A totally throw away .. cannon fodder ..shove it in the mouth of the monster and run for it type of character. Useful though for ‘taken with a pound of salt’ information and running small unsavory errands.
What if the sources of precious metal in the realm all failed, so that the only sources for gold and other precious metal were hostile foreign lands? Gold coinage might become increasingly rare, resulting in hoarding. Player characters that appear with masses of treasure might be suspected of being in the pay of foreign powers.