If you see a penny
Pick it up
And all day long
You’ll have good luck
I was in fourth grade when I first heard this little catchphrase. It was part of a unit we were doing on poetry and while I remember nothing else from my fourth grade poetry lessons, I do remember thinking, “I wonder if pennies are really good luck?”
So whenever I saw a penny (or nickel or dime) on the ground, I picked it up. I picked up so many pennies (and nickels and dimes) that I started saving them in a special shoe box I had decorated with my idea of what “luck” looked like. (Luck, in case you don’t know, looks a lot like unicorns, rainbows, four leaf clovers and lightening bolts.)
When my father found my luck box during a routine room clean, he asked what I was saving for. I had no idea what he was talking about, and explained about the poem and my stockpile of luck. He then explained to me the concept of saving money. We counted up my money, and after putting 10% in my bank savings, I had enough left over to go buy myself a few Littlest Pet Shops.
As time marched on, I remembered the part of always putting 10% into your savings account, but forgot the part about picking up pennies. I’m old now. I’ve been pregnant for the better part of the last five years, so I couldn’t even see the pennies on the ground if I wanted to.
But now I’ve got little luck chasers of my own. The other day, I caught the Glass Slipper fussing with our Dimes for Disney jar. I asked what she was doing and she silently held out a little fist full of change. I asked her where she had gotten it. Apparently, everywhere. Kroger, Target, the parking lot of her school, the floor of our car, underneath my desk. She told me she has just been looking for money to put in the jar so we can go to “the castle.”
Touched and encouraged, I sat with her to count it out. Y’all. In the span of a few weeks, my five year old collected $2.98. That’s half a Mickey Bar!
The lesson here is two fold:
Free money is free money. A penny may not seem like much, but put it together with a bunch of other pennies, and you’ve got the payment for a snack or a souvenir. Sometimes I get so caught up in making the “big money” (the surveys, or the grocery overflow) that I discount the small stuff.
Which is a big mistake. Don’t ignore that dime on the ground. It’s free! You didn’t have it before, now you do, and you didn’t have to do anything for it. That’s the best kind of Disney fund deposit.
Get your kids involved! Listen, as stated above, I am older now and the knees and the eyesight aren’t what they once were. But I’ve got two little ladies who are low to the sound and have keen eyesight. These gals love going to Disney World, so why involve them in the saving aspect? Get them involved on the ground level? Pun intended ;)
You could do a mini Dimes for Disney jars with them. Let them decorate the jars with their favorite Disney characters or past memories. Tell them they get to decide what part of the vacation they want to put their found money towards. That Dole Whip is going to taste a lot sweeter to them when they know it was their effort that got everyone a delicious snack.
Don’t discount the small ways you save for Disney, or the small people who want to be involved. Small steps and big steps on the same road lead to the same place. To quote our favorite frog loving princess, “Every penny counts.” So if you see a penny, pick it up.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!