Poll: Do You Organize the Money in Your Wallet or Purse?

I was getting ready to head to the cafeteria for lunch the other day, and before heading down with a co-worker I stopped to open up my wallet and rearrange my cash. He looked at me a bit puzzled and asked what I was doing. I didn’t think anything of it, but just told him that I was putting my money in order because when I got change from my breakfast this morning, everything was just thrown in there.

He really thought that was odd, while at the same time, I thought it was odd not to do this. Maybe it is just a bit of obsessive compulsiveness showing through, but I really can’t stand it when my bills aren’t in order. I arrange them from front to back with the lowest bills in front. I doubt having the bills in order saves anything more than 1 second at the checkout line, but I feel disorganized if I don’t do it.

This just got me thinking about whether or not many other people have this sort of compulsion, or if I’m alone. I’ll also mention that every morning before heading out the door, I reach in my change jar and put around 75 cents worth of change in my pocket. A couple quarters, a few dimes, nickels, and pennies. I hate getting change back if I can avoid it. So, do you keep your cash organized, or am I crazy?

[poll=31]

Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

25 comments
Debra Watts
Debra Watts

I usually sort after a transaction. It helps me to know how much I have left. Sort of taking inventory.

That One Caveman
That One Caveman

I like to keep mine in order of lowest to highest. It feels more organized and I have a better idea of how much money I have when I peek in my wallet. If there's some 1's hiding behind a 20, I feel like a rich man even though it was just my wife being careless about how she puts money back in my wallet. :)

Jeremy
Jeremy

Very mature, Gordon. Usually people who find the need to flame others about a mundane topic that doesn't even concern them lead very shallow and meaningless lives. You seem to be no exception.

gordon
gordon

Who cares? Does it matter? Why are we wasting time writing silly responses to even more redundant questions? Should we organize our money in to nice neat rows? Is there any evidence that doing so will improve our financial situation? I think that you are all very dumb the only reason people are sorting their money is because they dont have very much of it and they need to see exactly how much they have at all times. If you had enough money you wouldnt even care which way your money is facing or if it is in order from front to back Your all GAY!!!!!

bunny
bunny

i strongly believe that how you treat yr money is how it will treat you.
i used to work in retail and every time someone would open their purse/bag and there would be wadded up bills floating about i would cringe so hard!

LMJ
LMJ

I organize my bills as I get them, faced the same direction, in order by denomination. When folded in half, the smallest denomination is on the outside, as a nod to caution of showing what I've got, and because I find it easier to avoid spending when I see only a single or a five.
I didn't do this until after I did time at KMart while in college. Before, I just made sure they fit in my pocket or purse.
I only carry a purse when I have to - it's amazing how many women's pants and skirts have no pockets - but I have found it easier to hand the right bill, lilke Spendthrift. And, admittedly, I am a little OCD. Like, clinically.

Spendthrift
Spendthrift

I have always wanted the bills in my purse to face the same direction, but it wasn't until I worked in a casino that I needed the to be in sequential order. I have seen too many people give the 'wrong bill (what they thought was a five, but it was a fifty)' to pay for purchase and then walk away without getting their change.

Mrs. Common Cents
Mrs. Common Cents

I guess I'm in the minority. I rarely carry cash and when I do it's usually for a specific purpose, therefore not requiring any organization.

Kei
Kei

I put them in order of domination and they have to face the same way; but I only do it before leaving the house. When I get change back from a store I just shove the bills into the wallet.

I don't think re-arrangeing and shuffling cash in public place is a good idea these days.

just my 2 cents

SavageBeast
SavageBeast

I carry a money clip. Who carries a wallet these days?

charlene
charlene

It's the all facing the same direction part that drives me insane. I mean, they put the number on both sides for a reason!

When I worked in retail I had fun turning the occasional bill "the wrong way" just to make the other woman who used that register crazy.

