A Thirty-Cent Pay Day

I felt rather special when I received a thin envelope from the Wells Fargo bank.

Back in 2004, I had yet to own a credit card. However, I needed a rental car and the rental car places only take credit cards. I hastily applied to many credit card companies, but was denied by each one because I didn’t have an existing revolving account (don’t get me started on the catch-22 situation). As a last resort, I applied to Wells Fargo (whom I banked with at the time) and got accepted. I was ecstatic that I had finally received my very first credit card.

After roughly a year of owning the card, I decided I had built up my “revolving account” status and applied for those coveted rewards cards. I was accepted, and I decided it was now time to rid myself of my Wells Fargo credit card. I paid off the balance and canceled the card. However, I made one small mistake and overpaid my balance by thirty cents.

My credit card was indeed canceled, but I still received monthly credit card statements from Wells Fargo stating my balance with the statement reading, “This is not a bill.” The statement reminded me that I still had thirty cents left to squander. My credit card had long ago met the shredder, so I just shrugged off the balance statements and forgot about the whole thing.

That all changed when I received my special thin envelope in the mail. Inside was the coveted amount I had overpaid: a whole thirty cents. I should point out that the cost to send the check (and not counting the printing costs) was thirty-nine cents.

I can imagine the look on a bank teller’s face when I approach her and say, “Hi. I’d like to deposit this thirty-cent check. And I’d like to put the amount into savings.”

Now that I have a whole thirty cents to spend, here’s what I could possibly do with it:

  • Receive a free pictorial text message on my phone.
  • Buy a thing of bubble-gum (not counting tax).
  • Get some of those candy samples in the supermarkets.
  • Play an arcade game (if I can find one for a quarter).

I can’t really think of anything else. I might deposit the check just to see what happens, but I doubt it. The opportunity cost of driving to the bank, waiting in line to deposit, and driving back is probably significantly higher than thirty cents. Now that I think about it , the opportunity cost of writing a blog post about receiving thirty cents in the mail is probably greater than thirty cents as well (this is debatable).

Writer and software engineer Ronald Huereca has been a developer at notable agencies like iThemes and 10up. His varied background has him working with WordPress since 2006, eventually creating his own plugin which, of course, lead to more. He spends quite a bit of his time volunteering with the WordPress project as a core and polyglot contributor. With all of his passions, writing has been the way Ronald expresses himself best. He has written both technical books as well as fiction. Some of his works include Project Mayhem, Mindefusement, and WordPress and Ajax. “You can only delay the inevitable” is his favorite quote. Ronald enjoys reading Stephen King and John Grisham. When he’s not writing, Ronald dreams of building websites filled with cats yawning, disclaimers his strong opinions, sings karaoke, and advocates for empathy surrounding mental health.

4 thoughts on “A Thirty-Cent Pay Day”

  1. @Alex,

    You can always get a secured credit card. You'll have to pay out of pocket, but eventually you'll built your credit up and be able to be approved for a card.


    Good suggestion. I'll have to keep that one in mind. 🙂

  2. I would deposit the 30 cents. Just wait until your already at the bank. If you had seen 30 cents on the ground you would pick it up wouldn’t you?

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