Did you find yourself scratching your palm today and suddenly remembered that you heard that your left hand itching has some meaning when it comes to your money?
Well, you’re absolutely right! …ok, maybe.
That is, with that itchy left palm comes a bunch of superstitions that can all supposedly have some impact on your finances.
So keep reading to see whether that left hand itching means a lottery win is on its way – as well as what certain other things in your day-to-day life may mean for your money.
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If my left hand is itching, what’s the meaning?
According to superstition, an itchy left hand means you have to pay out money and you should rub your palm on some wood (that is, “touch wood”) to make it stop. However, the opposite is true in India, where a left hand itching means money is coming in if you’re female.
The first part of this is actually where the saying “touch wood” comes from. Traditionally, it’s seen as a way to transfer the build-up of unwanted energy that’s causing the itch.
But of course, maybe it’s time to back away from that wooden table if you prefer the Indian interpretation!
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Left hand itching lottery story
One woman who preferred the version that your left hand itching means money is coming in was Mary Shammas.
While on the bus one day, her left palm started itching. Remembering the superstition about attracting money, she jumped off the bus, bought a lottery ticket…and won $64 million from it.
Now, if you’re a bit skeptical about the meaning of having an itchy palm, one lottery win may not entirely convince you. But it’s not a bad story about becoming rich overnight in any case!
(And if you want the winning lottery numbers for a left hand itching, here are the ones Mary used: 5, 14, 17, 19 and 24. They were apparently the birthdays of family members. So if you think your left hand itching means a lottery win is right around the corner, maybe look at your family’s birthday dates for some inspiration!)
If I have a left palm itching and I’m female, what’s the meaning?
If you have a left hand itching and you’re female, in the Hindu religion, it means that you will soon gain money. This is different from other left palm itching superstitions, which generally say that an itchy left hand means you’re about to lose money, no matter your gender.
It’s a lot more straight forward for men, though. That is, if you have a left palm itching and you’re male, Hindi beliefs and the more widely held belief about this both state that this means you’ll soon lose money.
Overall, though, the answer to the question of what hand itches when you get money is: it depends!
What causes itchy palms of hands?
In all seriousness, itchy palms can have meaning from a medical perspective.
According to Healthline, a bunch of things can cause itchy palms of hands (or feet, for that matter), including:
- Dry skin
- Allergic reactions
- Skin damage
- Irritation from touching something, a bug bite or similar
This means that you may not want to simply dismiss an itchy left hand as being a sign of money coming in or out as, instead, it could be worth having this checked out by a doctor.
Other money-related superstitions
You’ve definitely heard that it’s unlucky to break a mirror. And to walk under a ladder. Or for a black cat to cross your path.
And while many of us may claim not to believe any of these, we also all have that story of that person who broke a mirror and then lost their job the next week. In fact, I’d even suggest that, deep down, there’s a little bit of superstition in all of us.
After all, do you knock on wood “just in case”? Or maybe you’ve heard yourself saying “All bad things come in threes”.
So it may be worth considering how to incorporate some of these money-related superstitions into your life. You know, just in case.
(And yes, it was entirely intentional that we ended up with 13 of these – for good luck, of course!)
1. Don’t put your purse on the floor
There’s an old Chinese saying: “A purse on the floor is money out the door”.
So if you’re the kind of person who just places your bag on the floor next to you if you’re at a restaurant or throws it into the corner of your room when you get home, this apparently means that you need to work on your money management.
This is because your purse holds your money and credit cards. By putting them on the floor, you’re supposedly showing disregard for your wealth and disrespect for the correct order of things.
I have a friend of Chinese background and she carries a purse hook with her everywhere she goes for this exact reason. That way, she can always hang her handbag off a table rather than risk putting it on the ground.
I’m not quite at that level, I have to say – but if there’s a spare chair, I’ll definitely make use of it for my bag!
Just in case, of course.
2. Only pick up certain pennies
“Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck!”
Even if this may not be the most inspirational financial planning quote of all time, we’ve all heard of it.
And, well, it comes with one tiny condition: it has to be heads up.
If you pick up a tails up penny, you’ll supposedly be in for some bad luck instead.
So if you see a tails up penny on the ground, do your good deed for the day and flip it over for the next person.
(And then wash your hands, as that coin is probably filthy – and your itchy left palm may be coming from something less fun than money…)
3. A spider in your pocket is a good sign
This seems like one of those superstitions that they say to make you feel better about the horror of having a spider crawl into your pocket, but let’s run with it.
Some people think that if a spider crawls into your pocket, it means that you’ll always have money.
(The challenge is putting your hand into your spider-filled pocket to get that money out, of course.)
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3. Get those grasshoppers in your house
And in addition to spiders in your pocket, it seems they go even further in Trinidad and Tobago, where having a brown spider or a brown grasshopper in your home will bring you money!
Unfortunately, if the grasshopper is green, you’re going to lose money.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide if having spiders in your home or in your pocket (*shudder*) is worth it to help you reach financial freedom.
4. Money may actually grow on trees
Once upon a time, there was a very poor Taiwanese farmer.
