11 Fun and Weird Money Superstitions 🐸

Back in 2008, a co-worker came up to my cubicle and put this ceramic figurine on my desk. It’s a tiny little cat with one paw raised.

She said to me, “as long as you keep this on your desk, money and wealth will flow your way.

I’m not a superstitious person, but for some reason I kept this little dude on my desk over the years. It moved to California with me, switched workplaces with me, took a sabbatical with me, and currently sits in my home office.

I know I’m not the richest guy in the world… but I have accumulated a decent pile of wealth since 2008… Do you think this little cat contributed to my money growth over the years?

If I were to throw it away, would money stop flowing to me? Do I have to keep it FOREVER??!!

🤷‍♂️ 

Money Superstitions … Do You Follow Them?

Every Chinese New Year, my mother-in-law comes over and puts little decorations all over our house. I’ve never minded her doing this (I especially don’t mind those little red envelopes with coins or dollar bills inside!)🧧🤑

But, some years in addition to decorations, she also brings us a bowl of mandarins — not for eating — but to place in the center of our dinner table. 🍊🍊🍊 Apparently mandarins (or oranges or tangerines) represent wealth and prosperity. You’re supposed to keep them on your table throughout the 15 days of the Chinese New Year holiday.

I don’t know about you guys, but aging/rotting fruit isn’t my favorite thing to keep around the house … I do want to respect people’s traditions … But soggy fruit is kind of a deal breaker for me. Is it bad that I eat or throw them away a couple days after they get to my house?

Where do you draw the line between having good money luck and interrupting your life to follow the exact rules?

Other Money Superstitions

Here are some other fun money superstitions to bring good luck with wealth. Some of these I just learned for the first time. Fun stuff!

Get a Money Tree

There’s a specific type of tree called “Pachira aquatica” which is one of the easiest trees you can keep and grow indoors. These are also called lucky money trees! You sometimes see a few of these small trees planted in the same pot with their stems braided together.

Legend has it that a farmer back in the day was down on his luck, then brought one of these money trees back home and realized they multiplied and he built a business selling them.

Amazon even sells a 9-inch tall money plant for $10! I wonder if it will attract good fortune and bring in enough money to pay for itself?

Fun fact: In the right environment, planted outside, these trees can grow up to 60 feet tall!

Careful Which Pennies You Pick Up!

We all know the phrase, “See a penny, pick it up … all day long you’ll have good luck!”

But what you might not know is that there’s a superstition about which side the penny is lying on when you find it. A penny with heads facing up brings good luck. A penny with tails facing up is bad luck!

I’ve always picked up pennies I find on the ground, no matter how they lay. Does that mean my good luck and bad luck are cancelling each other out? Well, from now on I’ll only be grabbing the ones showing heads. And if I see a coin showing tails up, I’ll just flip it over to the heads side and let the next passer-by grab it for good luck.

Money Spider in Your Pocket

I thought this one was strange … apparently if a spider crawls into your pocket, aka a “money spider,” it will bring you good fortune. Some believe dreaming of spiders means money will come into your life soon.

I gotta say, where I grew up in Australia, if you find a spider in your pocket you’ve probably got a 50% chance of heading to the hospital. Spiders aren’t great news down under!

But hey, if any of you guys find a spider in your pocket and live to tell about it, can you let me know if money comes into your life after? 

Bird Pooping On You = Good Luck

This superstitious belief originated in Russia where a bird pooping on you (or anything you own) has rare odds, and is therefore considered good luck.

What are the odds of a bird pooping on you in the USA? I’m glad you asked…

Someone on Reddit did the research and explained in great detail within this hilarious bird poop odds thread. They concluded the following:

“Assuming independence, average probability etc,

  • Each person has 0.06*24*60*60=5,184 seconds daily exposure (6% outside each day)
  • Birds poop every 2,880 seconds on average, so probability of ½,880 each second or a poop probability each second of 0.001 * (½,880)
  • Thus, probability of surviving 1 day without poop is (1 – (0.001 * (1/2,880))) ^ 5184 = 0.9982016187
  • Or in lifetime chance over 78.74 years (average American life expectancy 2012): (1 – (0.001 * (1/2880))) ^ (78.74 * 365 * 5184) = 3.411896044e-23 ~= 0, which means a lifetime risk of ~1.”

Itchy Palm Superstition

J. Money actually found this one out back in the day when his wife had itchy palms

After googling why her hands were so itchy, they learned that an itchy palm on your right hand means that money will be coming in to you soon. But an itchy palm on the left means money will be paid out or money will leave you.

Btw… If you do have itchy left palm, apparently rubbing some wood on it will stop the itching and stop the bad luck, too!

Three-Legged Toad

The feng shui money frog (aka three-legged toad or Jin Chan) is a popular Chinese good luck symbol that attracts wealth and prosperity.

Having one of these toad statues around your house or place of business is a good luck charm, representing a flow of money. (Just don’t place them facing your main door, and never keep them in the bathroom, dining room, bedroom or kitchen).

Just for fun, I made a quick origami money frog using this video on YouTube. Apparently that’s good luck, even though it has 4 legs instead of 3. Maybe I should cut one of the back legs off?

Don’t Whistle Your Money Away

Another Russian superstition… If you whistle inside your house, you’ll whistle your money away!

Apparently whistling is seen as a “carefree” activity, and if you’re too careless and not keeping a concerned eye on your money, it might slip away.

Hold Cash During New Year’s Day Countdown

Instead of toasting your drink or kissing your partner as the new year turns, apparently it’s good luck to hold some cash when the clock strikes 12. This will bring economic prosperity for the coming year.

Hmmm. I might have to try this one for 2022 New Year’s Eve!

Shooting Star Money

It’s common for people to make a single wish when they see a shooting star. But, if you say the word “money” when you see a shooting star, it apparently brings constant wealth.

Will someone try this out and see if it works? Los Angeles has so much smog I can barely see the moon these days, let alone any shooting stars. 😳

Hammer a Coin Into a “Wish Tree” 

Personally I don’t recommend this one — because I’m a tree hugger… PLEASE DON’T ever harm a living tree — but there’s an old tradition in Scotland and Wales to hammer a penny or small coin into a tree that has fallen over.

These landmark “wish trees” have thousands of pennies nailed into them and it’s believed that after you make a small coin offering, you can leave with a wish. Many people believe it brings financial fortune.

Lucky Money 401(k) Millionaire Trick

I saved the best money trick for last…

Some of you might be skeptical about this money superstition but believe me, THIS ONE ACTUALLY WORKS!!!

If you do this right, you will be lucky enough to accumulate $1 million inside your 401(k) by the time you are 65.

Here’s how it works:

If you are in your 20s, all you need to do is set an automatic transfer of ~$300 into an investment account every month. If you are in your 30s, you’ll need to transfer about $600-800 per month… If you’re in your 40s, you’d better make it ~$1500-$2000 per month.

Once the recurring transfers are set up, all you do is continue living your life. Luck will grow and compound over time, and you’ll magically have $1M to retire with.

It works. Try it! ;)

Any superstitions about money that I missed? What fun beliefs do you have?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
– Joel

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17 Comments

  1. Brandy October 1, 2021 at 6:09 AM

    A bird pooped on my shoulder a few weeks ago, and that same week I received a promotion at work. Coincidence? Hmmm…now I’m not so sure!

    Reply
    1. Joel October 1, 2021 at 12:53 PM

      It works!!?? I’m gonna go sit under a big tree all afternoon ;)

      Reply
  2. Nona October 1, 2021 at 11:09 AM

    Omg! Once, years ago, on the day of my birthday we visited a very old neighborhood with a bad reputation (sex and drugs etc). I really liked the old buildings in the neighborhood so I wanted to visit it anyways. Just when we entered the neighborhood a bird shit on the shoulder of my jacket!
    It was my birthday and I wore my favorite jacket so I started crying!
    Must have been a hell of a sight: girl with her boyfriend next to her, crying her heart out in that bad reputation neighborhood
    Boyfriend and I are still together though, with 3 kids and 5 houses so perhaps the birdshit did bring us good luck after all

    Reply
    1. Joel October 1, 2021 at 12:55 PM

      I hear “Birthday shittings” are extra rare. You must be super lucky!

      Reply
  3. Amanda October 1, 2021 at 12:07 PM

    I love random superstitions, money related or not!!

    Reply
    1. Joel October 1, 2021 at 12:58 PM

      I must admit, I still make a wish when I look at the clock randomly and it’s exactly 11:11. or sometimes 12:34. Is that a thing?

      Reply
  4. Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy October 1, 2021 at 12:21 PM

    To this day, I still won’t pickup a penny that is on tails, even if it is a silly superstition! However, other coins, such as nickels and above, are another story entirely. A cent in hand is still free money!

    I mostly view superstition as self-fulfilling prophecies. We tend not to notice “correlations” unless they are brought to our attention. Importantly, correlation is not causation. Nonetheless, I am hoping that your desk cat continues to bring you prosperity!

    Reply
    1. Joel October 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM

      This feels weird, but since writing this post (about 1 week ago) I have found like 10 different pennies on the ground in different places. Almost all of them have been tails up. I’ve been flipping them to heads and leaving them for the next person.

      Agree totally with self fulfilling prophecies!

      Reply
      1. Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy October 4, 2021 at 5:29 PM

        I will have to steal that idea of flipping coins over, as it is a great way to make someones day a little bit brighter!

        Reply
  5. Shanyo October 1, 2021 at 3:57 PM

    There’s an old superstition that giving someone a knife or blade is bad luck – that the ties that bind them may get cut, etc. So an ancient practice (my family relates it to Scotland, but who knows) is to add a penny to the gift of a blade – then the receiver gives the penny back to the giver, in effect “buying” the knife rather than receiving it as a gift.

    Reply
    1. Joel October 1, 2021 at 7:18 PM

      I’ve heard of this one too. My neighbors do this with certain gifts… I think scissors also as well as knives.

      Reply
  6. Scarlet October 6, 2021 at 1:07 PM

    Totally! I found myself thinking the same thing. I am not a superstitious person but I keep a money charm someone gave me once too. Just in case!! That millionaire 401K one is the advise I need to take but with a family and in my 40s that is hard. We do our best though!

    Reply
  7. NZ Muse October 26, 2021 at 4:14 PM

    Maybe not a superstition, but I believe in the importance of giving. I make donations every month and I notice that the more I give, the more comes back to me in other unexpected ways…

    Reply
    1. Joel October 26, 2021 at 4:47 PM

      I believe that is called The Wonderful Paradox. “I have more fun and enjoy more financial success when I stop trying to get what I want —> and start helping other people get what they want.”

      It’s not a superstition. It’s just… the truth! :)

      Reply
  8. Erica Ring October 27, 2021 at 12:16 PM

    Yes, Joel. Yes, you keep the little cat forever! BRB googling “small money cat”…

    Reply
    1. Joel October 27, 2021 at 1:48 PM

      haha! Actually maybe I’ll keep the cat until I achieve Fat FI… then hand it down to someone else who could use some luck?

      Reply

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