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Home / Frugality / Is Your Wallet Costing You Money?


WalletHumans are creatures of habit and convenience. We will dry our hands with the first towel we can reach, we will pump gas from the first pump we reach, we will organize our closets so that the clothes we prefer are the easiest to grab, etc. Some researchers believe that trend extends to every aspect of our lives, so why not to our wallet or purse? Is it possible that the way your wallet is organized could be actually costing you money? Here are a few tips that may help you reorganize and kep a few dollars in your accounts.

Credit Cards

People in general have a habit of using their credit cards more often than any other form of payment. How do you break that habit and  save on the amount of interest you pay? Leave those credit cards at home. If you feel that you must have one with you at all times, limit the number that you carry. Try having your debit card be the first piece of plastic that you see when you open your wallet. Next in line behind your debit card should be the credit card with the lowest interest rate. Do not apply for store credit cards while you are shopping. They always carry higher interest rates and limit where you can shop.

ATM Fees

Many of us are falling into the habit of be cashless most of the time. This is especially true for people who have direct deposit. Be sure that you only use ATMs that are in your banks network. Using an out-of-network ATM will cost you. Your bank may charge a fee and the owner of the ATM will collect a fee. It is pretty easy to lose $6-$10 for a single out-of-network transaction. The simple solution is to plan a weekly trip to your bank. Start by looking at your budget. Add up all of the bills that will need to be paid by check or debit card, then withdraw enough cash to get you through the week. Do not forget to make a deposit into savings each week when possible.

Big Money

A study conducted by the University of Maryland indicates that the larger the denomination of the bills you pay with, the more apt a person is to reconsider a purchase. It seems that breaking a $50 for a cup of coffee makes the coffee less appealing.

Remind Yourself

Humans are visual creatures. That is why items are in pretty boxes and shiny items fly off the shelves. Why not use that trait to control your spending? Keep your receipts in your wallet. Make sure they are what you see first. That will keep how much you are spending in your thoughts.

Capital One asks ”What’s in your wallet?” at the end of each of its commercials. It is a valid question. Organizing your wallet using these tips could keep several hundred dollars in your wallet each year just by helping you avoid impulse buys.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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