It might not look like much, but your wallet can say a lot about you. At first glance, it’s a place to store your driver’s license, credit cards and cash, but closer inspection reveals details about your money habits even you might not realize.
Since it contains many essentials, your wallet goes everywhere you do. Your money personality might be evident with just a quick glimpse, or the truth might not be revealed without a peek inside.
Click through to find out what your choice in wallet reveals about your money personality. You might like what you see, but if not, consider it a wake-up call to improve your financial health.
You enjoy the finer things in life, and your wallet reflects that. If you spent $700 on a Louis Vuitton wallet or $360 on one from Gucci, money is clearly no object to you. Prestige is high on your priority list, and you likely have the receipts to prove it.
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to nice things, but your penchant for designer labels could be a red flag that your spending is off the charts. Take inventory of your finances to make sure you can afford your lifestyle. If your lavish expenditures leave nothing in your account for savings — or worse, in debt — it’s time to cut back.
Even if you’re not in the red each month, improve your financial health by creating a budget and sticking to it — if you’re not already. Budgeting allows you to know exactly where your money’s going, so you stop wasting hard-earned cash on things you don’t need. There’s nothing wrong with buying designer things, but make sure they fit your budget.
If you have to put a rubber band around your jam-packed wallet to keep it closed, it’s time for a change. You’re carrying a heavy load of things you don’t really need, and this likely translates to your spending habits. If you don’t know where to start, check out these things you shouldn’t keep in your wallet.
Marc Roche, co-founder of Annuities HQ, used to have a bulky, overflowing wallet, filled with things he didn’t need. A few months ago, his wife gave him a slim wallet, and he says he’ll never go back.
“A lot of the things we keep are things we don’t need anymore — the same goes for our finances,” Roche said. “Review your banking statements every month to see if there are recurring costs you no longer need — like subscription services you don’t use, or even hidden account fees.”
Cutting back on the sheer volume of things in your wallet is a great starting point to trim your budget. Lighten your load — literally and figuratively — so you can focus more on the things that are most important to you.
Sandy Massone, a financial advisor at Integrated Wealth Management, carries a pristinely tidy wallet with a compartment for everything. This makes it easy for her to maintain order, monitor which credit cards she’s using and ensure she leaves the house with exactly what she needs, without having to think about it.
“I am an organizer and live by a budget so I like to track where I spend money,” Massone said. “Keeping receipts allows me to enter them into my smartphone app, usually once a week, so I can track my spending. In our swipe-to-pay world, I find it important to always have cash on me for those times a card won’t work or if I have an opportunity to bargain for a good deal and can get a discount by paying cash. Interestingly, my cash is always kept in value order so I can easily see how much I have on hand.”
On the surface, it’s just a perfectly organized wallet, but it goes deeper than that. If you take the time to keep your wallet in perfect order, you probably do the same with your finances. You don’t need any advice to maintain your financial health so keep up the good work.
If you haven’t already taken grown-up steps like setting up a retirement plan and enrolling in automatic bill pay, it’s time to look at your finances through the eyes of an adult.
Remembering to snap a wallet shut is an extra step you don’t want to worry about, so you opt for a Velcro closure. Likely reminiscent of one you had as a child, you get a wave of nostalgia every time you open it.
No doubt about it, your wallet is more fun than the boring mature styles carried by your friends, but this might not speak well to your money habits. Mastering the art of adulting means taking responsibility for your spending. Approaching your finances with a childlike mindset can lead to chaos, so take a closer look at how your funds are allocated.
The good news is you don’t have to ditch the Velcro wallet. Keep it, but allow it to serve as a reminder that you’re a kid at heart, so consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor.
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When it comes to your wallet, excess baggage isn’t your thing. You carry the essentials — driver’s license, a credit card or two and a little cash — because that’s all you really need.
Chances are, you take the same approach to your finances. Staying on top of what’s in your wallet probably means you’re also cognizant of where your money goes. You likely review bank and credit card statements with a fine-toothed comb, searching for ways to cut back. It’s safe to assume impulse purchases aren’t your thing, preferring well-planned, practical expenditures instead.
