Finding money in your pocket is probably one of the most universally relatable experiences. It’s awesome. It’s a come-up for no apparent reason. It’s like a little reward for just going about your day. To steal a line from some Matthew McConaughey movie, “the universe provides.”
What I mean by that, is there’s opportunity and resources all around us, you just have to be on the lookout. When that resource is money or something you can turn into it, call it found money. Jumping on it gives you a chance to save or invest money you didn’t know was coming.
Save and Invest Found Money
If you’re building for the long term, whether you’re at the point where you’re just trying to survive or you’re at the point of having grander plans, it still helps to see yourself like the hunter-gatherers we used to be. Just as it was then, we are constantly given opportunities to improve our chances of survival and we have to make decisions about what is worth our time and energy relative to improving those chances. With us, it extends to homesteads and bank accounts, but we are still just ensuring our livelihood. That’s why it pays, in a literal sense, to be on the lookout for found money.
Some of the examples of found money are completely effortless and others require very little. An inheritance, money in your coat from last year, or something you find on the ground are happy little occurrences that might happen to anybody. Others take a little more awareness and resourcefulness.
Swallowing your pride is essential to some of these, but what do you care if the money-to-time ratio is worth it? If there’s an item on the street listed as free that has a clear value, then sell it online. Take the perfectly good stuff your job is throwing out and use it or sell it. Don’t refuse someone when they want to pitch in on things. Don’t be afraid to ask someone, like a friend who’s a mechanic, to help you with something that will save you money. With all of these things, you can quantify how much you’ve made or saved and put it back into your savings or investments.
Over time, as you make more money, some of these things may seem less worth your time. I would argue in a capitalist society, as you move in a more affluent space, the found money will start to amount to bigger sums as well. When you’re conscious of the opportunity, and your finances are improving, your found money items could easily go from furniture and home appliances to cars and homes. There’s always somebody underestimating the value of something for one reason or another, and therefore someone you can find who puts it at a higher value.
Find the Time For Found Money
At some point in your life or financial journey, you may have enough to decide you’re done building or worrying about saving. I’d say that’s the goal. Until you get there however, found money will always be there for you, just as long as you make sure it’s worth the time-money ratio.