It’s only a single penny. It’s the end of another long day and I’m pushing the floor scrubber across the gym floor. I stop and eye the coin. I figure that the scrubber’s big brush and vacuum would easily scoop up the penny, but I walk around the idled machine, squat down to pick up the coin and drop it into my pocket.
About an hour later, I’m undressing to grab a shower before a late night dinner. I feel the penny jangling about in my pocket. I think about flinging it into the garbage or tossing it into a nearby drawer.
Instead, I walk down into the basement and place the penny into my designated coin jar.
The coin has made its journey from the gym floor to its new home among other randomly gathered pieces of change. Given the monetary value of the coin and the time taken to retrieve it, carry it and place it here, there’s clearly a negative monetary cost benefit. So why did I make the decision to save it from the fate of the floor cleaner?
I’m sure this is rooted in my upbringing. The idea of a finding a ‘lucky’ penny. The concept of respecting the value of money. My own OCD need to put things in place.
Whatever is baked into my personality, I feel better about the choice. The karmic CBA is a net positive.