If you ever needed proof that a little adds up to be a lot, the Transportation Security Administration can provide it for you. In 2016, the agency collected $867,800 just from loose change that hurried travelers left behind in the screening process. It doesn’t seem like a handful of coins here and there would amount to much, but since TSA’s inception, it has collected over $5 million dollars in forgotten money!

TSA is able to keep all those funds thanks to a regulation that says all unclaimed goods are able to be used to support security operations. I would bet that when the bill was crafted no one guessed that their take would come anywhere near the size it does now, but each year the collection keeps growing.

For TSA, this drip by drip accumulation has added up to quite the windfall. While it is doubtful that your organization is so lucky, I’ll bet that you have some practice that is going unnoticed but is nonetheless aggregating its impact, probably in a negative direction. Have you recently checked if your auto-orders are still the best deal? Is a scheduling fluke that caused overtime continuing long after the need was present? Do you have the best financing rate or are you just using the same credit card that you’ve had for years?

Small fees, unnoticed price increases, or minor changes in terms can all add up to take funds out of your operation just as easily as the forgotten coins put funds into TSA’s. Those nickels and dimes do add up – to a lot. It’s worth your time to try and save a few of the recurring ones for your organization.

Source: Consumer Reports Consumerist newsletter, 6/20/17

Thanks, Brian!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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