Fun post on xkcd about the cost-benefit analysis of a penny in a couple of different everyday situations. Here’s one:
Suppose you found it [the penny] on the ground on the way to your car. How much did it cost you to pick it up in the first place?
How much is your time worth? This obviously depends on a lot of things and varies from time to time and person to person. But for a broad estimate, I sometimes use a ballpark value of $10/hour—which is somewhere between the US minimum wage and the average wage—but you can adjust up or down to fit your preference.
If your time is worth $10 an hour, a penny is worth 3.6 seconds. If spotting and picking up a penny takes you more than 3.6 seconds, it’s a loss.
I know I’ve thought about this before, especially the calorie angle. Guess I do need to work out more …