Overall, your responsible money habits should serve as an example for others. Your financial health is solid, because you don’t bother with things you don’t need.
Sometimes though, it’s okay to have fun and indulge a little. More than most people, you know exactly how much you can afford to spend, so don’t deprive yourself of the occasional nice dinner out, weekend getaway or new handbag.
Discount Store Brand
Retailers like Target and H&M offer stylish wallets without a hefty price tag. If your wallet came from one of these stores or a similar locale, you’re a savvy spender who knows how to stretch your dollar.
Chances are, you clip coupons and limit shopping sprees to sale days because you don’t want to exceed your budget. Your financial health likely gets an A-plus, because you know what you can afford and you’re okay with that. When you want to make a purchase that exceeds your standard limits, you save up until you have enough in the bank, because you’re smart like that.
Your ability to make a budget and stick to it is seriously impressive. Keep up the good work and take it as a compliment when others call you thrifty. Knowing how to live a good life within your means is an art many people haven’t mastered, so consider yourself very skilled.
Organization isn’t really your thing. Rather than carrying a wallet, you opt to keep your driver’s license, credit cards and cash on your nightstand, kitchen counter or wherever you put them down the night before. Not having a wallet to store key essentials means you probably waste a lot of time looking for lost items. It’s probably also rare for you to leave the house without forgetting something.
Some people are more orderly than others, and that’s okay. But not carrying a wallet at all doesn’t speak well to your financial health. You’re probably saddled with late fees — because you never remember to pay bills on time — rarely check your credit card statements and often overdraw your account, since you don’t monitor your balance.
These poor habits can cause major problems down the road, so it’s time to invest in a wallet and get your finances under control. You’ll feel empowered when you know where your money is going and how much you have to spend.
If you exclusively use a digital wallet like Google Pay or Apple Pay, you’re probably someone who is always up on the newest technology, and who isn’t afraid to be an early adopter of the latest and greatest advances. No doubt you access your wallet with the newest iPhone or Android phone available — after all, you’re probably the type to pre-order the latest smartphone as soon as it’s announced.
You don’t mind spending money on the latest tech — and sometimes you spend too much — but you’re generally very organized when it comes to your finances. By using a digital wallet, you know you have all your credit cards and cash in one streamlined place. You also likely take advantage of mobile budgeting apps, set up phone or email alerts for bill payments and do your banking with a mobile app. You’ve mastered how to use technology to harness healthy financial habits.
RFID Blocking Wallet
You take extra safety precautions with everything you do, and your wallet is no exception. You are risk-averse in general and tend to play it safe with finances. Rather than invest your earnings in stocks or other higher-risk investment vehicles, you stash all your money safely away in a savings account.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the best financial move. Yes, stocks are risky, but the ROI can be much higher than with a savings account, which tends to have very low interest rates. If the thought of investing in the stock market makes you uneasy, there are lower-risk investments that can provide you with higher returns than a traditional savings account. Consider purchasing a U.S. savings bond, or opening a certificate of deposit at your go-to financial institution.
You have a wallet, but there never seems to be any cash in it, and you stopped carrying around your credit cards because you’ve already maxed them all out. If this describes you, you’re in a financial danger zone — but don’t worry, you can get out of it.
The first thing you need to do is to reevaluate your spending habits. Are you constantly living above your means? If so, figure out the places you can trim your budget, whether that means eliminating your daily Starbucks run, cutting the cable cord or only eating at home for the next month. If you are already living frugally, that probably means you need to generate more income. This can mean getting a new job, asking for a raise at your current job or taking on a side gig to earn some extra cash. Start taking steps in the right direction, and your wallet won’t be empty for long.
Click through to read about the 50/30/20 Rule, and how it might finally fix your budget.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.
About the Author
Laura is a writer with nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and personal finance. She is a Los Angeles-based writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, legal matters and marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.