Monday, February 12, 2007

Pennies & Finance: What a Former Bank Teller Taught Me About Money

I'm impatient with pennies. I round up; I round down. But I should pay attention to the money-saving power of a penny, a former bank teller told me during a recent conversation. In fact, it's important to balance accounts down to the penny in order to detect hidden errors and other oversights, the teller said.

Here Are Three Reasons Why Pennies Matter:

1) Counting pennies boosts accuracy. Wealth is in the details and exact amounts are important. Fractions count on large accounts on Wall Street. Likewise, small change also matters in our personal finance.

2) Pennies add up. There's power in accumulation.

3) Above all, penny calculations pay hidden dividends. For example, while reconciling accounts down to the penny, other unrelated errors are often caught, the teller explained. For example, transposed numbers, omitted line entries and other mistakes are often detected when accounts are balanced down to the penny.

Bottom Line: The process of counting pennies is an exercise in financial fact-checking. It's a form of proof-reading.

And that's why tellers count their stash down to the penny each night. My goal: I plan to be more careful with pennies as I count my change and manage my accounts.


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1 comment:

My New Choice said...

Very nice post! As someone that always balances down to the exact penny, I completely agree with these points.

Mind your pennies and the dollars will follow.