“Don’t whistle indoors or you’ll be poor!” My mother used to yell at me when I was little. To this day, I get uncomfortable when I hear people whistling in buildings. This week I take a look at whistling indoors and some other bogus money superstitions.

Growing up in a superstitious household is definitely weird, and I am reminded of this daily by friends and acquaintances who see me reflexively acting to reverse bad luck or insure good luck.

A Brief Background on Superstitions

Superstition is a hard concept to grasp in and of itself. It is not necessarily a religious belief although it can be tied to religion, and is rooted in the idea that there are outside sources affecting our daily lives. These sources — some may say — are supernatural, spiritual and can instigate events with a non-physical triggers.

A lot of superstitions come from archaic beliefs and not having the science to prove it. All I know is, there is nothing more terrifying to me than breaking a mirror or seeing a black cat.

Okay, I know how crazy this sounds and that’s why words like voodoo or magic are often tied to the term. There is no rational basis to superstitions but some people do believe that certain unrelated events can effect their luck or the outcome of certain situation.

I thought I’d share some money superstitions I grew up with just incase you are at the end of the financial rope and are willing to try anything to change your luck.

Top 5 Money Superstitions

Itchy Palms: This superstition proposes that if your right palm itches some money is coming your way. Most superstitions are hard to trace and explain, but a popular radio show from 1935 titled Origin Superstition takes a crack at it in their 33 episode titled, “Itchy Palm”. The show’s host states, “I think that started with the old Sextons. They believed that if you rub diseased skin with silver it would be cured.”

Find a Penny, Pick it Up: All day long you’ll have good luck. There are varying reports of exactly where this came from, but many of them circulate around the idea that metal used to be a gift from the gods to protect against evil. The actual phrase is thought to be a twist on the saying, “See a pin and let it lay, Bad luck you’ll have all day.”

Whistling Brings Poverty: This particular superstition is closely related to Russian and Slavic cultures. Although there are other superstitions that surround whistling including, bringing winds for sailors, and bad luck when done in a theater. The belief of bringing on poverty is where the phrase “Whistling money away” came from.

Honestly, I have searched and asked around about this one and the only explanation that I can come up with is it was probably annoying some people so they decided to say whistling is bad luck to get people to stop.

A Bee on the Hand: While most people are terrified of bees, one landing on your hand actually means you’ll have some wealth headed your way. This can be traced back to the antiquity period when bees were considered to be holy insects having knowledge of secrets and the future. Because money is exchanged between peoples hand a bee on your hand is sign of money to come, it is said if a bee lands on your head then you will rise to greatness.

Shake Change at the Full Moon: This one was a little harder to track down but one of my favorite things my parents would do. I remember stepping out at night and seeing my parents shake change in the moon. According to some Wiccan beliefs shaking change at the full moon meant more money would come your way. How this translated to my Russian parents I have no clue.


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  • Cherylynn3

    As someone who can scarce whistle at all, I always enjoyed “Whistling girls and crowing hens always come to no good end”.  Old, but I heard it years back in the Little House books as one of Ma Ingall’s sayings…

    • Marina

      Haha, I have never heard that saying but I like it. Yeah, I am not much of a whistler myself, I think I am scarred from childhood. Thanks for the comment!