The other day, some of my co-workers and I were discussing the amounts that our paychecks changed due to the increase in the cost of our benefits. 

I asked one of my co-workers if her paycheck changed and she said she did not know. I thought she was joking but after awhile I realized, she really did not know

She could tell by the look on my face that I thought it was weird that she didn’t know how much her paycheck was. Her reply was that she doesn’t know exactly how much her paycheck is, she just looks at the first 2 numbers in the email. (We get an email 2 days before payday telling us the amount of our direct deposit). 

We ended our conversation with her saying that her paycheck probably only changed $20 or $30 bucks but that is such a small amount amount that it really doesn’t matter

Do you think the small amounts don’t matter? If so, I have to say that is not the best way to think about your personal finances. The small amounts DO matter. Saving $30 bi-weekly will give you $780 after a year. That may not seem like a lot of money but if you have NO savings right now, $780 is a huge amount of money

When I was younger, I would not pick up a penny because it was only one cent. My grandmother would always tell me, “son, pennies make dollars”.  I didn’t think much about it when I was younger but now, I have no problem picking up a penny. 


  1. Danielle // January 28, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

    I saw a clip on Sunday AM about the Owner of Dole Products (like pineapples and stuff) and he picks up EVERY penny he sees, and always has. Loaded does not even begin to describe this man.

    I fully subscribe to anything being significant, a penny, a dime a dollar. it all counts over time.

  2. Lulu // January 28, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

    I pick up pennies (unless they are covered in grime....which has never happened so far) because they do add up in the end.

    I knew exactly how much my paycheck changed because I track it in excel so I know the amount down to the cent!!!!

    If your friend does not think that the $20 makes a difference then she should split it with you...after all half of no difference should still be no difference right?

  3. Yana // January 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

    Yes, small amounts matter because everything adds up. I'll pick up coins as long as they are heads-up, for the sake of luck ;) My husband got a raise awhile back and neither of us noticed it for a few months! I was shocked at myself since I am the one who is supposed to be so good at paying attention to our finances. Having lost hours and with an everchanging work schedule, the amount of the paychecks didn't look different.

  4. Single Guy Money // January 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

    @lulu - I like that idea!!

  5. MoneyHoneySF // January 29, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

    $20-$30 on a biweekly paycheck is huge like you mentioned. That is $780 a year. Your coworker is probably one that don't budget and are just not into money. Unlike us in this financial community that tracks where our money comes and goes everyday.

    Btw, visit my money blog at

  6. sahm CFO // January 31, 2010 at 10:27 AM  

    Any change in paycheck amount is huge to us! We lost over $60 a month with our health premium increase. In fact I had to lower the 401k contributions to make up the difference for now. Your co-worker must be either independently wealthy or in denial.

  7. Elisabeth Paquet // February 1, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

    I definitely agree with this. The little amount do add up! My girlfriend always underestimates how much money she is spending mostly because of the little things, a pack of cigarettes here and some gum there, before you know it I look at the bank account and we are in the red! I have found that cooking at home and the occasional movie from redbox(v.s. going out to the movies) have been huge money savers!

  8. Kris @ Debt-Tips // February 10, 2010 at 2:36 PM  

    Yes, small amounts do matter. And knowing where the small amounts of your money go is equally as important. I'm sure many of my co-workers didn't know their paychecks recently dipped for 2010. And most probably have no idea why either. Too bad.