Lisa
Lisa

I used to attribute my orderliness in my wallet to being a retail cashier -- I was trained to keep all my bills in my cash drawer neat: bills all facing the same way and in denomination order. It was easier for the supervisors to count the drawer down.

But as I've gotten older I realized it's really that I am a rather organized person...plus I want to know how much money I have at a glance. It's a lot harder to get caught short if you know what's in there!

Jen
Jen

I think I've always had my bills ordered sequentially, but it wasn't until I worked at McDonald's that I started keeping the bills all facing the same direction. At McD's I was told it made it easier to spot counterfeits. I doubt I'd be able to spot one nowadays given that there have probably been advances in forging money. But, arranging the bills all the same way for McD's just got me into habit of doing so all the time.

Rick
Rick

Wow you guys really are OCD. I tend to subscribe to the minimalist philosophy. The fewer things the better. I don't have to organize my wallet because there are so few things in it worth organizing.

I very rarely carry cash for longer than a day, so cash is never an issue. I keep three credit cards, my library card, and my ID in my wallet, and that's pretty much it. Minimalist indeed.

Jeff
Jeff

My main concern is for the denominations to be in order and flat. I don't care if they are backwards or upside down as bills in the US have the denomination on all four corners on front and back. This obviously makes it easier to get your money out to pay for something, but most importantly I can quickly tell how much cash I have on me at all times.

If you are the type that throws change in your pocket and then amasses huge piles at home I would suggest getting a wallet with a built in coin purse. My wife got me one and if I don't use change it gets super bulky and this incentivises me to use it.

Patrick
Patrick

Yeah, I'm OCD with my cash. Lowest on top, to the highest in back, all facing the same direction. Then I fold it in half and put it in my money clip. I also carry a small card holder that holds about six cards - driver's license, ATM, credit, library, and grocery membership. I hate a fat wallet! (unless it is fat with cash, and then I prefer large bills over small bills!). ;)

lulugal11
lulugal11

I don't carry cash any more but when I did carry cash it all had to be sorted just like everyone mentioned.

I used to work at a bank so I guess that got me in the habit because it makes it easier to count what you have...but I also like the comment Belandrew made about personality and finances.

fathersez
fathersez

Yes, I am one of those arrangers. We have different coloured bills in our country, so it's easier. But I don't go so far as to get them arranged to face the same way etc.

mjmcinto
mjmcinto

Yes, when I have cash (I usually just use my credit card for everything...I love cash back). When the cash is there, it MUST be in order by denomination, facing the same way, and never upside down. I hate it when the clerk gives me a wad back and it's all messed up (denominations are out of order, aren't facing the same way, upside down). I have to sort it then before it goes into my wallet...I just have to, so I guess that's just one of my OCD things ;)

Kiran Denniz
Kiran Denniz

All bills are ordered by currency, then denomination and they need to face the same way. I also carry two sets of change, ie one set for a one-way bus fare home, and the other is a couple of dollars in random change to use in transactions or give to the needy.

Belandrew
Belandrew

I sort money as it comes into my wallet.

I saw in an article a while back some of the personality characteristics of various financial types. Keeping your physical cash sorted in your wallet was one of the traits associated with good financial habits in other aspects of life. My guess is it's related to a general concern for organizing your money and keeping track of it. It's much easier to know how much you have and therefore can afford if it's sorted.

C in DC
C in DC

I'm a "yes" but not compulsively and not daily. I usually do this every couple of days. My wallet only holds bills folded in half. Usually I have the 20s folded separately from the rest, to make it easier to find the smaller bills.

Jeremy
Jeremy

At least I'm not completely alone. I forgot to mention as Travis said, they have to be all facing the same direction as well ;)

Travis Williams
Travis Williams

I keep my money in numerical order front to back and all facing the same direction.

devil
devil

Definitely. The bills in my wallet must be in order, lowest to highest denomination. They must all be straightened out as much as possible and never, NEVER upside down.

Not that I'm obsessed or anything. :)

I throw loose change in tip jars. It's too heavy to carry around in my purse and I've got enough in there already.