Would You Cash a 35 Cent Check?

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dsc_0215.pngTwo days ago I wouldn’t have known the answer to that question? Now I do and, I’m sorry to say, the answer for me is ‘Yes.’ Yesterday I spent 30 minutes traveling to my bank and back to cash a 35 cent check. Here’s the story and what I plan to do with my spoils.

Two weeks ago I received a letter from my health insurance carrier. Excited to be receiving an unexpected check, I tore into the envelope and retrieved a check written to my order for the grand sum of $0.35. I went to chuck the check into the trash bin, but some unknown and unseen force held me back. Staring at the check, I laid it next to my computer where it sat for two weeks, buried by the usual clutter that seems to follow me like grunge follows Pigpen of Charlie Brown fame.

Two days ago while angrily shifting through the grunge, the check resurfaced. Convinced it had taken on a life of its own, I started to tear it up, but again something held me back. So I relented and took the check to work with me yesterday. My bank (Citibank) is just across the street from where I work, so at mid-day I set out on a 35 cent adventure. As I neared the bank, though, something didn’t look quite right. As I got closer I noticed a large chain wrapped around and through the bank’s door handles held together by a pad lock. At first I thought, “Wow, the credit meltdown took out Citibank! This is worse than I thought.” Looking around I soon realized, however, that all the shops were closed because the office building had just begun renovations. This was war.

Racking my brain to remember where the next closest Citibank branch was located, I reversed course and headed back the other way for 5 blocks. Entering the Citibank branch, I marched up to the teller and triumphantly tendered my $0.35 cent check. “I’d like to cash this check, please. I’d prefer quarters and dimes.” The teller looked at the check and without missing a beat said, “Are you sure you’re comfortable walking around with this much money?” Nice.

Now get this. I actually had to sign for the cash! She just smiled and said it was bank policy. Now I’m thinking the insurance company and the bank are owned by the same company. Anyway, with cash in hand, I left the financial institution with my head held high and change a jiggling in my pocket.

So what am I going to do with my new found wealth? I’m putting it toward my “Buying the B Share” goal I wrote about yesterday. With that $0.35, I’ve already achieved .00875% of my goal! Giddy up.

Published or Updated: May 3, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. paidtwice says:

    I love it! “The credit meltdown took out Citibank!” :)

    That being said, I’d cash it too. But I would probably wait til I got another check and cash them together. But I get lots of random little survey checks so I wouldn’t have to wait long. :)

  2. Patrick says:

    LOL. Awesome. I cash my checks too – pretty much regardless of how much they are worth, but I usually deposit them by mail and I wait until I have a few. Thankfully my bank sends me prepaid envelopes to do so.

    The kicker is – is costs the insurance company and the bank more to process the check than the check is worth. Oh well!

  3. Tyler says:

    Not long ago I got a check for 10 cents from TD Ameritrade. To this day I don’t know why they needed to send me a 10 cent check. I have an account there, why didn’t they just drop it in there? Instead, the next trip to the bank, I deposited it into my bank account and felt extremely cheap doing so. I’m not sure it was worth the time to write the figure on my deposit slip and sign the back.

  4. Kyle says:

    I like your stance! I have ripped up checks like that in the past but not anymore. It all adds up, I probably would have at least $5 more in my savings by now!

  5. Siena says:

    I know someone who cashed 1 cent checks. Yup, over the course of 2 months, she received 3 or 4 checks all for the grand total of a penny. She asked me if she should cash them and I told her yes, absolutely. She didn’t have the courage to cash a check for a penny in front of a teller so she deposited the penny checks in her atm but 35 cents is like a fortune compared to what she got.

  6. DR says:

    All, I officially transferred the $0.35 today to a special savings account I’m using to save for my first B share of Berkshire Hathaway! Including some spare change I added to the account, I’ve saved $7.35 toward a B share (which closed today at $4,089!).

  7. Steve says:

    I can beat that. I deposited a $0.02 check earlier this year! But it was more from fear of the IRS than anything else. You see, I was in the process of rolling over an IRA to a different institution and there was still a two cent distribution remaining after the initial distribution.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Steve, I think you set the record!

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