. In fact, I would argue that there is no feeling quite like setting out on a walk and stumbling across a few cents or finishing up your grocery shopping at Aldi only to discover that someone failed to return the cart so now you get the steps and the quarter. It’s equal parts nostalgia and delighting in the unexpected that keep me stooping over for spare change.
In many respected, I traded my extreme and extremely stupid coupon habit for spending apps. Ibotta, Checkout 51, Receipt Hog, Shopkick, MobySave. I think I have them all. What’s more is that I use them fairly regularly. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to use them. If you’re not careful, these apps can end up using you. Still, I probably have about $200 waiting to be cashed out on my phone, with $171 sitting in Ibotta alone. I can’t say that it adds up quickly, but it does add up. (And oh my gosh, is it the most exciting thing ever when someone signs up with my link and they get a $10 bonus, and I get FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS. ::squeals with delight::)
I have been back in the Poshmark game for a few months now. The effort I have put in has been just about as minimal as it gets, but I am still raking in smalls sales on a fairly regular basis. $13 here, $5.05 there. This isn’t going to make me rich. I’m certainly not going to open a boutique or a business flipping designer items and discount finds. Instead, I am perfectly content accepting pennies on the dollar as I look to streamline and simplify my life.
Why I Still Haven’t Changed
There has been a lot said about chasing pennies lately. A lot of people want to chalk it up to a scarcity mindset. While I certainly know what it is like to be in precarious money situations, I don’t believe that explains my current situation. I also don’t think it is because I believe in setting smaller goals. Don’t get me wrong. I can dream big with the best of them. So it’s not that either. Why, then, do I still get so fired up over a few pennies here and a $5 payout there?
The short answer: All my pennies have a purpose. Let me explain. While I probably never will master the art of picking up pennies (or playing poker) like my nana, I did pay close attention to what she did with all of those pennies. They rattled around in a red Pringles can on top of the shoe cubby in the back of her closet. Once the can was full, she would walk the 1.4 miles (one way!) to her bank and deposit the money. She would also flutter into her room for a handful of coins at the first mention of Pinochle or poker. It was equal parts savings and fun money, and I have started looking at these little earnings here and there the same way.
Sometimes, I use the money to cover the cost of jaunts to Vegas or giving during the holidays. Usually, I use the money to chip away at our mortgage or to meet other savings goals. I would certainly never deny the power of increasing income exponentially. Nor would I turn down a small fortune inherited from a thrice-removed long-lost aunt. But when it comes to money, at least in my mind, a little matters a lot.
So Tell Me…Do you ever feel like you are chasing pennies? Do you mind?