Money superstitions

Written by Helen Burnett-Nichols

Monday, November 12th, 2018

On Friday the 13th, do you expect misfortune to land on your doorstep? Hundreds of superstitions — opening an umbrella indoors or a black cat crossing your path — still seem to infiltrate our everyday lives, promising to bring a dose of bad luck.

But along with the more fearful tales, there are dozens of superstitious practices that some say help usher in positive vibes, especially where money is concerned.

Here are a few money superstitions to keep in mind this Friday the 13th:

Fill a wallet or purse: Yuri Sayapov, a Kelowna, B.C.-based contractor who blogs at Money Ramblings of a Financial Underdog, says it's a common tradition in Russia and Eastern Europe to include money in any wallet or purse given as a gift. The practice is said to bring good luck to the recipient.

“If the person keeps that money in the wallet or in the purse, it's supposed to attract more money," says Sayapov. But, he explains, there may be more to this superstition than just hoping for a little financial windfall.

“The way I see it is that if you build enough self-discipline not to spend the money that you have in your wallet, you are probably going to end up winning in personal finance."

Find a penny, pick it up: Admittedly, this one is a little difficult to carry out in Canada, since the demise of our penny in 2013. Still, pennies are considered lucky, and choosing to pick one up off of the sidewalk is said to guarantee good fortune for the rest of the day.

New Year's Day meal: In the Southern U.S., it is tradition to eat black-eyed peas (representing coins) and collard greens (representing bills) to usher in the New Year, in hopes of encouraging luck and fortune for the year ahead.

Coins for baby: As tradition goes, in Scotland, when a baby was born, well-wishers would tuck a silver coin in its buggy to wish the child a life of good fortune. (Some would place the coin in the baby's hand — whether the baby clutched or dropped the coin would indicate the child's future as either thrifty or a big spender.)

Lucky lottery numbers: Nanaimo B.C-based money coach Shari Molchan says for many, financial superstitions represent hope, and the possibility of an easy fix. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the compulsion some have to play the lottery, she says, with the idea that perhaps, they will just end up being lucky.

Itchy palm: After experiencing an itchy palm and then checking her lottery ticket only to find out that she had won $1 million, one Ontario lottery winner said the itch was a sign. “It's an old Italian superstition that when your hand is itchy, it means you're expecting money."

Throwing money into fountains: The practice of making a wish and tossing a coin into a fountain is supposed to make your dream a reality.

But while wishes may help you focus in on what's important, says Molchan, it is ultimately up to you to do the work.

“Your luck will change if you keep telling it to. But along with that is also taking the steps that you need, to change your life," she says.

 

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