Finding money and turning it in (poll)

We all find money from time to time.
Today I noticed 3 one dollar bills while walking up to pay for a soda. Being the only customer in the store I pick it up and pocket it.

I regularly pick up change I find the the parking lots or sidewalks.

Yet today I got to wondering… how much money would require me (morally) to turn in. I am pretty sure if I found a wells fargo bag full of cash I would turn it in. Yet, change in the sidewalk and a Fargo bag full of bills are rather extreme.

I am not sure where the line is between the two.

So, my fellow poster, do you have a line? at what point would you turn in money found?

thanks in advance.


I found $300 on the sidewalk down the street from my house last year. Three crispy $100 bills just laying there five to ten feet apart. Yeah, I kept it. It was probably drug money. There’s a lot of that around here.

If I just found loose bills, I’d pocket it. The most I’ve ever found was $5 in my neighborhood when I was a kid. If it was in something I’d probably turn it in. I don’t know where the line is, either.

I don’t see how cash could be traced to its owner. If I found a wallet with $20, I’d turn it in because there’s a good chance it could be returned to the person who lost it. But if I found a $20 bill, how could a store owner or the cops find who it belonged to?

Would it be easier to return $300 cash?

If it were a large amount, say, over $100, you could tell the nearest store manager, or other place of business, that you found some money, and give them your phone number, and tell them that if anyone comes in looking for it to call you. To determine whether they were actually the owner or not, they’d have to know the exact amount and the denomination of the bills. I probably wouldn’t hand over the money to the people in the store, because likely it would go in their pocket.

When a local private college (my father’s alma mater, coincidentally) was doing some renovation, a construction worker found, in an old metal locker, a paper bag containing something like $30K. He turned it in and the adminstration 'attempted to trace the ownership". no one was found or came forward, so the school kept it. The construction worker was thanked and given no reward for being honest. My father has not given any money to the school since. “Cheap son-of-bitches”, I believe was his quote.

This one seems simple to me. If the owner could be clearly identified, then I’d give it to her/him.

If I couldn’t identify the owner, then it would be: MINE! :smiley:

I found a $20 on the floor of a music store once. I was waiting on a clerk to return when a guy got behind me to check out. He started feeling his pockets, so I turned to him and asked if he’d lost some money. When he said “yes,” I handed it to him and walked out. I realize of course that he might’ve a) seen me pick the money off the floor and thought to scam me, or b) answered my leading question (I probably said something like, "Did you lose a $20) in the affirmative by reflex. But the money was never mine, so I didn’t care.

If I found some money in a rather obscure location, I’d probably keep it if no one was around that might be the owner, and it wasn’t significant enough that someone would actually post notice about it.

If I know there’s a good chance whoever lost the cash will be reunited with their money, I’ll turn it in, regardless of how much money we’re talking about. [Well, unless it’s something absurd, like a nickel.] I turned in ten bucks I found on a school bus once, and kept five I found ground into the dirt at a fair. For me, anyway, it depends on the circumstances, not the amount.

to the schmuck that turned in 30k, you suck…why would he do something so silly? did he actually think hed get something in return? ha…the person he gave it to probably kept it…to answer the question, if you lose money i’ll keep it, unless i know you…

Real World: I found $20 on the floor at the grocery. No other people around to ask if they had lost it. You can bet I kept it.

Dream World: Last night I had a dream that I was in Germany, looking for a restaurant, and stopped to ask for directions. I found a few coins laying in the parking lot and as I was picking them up, I found a wallet with a large stash of bills in it. I turned it in only to find it was evidence in a recent murder.

So, in answer to the OP, I guess there is a line and I’ll just have to let you know when I see it. If I found $30k, I would not be able to live with myself thinking it was the life savings of some little old lady from Pasadena or something.

If I found a ten dollar bill or more, I would most likely turn it in, depending on the circumstances. For example, I would not turn it in at a place such as a state fair, where I think that there is a huge chance that it would just get pocketed by whoever I give it to.

I found an envelope with some money ($60, as I recall) on the sidewalk outside a tourist-trap store here in Nashville. I gave it to the store manager, and she put it in an envelope with my name and address on it. She said if no one called for it she’d send it to me. Two weeks later I got the envelope in the mail, with all the cash still there. I got the good feelling of doing the right thing and the cash, too.


$800 Yes eight hundred dollars.

I was the manager of a movie theatre and while helping the ushers clean a house I found a womans wallet with 800 bucks in it. I took it to the office and while examining it I found some weird stuff. Like multiple IDs with the same womans face with different names. Very different names. Credit cards in even more names. I was about to call the cops and she came back looking for her wallet. So I gave it to her. She looked through it and walked out with out even thanking me.

When I have found money without any ID I have kept it. (usually coin)
Over the years I have found 4 or 5 wallets with money. I have always returned them to the owner. I think I have been given some type of reward every time, except the last. The last wallet I found, there was no one home when I stopped by. So I dropped it off at the Police station. The cops acted like I was some kind of hero for turning in a wallet.

I will turn in:

  1. Money in a wallet with ID (e.g. credit cards).
  2. Large sums of cash that look suspiciously like connected to gangster activities. You don’t want them to come after you.
  3. Cash inside envelopes or wrapped in paper/handkerchief/etc. It probably belongs to some poor folk who desperately needs the money.

I have found $20 in a Sub Shop as I was getting Lunch one day, I kept it and had lunch on someone. I am of the mind-set if it is just money, with out purse or wallet, and I find it, it’s mine.

Found $400 and a seniors bus ticket in a change purse on the street one night.

I turned it in to the police. The policeman said he wasn’t sure what he’d do if he’d found it.

My friends all thought I was a chump, but I know I did the right thing.

I found a hundred dollar bill in the gutter. I kept it.
Also found a change purse with $38 in it, no i.d. Kept it.
If I find a wallet with i.d., I pocket the cash and put the wallet in a mailbox. The post office will contact the owner.

If I found a million dollars, would I keep it? Well if it was a poor person who lost it, I’d give it back… :smiley: