Moral dilemma: would you keep money found on pavement?

What do you do when you find a bundle of notes on the pavement in front of you in a busy city centre high street? Well I did on Saturday, and I kept it – I’m feeling a little guilty if I’m honest. This is how it happened; let me know what you would have done?

Setting the scene
I’d just wasted another half hour of my time trying to keep babe occupied while I tried once again to close our Santander bank account, but they’d lost the paper work this time around – doh! We’d dived into the community Christmas fair to listen to the carol singers and then was trundling up the high street to go to the post office, when there, in front of me was a small bundle of notes. I looked around, reached down and grabbed it. There was a guy and his son stood right next to it, so I asked if it belonged to him and as I did so, unraveled the bundle to reveal £30.

What to do??
Dilemma, what should I do? I didn’t want to take the responsibility for it, but then there was no point ignoring it, someone else was only going to snaffle it. So I asked the guy, who diligently peered around looking for people that looked like they’d lost some money, a citizen of the law, or a camera. Nope nothing. So I asked if he wanted some of it. I blame what I did next on him (I know I’m a grown adult and all but..), he suggested each of the kids (mine and his) has a tenner each and I keep the remaining £10 for myself.

Job done, I passed him £10 smiled, and went on my way.

Mixed feelings
I was over the moon, I was £20 up. I skipped along like a kid on E numbers, but there was heaviness in my step that I couldn’t hide. I felt guilty, what about the poor person who had lost this money. What if it was some granny on the way to the post office to buy Electricity stamps (not sure if they still do those) or some kiddy that had been saving for months to buy himself a Buzz Light-year. I really hoped it was some rich toff that was rolling in money and wouldn’t bat an eyelid at misplacing £30 – unlike me when I thought I’d lost £40 the other week.

I rang hubby in the post office and described the sequence of events and he said that really I should have taken it to the police. Honestly, this had not occurred to me. If it was a larger sum, or a personal item I would have done. But not £30.

I am now on a mission to make myself feel better; I went straight off to buy charity Christmas cards from an independent shop. While in there, I treated myself to some cute magnetic fridge magnetic to sooth my guilty heart. No doubt, by the time the Christmas season is over, the guilt will have eaten away at me that I will end up having given all of it to charity – I may as well have a sign with an arrow over my head saying ‘beggars, here’s your easy target’.


Help me – what would you have done?

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5 thoughts on “Moral dilemma: would you keep money found on pavement?

  1. surfergirl says:

    probably not said owt, picked it up, loitered for a while to see if anyone was looking for cash… then run hehe xxx

  2. Mark says:

    Definitely keep it. Sounds harsh but you looked around heckled to see if anyone lost it then split with fellow parent.

    If you dropped £30 would you go to police to claim you had lost it? Think they would have better things to do than follow up on that, sorry to say.

    If still feeling guilty put the money to
    good use. Buy a present for someone from a charity shop that way more good comes of it.
    Failing that just enjoy the day luck was on your side, there will be plenty when it is against you!

  3. Claire Duberry says:

    I am really feeling for you.
    Perhaps a good way of easing that conscience would be to put
    a donation in the Homeless Charity Box.

    • Hmm I can hear the sarcasm in that 😉

      Well I did buy Shelter Xmas cards which are for the homeless and gave mr homeless man by the train station 50p the other week. Not to mentioned endured the speech from him about the wrong classification of dyslexia by the government. I will donate anonymously in the future.

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