One day, he was working in his fields when he discovered a strange-looking tree. He decided to dig it up, take it home and start to sell plants grown from the seeds.
The farmer became rich from this and from then on, the tree was said to bring luck and wealth to its owner.
It’s meant that the so-called money tree – which is actually a bonsai – is now a popular gift.
Or something that you may wish to have in your own home!
5. Money attracts money
This seems to be a popular saying in Greece where it’s believed that keeping a coin or two in your pocket or in your wallet will bring you more money.
Unfortunately, if you have empty pockets or an empty wallet, you’re going to lose money.
Hey, I didn’t say it was fair!
So if you’re considering giving someone a purse or wallet as a present, add a couple of coins into it to help them on their way!
6. Bird business on your head
(This is another one where I strongly suspect that someone invented this to make someone feel better who was having a ‘crap’ day. Pun fully intended.)
It’s never nice when a bird decides to use you as target practice.
But in many countries, this is seen as bringing you luck with money.
So while it’s not exactly ideal when this happens, if it does happen to you, maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all!
Although I wouldn’t necessarily have this as part of my personal financial plan, especially as it may be much nicer to just get money from your left hand itching…
7. Hair equals wealth
Do you have hairy arms or a hairy chest? If so, I’ve got good news!
As apparently, if you have either of these, you’re going to be wealthy.
This was mentioned in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – so it must be true, right?
8. Certain foods are good for your wallet
There are a range of different foods which are apparently good for your finances.
For example, lentils are not only super healthy for your body, they may also be healthy for your wealth!
Specifically, in the Czech Republic, it’s believed that you should eat lentils on New Year’s Day to bring you fortune in the coming year. Lentils are also important in Italy on New Year’s Eve, when Italians eat a dish of lentils and sausage to bring good fortune.
It’s thought that these superstitions exist because lentils have a similar shape to coins. But it also shows how doing a 30 day challenge to, say, eat less meat can help your bank account beyond simply saving you money!
And on Christmas Day, the Czechs put fish scales under the dinner plates or under the tablecloth to bring wealth to the house, due to their similarity to silver coins.
Some people even carry around fish scales all year to bring them more money!
No comment on how your wallet must smell after a year of that…
Finally, in France, never handle bread that’s the wrong way up as it will bring you hunger and poverty.
So next time you’re on holiday in Paris (you know, as you do) and you want to buy a baguette, make sure the baker gives it to you the right way around!
9. No milk or sugar after sunset
While we generally believe that being generous to others will make others generous to you, it seems there’s a limit.
Specifically, it’s believed in India that the goddess of wealth does not want you to give any milk, sugar or money to anyone after sunset. If you do, she’ll leave you poor.
And on a similar point, don’t give any yeast to any other homes if they ask for it as this will also bring you bad luck with money.
Instead, invite your neighbour over for some bread. Just don’t drop any breadcrumbs as this is bad for your wealth too.
Who knew that sharing with your neighbour was such a minefield!
10. Toss a coin
You’ll probably have heard of or even tried throwing a coin into a fountain or some other water feature for good luck.
But many people believe that this is specifically for bringing good luck with money.
Some believe that this started with the Ancient Greeks who threw coins into their wells to ensure they wouldn’t run dry.
Others state that this originated from the fact that water is vital to life and so the coins were thrown into water as a gift to the gods to either appease them or to “pay” for a prayer.
Whatever the reason, if it only costs you a few cents to try, then why not!
11. Don’t whistle while you work
Be careful if you’re at home in Russia! It’s believed that whistling in your home will scare away the guardian angels that protect you.
And when they leave, there’ll be no one left to protect your fortune from leaving you too.
There are other reasons to not be so carefree in Russia about money. Specifically, it’s thought that being optimistic about your future financial success will bring you bad luck.
So perhaps remaining silent is the safest thing you can do.
12. Baby’s choice
It seems that whether or not you’ll be successful with money can be determined a lot earlier than we thought!
For example, in Korea, it’s traditional to have a party when your baby is 100 days old.
One of the things to do at this party is to place money, a pencil and some string in front of the baby.
Whichever one it picks will determine its future – money for wealth, string for a long life and the pencil for being academic.
So if you’re struggling to pay off your debt, maybe you just picked the wrong thing all those years ago!.
13. Friday the 13th is actually good for your money
And as the 13th entry on this list, what else than Friday the 13th!
While there are a bunch of different superstitions about this day, in France it’s considered the lucky day to buy lottery tickets.
Le Loto du Vendredi 13 sees a huge jump in ticket purchases across the country and the French lottery authority will also often have a special draw that day.
So while I’d never say that gambling is the way to a secure financial future, you could maybe consider just getting one ticket on the next Friday the 13th.
You know, just in case.
Final thoughts on what it means if your left hand is itching
Sure, if you have an itchy left palm, it could mean you just have some dry skin. Or if your left hand is itching, it definitely has nothing to do with that mosquito bite on top of it, surely.
But it’s fun to think of what else it could mean to have an itchy left hand based on all the superstitions out there! And this is especially the case if your left hand is itching and a lottery win comes from it, like Mary Shammas’ amazing experience.
Just personally though, I might still try to avoid spiders in my pocket.
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.