Our relatives laugh at the way we watch our money. "Just take care of the dollars, and the pennies will follow!" Of course, they are financial professionals, while my expertise comes from Dave Ramsey's radio show. Sometimes I doubt my own logic. Especially when I'm standing in a customer service line because the scanner has rung up more than the shelf tag. I do it, not only for the measly dime, but to protest those silent overcharges.
Today I heard an NPR story that energized my attention to detail. An Arkansas lawyer noticed that the trip to his grandmother's, which had taken 342 miles on one car, now took 352 in his Honda minivan. The result is a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Honda's inaccurate odometers. Honda must now extend owner's warranties and refund mileage charges to lease holders. Not because some government agency spotted the problem, but because one man noticed a difference of ten miles.
Many Americans would have dismissed ten miles as pocket change. Only in a country so rich can we blithely ignore the small numbers. Just think what we could accomplish by teaching our children the value of change. Twenty-six CENTS a day nourishes a hungry child around the world. $1.84 feeds the homeless in our own backyard. We mothers-on-budgets know that pennies matter--not just to us, but to those in need. Let's remember that next time someone smirks at our portfolios.
Recommended resource: Ellie Kay's Shop, Save, and Share teaches how to put smart couponing to work for charity. Check it out at your local library!