Question: What do you do when you see money on the sidewalk, or see it elsewhere on the ground?

I am asking this simply out of curiosity. Actually, this has happened several times

to myself.


I would yell out, “hey did anyone lose any money?” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I pick up pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters. Don’t think I’ve ever found bills.


In New York state, at least, any significant amount of found money is supposed to be handed over to the local police. I think they hold it for about thirty days. If no one inquires about it (and, I believe they must supply the exact amount, and the general area in which it was lost, in order to claim it), it becomes the property of the finder. I don’t suppose it happens that way often, but, there are legal issues to consider.
Me, personally? I’d probably hand it over, and hold on to the receipt zealously! It’s kind of hard to give up ‘found money’.


Keep it. Actually found $80 on the ground in an alley a couple years ago. Alley was well traveled, but known for drug transactions at night. Figured no one was going to go the police to tell them they dropped the proceeds from a drug deal at 2 in the morning. Over the course of my life, I have given much $$ to charities. From the red kettles of the SA at Christmas, to church sponsored charities and others. I guess it all evens out. Don’t have any guilty conscience about it and I don’t think others should either.


For small change, I’ll pick it up. If nobody claims it I might keep it or give it to the nearest panhandler.
For any large amount I’d look for a police officer and turn it in.


I’m one of those guys who - drops - money.

I just like doing it - here and there :upside_down_face:


Same here. If there’s nobody around and no identification, I take it :slightly_smiling_face:


Over my 70 years of being a Catholic, I have contributed much much more than I have ever “found.” Starting with the “:pagan babies” we save in first grade with our pennies, to now with the appeals for mission Sunday, donations to St. Vincent de Paul, appeals for retired clergy, the annual bishop’s Lenten appeal, right down to the Sunday collection and the occasional second collection. And those are the religious. There is the SA kettles, Marines Toys for Tot, boy scout collection of canned food, etc., etc. I don’t say this to say “hey look at me, aren’t I wonderful”, I say it because probably every other Catholic on this forum and those not, do the same thing. We take a part of what we work for and give it back to Christ in many different forms. So if I find some $$$ on the ground, unless I know from whom it came, I’ll keep it. In the long run, I’ll probably end up giving it away over time anyway.


I found a wallet containing $400 once. I found the owner and returned it. I also found a $20 bill while walking the dog. That was my lucky day! :dog::smiley:


If it is possible to return it to the rightful owner then do so. If it is a significant sum then you should turn it over to the police. If not ( I would say under $100.00) then you can either keep it or donate some or all of it to a charity.


excuse me, that was my $20 dollar bill… Honest it was…


So I shouldn’t keep the bag of money? :confused::disappointed:


Can you describe that $20 bill? What president was on it?


Um, I’m pretty sure it was Robert E Lee… Oh, wait that’s alternate Earth 14a…


Armory v Delamirie, early 18th century, the finder of lost property (as opposed to misplaced property) has better title than all save the true owner.

It involved a ring found while cleaning a chimney, which was then taken from the finder.

Or something like that.

Law school wa a long time ago, and it’s kind of disurbing that I remember the name of the case . . .




There’s nothing like leaving a quarter outside the church doors for a little one to find it and have joy!
I was very surprised one day to see a white haired lady pick it up and show it off to her friend. A little one in the heart.


I found a $5 bill walking in my neighborhood once. I was so excited. I pick up junk I find in the road like nails and other metal. There is a lot of that. I thought the $5 was a just reward for all the nails and screws I’ve picked up.

As for what to do it depends on the circumstances. The $5 was just laying in the street. I took it and gave it to charity. Had I found a hundred dollars I might have made some attempt to find the owner. Certainly as the amount got higher I would. To my mind if you give the money to the Church or a charity it isn’t as important to find the owner.


I definitely would pic k it up and keep it. I figure it came to me from Jesus!:heart::heart::heart:


My mother lives in Ohio and found $300.00 on the floor in a grocery store near the pharmacy. She was afraid if she gave it to the grocery lost and found it would be “lost,” so she called the police and they took it. When Mother called 30 days later, the police said the person came in to claim it. The claimant said the amount and general area. The police gave it to her and told my mother she cried. About a year later, the woman called from Hawaii to thank my mother (I guess the police told her who turned it in). She said she had been having many physical problems and the money was for medicine.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit