Mandatory fictional character looking for coins
I like to run and when I run I am always looking for coins. I'm not really doing this consciously – it's become a habit over the years. What I do know is that in most years I would add more than $ 100 to my savings (you would have to have well over $ 10,000 at your local bank to earn the same amount of interest) by simply doing the Keep your eyes open and know where to look.
Here's the funny thing about finding coins. If you're doing this to make extra money, it probably won't work. While hard to understand, finding coins isn't really about the money, although it can never hurt to add what you find to your savings.
I have had friends in the past who have heard about how to find money and decide that they will try too. Invariably they come back after a week and say they haven't found anything. The truth is, you won't find anything most days. That being said, if you don't look, the days you find money chances are you won't find if you didn't look. The people who are successful at it tend to see it as a game and treat it as such. Here are some of my favorite places to find coins in no particular order:
Coins come out of pockets in washing systems and a large part of them ends up on the floor where they can be found. Pay particular attention to the areas around the vacuum stations. It seems that a lot of people who clean their cars don't think the change is worth saving and throw it away with the rest of the junk they find under their car seats and floor mats.
For some reason, the homeless are not good at keeping an eye on their coins. I have gone through several of these camps and in many cases I will find several pennies. This may be because the homeless are not good at tracking their money, but it could also be because they have a lot of coins.
Motorway service stations
People who have been on long car journeys have made numerous stopovers and collected piles of change in their cars and bags. They're tired and not paying as much attention as they are at other times, and it seems quite a lot of these coins slip out of the car and stay in the rest area. It's also a great place to check out vending machines.
If you live in an area of the country where it snows, you will love spring when you become a coin hunter. Often times when people drop coins in winter they find it too awkward to pick up the coin or the coin falls into the snow where it is difficult to find. That leaves a cluster of coins that appear in the spring when the snow starts to melt.
Fast food dive up window
When people hand over money at the drive-up windows and take their change, the change of coins does not always go perfectly and from time to time a coin can fall. Many people are unwilling to go through the hassle of opening their car door and looking where the coin ultimately ended up. A quick look into the area of the fast food drive-up window can put a few coins in your pocket.
Self-paying parking machines
Similar to the fast food dive window, I always pay extra attention when walking past a parking lot that has a self-payer when the person drives out. People lean out of the window and put coins in the machine and sometimes a coin falls. Most of the time when this happens the person is not going to get out of their car and look for the coin underneath. Instead, they'll write it off as a loss and just leave. If this happens and the timing is right, this coin will be yours.
Bars, waiting rooms, transit areas, etc.
It seems that there are a decent number of people who wear pants that just don't hold their coins well. If you look around in bars, waiting rooms, transit areas, and the like, there's a good chance you can add a few coins to your finds. This is especially true if they have sitting areas with sofas or the like where coins can hide.
Your own home
I don't count the money I find in my house towards the total amount I find each year as I consider it mine, but other than that, you probably have a decent amount of coins lying around your house that you don't know about or have forgotten. Opt for a spring cleaning and you will likely end the day with more money than you did at the beginning. Check your trouser and coat pockets from time to time and you will likely find a forgotten bill or change.
At the beach
It is not without reason that you see people with metal detectors scanning the sand on the beach. People go to the beach and coins are dropped because swimsuits have no pockets when people change. These coins are often covered in sand so the person who lost them won't even notice they are gone. While these coins can be more difficult to spot, they are definitely for those with a keen eye. Using detectors on the beach is also a great option as coins or jewelry buried in the sand are almost undetectable.
You can get a good entry-level detector for between $ 75 and $ 300 on Amazon.com. The bounty hunter TK4 Tracker IV
is a good example.
Parks are popular during the summer months so it can be a great time to keep your eyes peeled in the parks. With all the excitement and the crowd, there always seems to be a few coins left over. This also applies after holiday weekends or events.
Everywhere where crowds have gathered
If there is a crowd there is a good chance coins can be found, especially right after the crowd has broken up. Outdoor monetary transactions such as art fairs, Saturday markets, and other community events are also prime places to find a few extra coins on the floor.
This isn't as good a place to find coins as it used to be when no one had a home computer and printer in their house, but it's still a place to check your coin slot or credit count as you walk past it. It seems that many who use copier machines are in a hurry and simply forget about the extra money they put into the machine.
Much like the copier, this used to be a great place to find coins, but now that everyone carries a cell phone, it becomes more difficult to find coins in phone booths. Even so, it's worth a look as money is dropping and people are forgetting about the coins they feed into the phone from time to time.
When people put their money in coin counting machines, a few coins are often spit into the coin slot because the machine could not properly decipher the coin. Some people don't realize this or forget and leave the coins there, so it's always worth checking them out when you pass them.
When people walk, most of them don't look at the sidewalk. It's surprising how many people walk right by the money just because they've never seen it before. If you keep your eyes on the sidewalk every time you walk, you're sure to find some coins.
If you walk on the sidewalk, stay on the street side. While you might find a few coins on the sidewalk, during your travels you will likely find more in the gutter next to the sidewalk as people look there even less when they walk.
Crossings / crosswalks
I'm always looking for money when I cross the street. For some reason, there seems to be more coins collecting there than on the sidewalks and gullies along the main part of the street. Often this is because people are very sensible in watching the traffic and not looking for extra money.
Train / subway stations
Public transit stops are a good place to find dropped coins. People take money out to buy tickets, sit and stand quite a bit and inevitably a coin falls here and there.
People are in stores to buy things so they take money out of their pockets to pay for the items they want. Coins are dropped and not all are found. Keep your eyes open on the sides and corners and you will find a stray coin from time to time. This is especially the case in front of checkout stations in most stores.
Whenever I have the opportunity to cross a parking lot, I don't do so to save time or distance, but to look for coins. I tend to park as far from the store as possible so I can walk through parking lots while shopping. Parking lots are one of the better places to find coins.
All about vending machines
If there are vending machines there is a good chance a coin is lost. This is especially true in winter when it's cold outside and people are wearing gloves (I find a lot more coins near vending machines in winter than in summer). They have no grasp of the coins and are more likely to drop one without realizing it. Of course, don't forget to check the coin slots too.
For more places to find coins, or even how to make more money with the coins you find, check out these articles.
17 coins in your pocket that are worth more than face value
35 more places to find coins
50 places to find coins