Respecting Your Cash

He blew me away at the time with a brief, but memorable lesson on money.dollar crumpled

He challenged the audience to open their wallet or purse and do a quick inspection of their money.

Are all the bills facing the same way ?

Are they in order by denomination…1’s, 5’s,10’s, etc.

Are they crumpled up in the bottom of your purse ?

Are there coins cluttering up your purse, weighing down your pockets? 


Seinfeld’s George Costanza

All of these things may reflect the amount of respect you have for money.

He went on further to say that if you do not respect money, you will most likely never have any.

I shop in markets where credit and debit cards are not accepted.

I recently stood in line behind a lady who was paying for her $40. purchase by digging bills and coins from the bottom of a very large purse.

There was no other cashier on duty, so we all waited and watched, fascinated.

The cashier just shrugged and helped her count it all out.

Along with losing weight, managing money ranks very high on the list of New Year’s resolutions.

That speaker was on the Donahue Show from the 1970’s.

I don’t remember his name, but his words left an impression.

So…What’s in your wallet ?

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70 Responses to Respecting Your Cash

  1. I remember hearing Suze Orman say the same thing. But then she went off on a tangent tying your relationship with money to hurts in your childhood and lost me there. But I do, from time to time, make my bills face the same way, just in case that matters. Maybe if they’re facing the right way, they’ll multiply in the wallet.

    • Wow…Suze would have lost me there, too. Not everything relates back, often the opposite. My family had tragedy surrounding $, so my dad spent his freely. I was an early saver. Not sure where that came from. ☺ And yes, I’ve heard that they multiply when all lined up.

    • writerinsoul says:

      She lost me when she said people get their attitudes about money from when they’re kids and pick up money they find on the ground prompting an adult to chastise them by saying “That’s dirty.” Bit of a stretch!

  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I try and keep mine tidy… though the small change builds up till I have to remove it to the savings jar… but I still never have any 🙂

  3. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, never thought of money in that way! Know how I organize bills in my wallet speaks of high respect! Nice to know! Chryssa

  4. The V-Pub says:

    Was she counting change from a big bag in the express lane? 😀 I try to keep my cash organized from high to low, or vice versa, but I’ve always thought that to be a measure of expediency for me.

  5. Erika Kind says:

    Oh, my!!! I know that… but what can we do? Just consciously smiling and thinking: Thank God it’s not me I am annoying everybody!…. lol

  6. Judy Martin says:

    I never thought of it in this way! I sometimes have a few odd coins kicking around in the bottom of my bag, but mostly my cash is kept in my purse, neatly, kind of!

  7. My bills are by denomination and in wallet. No change.

  8. George says:

    That’s funny, I never thought of the relationship of putting your money in order and respecting it at the same time. I always do but I just thought I was being anal about keeping it neat, but it does make sense. I’ve always collected loose change in a plastic container for years and empty it ever 12-18 months. If I’m paying fkr something and the price is 12.03 I won’t pull out .03. Instead I’ll give the cashier 13.00 and collect the change to save it. I know, I’m a little crazy😀

  9. that is so very interesting Van! I am a picky person about things like this but don’t know what that says! Everything has to be lined up and in order. Am I a neat freak or good with money hmmm

  10. I actually keep mine very neatly lined up. From the higher bills to the lower ones and the coins in the middle of my pouch. Oh dear! Now I sound like a nitpicker.

  11. Amanda Lyle says:

    I’m like the queen – I don’t carry money, only plastic!

  12. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Afraid I have to agree with Amanda….it does seem that I’m carrying less and less cash and using plastic more and more. It’s easier to keep track of and I always have a receipt immediately available and not scrunched up in a coat somewhere.

  13. Mandy says:

    I’m an oddball. 37 years ago when my husb and I were barely making it, I made up the “envelope” system. What we could spend for groceries, entertainment, etc. went into their individual envelopes and that is what was allowed for the week. We had one credit card because it was required for ID. Today, that system is still in place. When I go to the grocery store I take the envelope.Usually they look at me like I’m crazy for not pulling out a debit card-I don’t have one. However–the change gets thrown into the bottom of my purse, and every so often, when I think I might need to call the doctor about my should pain, I remember to empty out the change-which goes into a jar for Christmas shopping. (Sheesh, can we still be friends? Lol.)

    • Smiling at you, Mandy. Nothing wrong with that envelope system to manage expenses…good way to track your spending. But the coins…ouch on the shoulder pain. ☺ Still friends. 💖

  14. I have absolutely never thought of that but I totally treat my money with respect and I am also very careful with my finances. I keep all my notes in denomination order, all facing the same direction, all neat and tidy. I thought it was because I was a control freak (and maybe it still is) but now you have me wondering if it is because, growing up as I did, I am aware of how to keep to a budget and spend within my means and to really comprehend the value of money.

    • Some of it must be instinctive, Laura, with a lot of siblings, there were only 2 of us who turned out to be savers/investors…and it had nothing to do with education/occupation. Curious ?

      • Yes, that’s also true. Of all my brothers and sisters, I’m the only thrifty one, and only one other even draws up a budget. I’m also the only one with no debt (discounting the mortgage). I don’t think that’s a coincidence somehow.

      • I’m sure you’re right…no coincidence. We raised our kids exactly the same way…one has much debt, the other doesn’t own a credit card…go figure !

  15. My bills used to all be neat and in order. Now, not so much. I am usually carrying a baby and trying to make sure my toddler doesn’t dart out the grocery store door, so I stick the cash back in my wallet any way it’ll fit so I can chase after my littles!

  16. Jim says:

    what’s in my wallet? not one of them Capital One cards. had one and they got stupid. i paid it in full, shredded the card and left the account open and completely unused. they kept asking me to use it and I kept saying return the interest rate. they said no and I said I can outlast you. never mess with a business major.

  17. TanGental says:

    Never bothered lining up the notes by number. Ours are different sizes and colours so easier to distinguish unlike the old greenbacks. As for coins I’m the coin Hoover in this family. I sweep surfaces clear of change and use it, a la your old lady in our butchers and greengrocers. Makes mr
    E popular with then, less so with the other customers. As Sue said above we have so many bloody coins these days that I put the 1, and 5 pence coins in a jar.

  18. I certainly have a very well organised wallet although it does also contain lots of ‘money off’ coupons. All my coins go into a portable counting machine. Yes, it counts the money for me. I then bag it and take it to the bank every December. It then helps with the credit card bill when it comes in January 🙂

  19. Crumpled bills and a pile of change at the bottom of the purse, Van. I’m not frivolous, but I don’t value money much, so the analysis is probably true. Interesting post.

  20. writerinsoul says:

    Van, my money is tidy in my wallet but I started that later in life. I’ve been using cash deliberately in part because our small local grocery store had its machines compromised a couple years ago and people’s cards were being “read” and subsequently used by crooks to buy junk. I don’t remember what it’s called but apparently these things can even read PIN numbers, which I always thought protected me.

    Anyway, my money is facing the same direction and by denomination, BUT the shittiest-looking bills are in the front of their section so they go first. The little grocery store I mentioned habitually gives me shabby bills in change and when possible, I try to give them right back. Because I’m like that.

    • Me too, Collette. I unload those nasty looking bills right away. If they come from restaurants, they are especially crummy. I’m equally cautious with those card transactions…there are devices that can, for example, read your pin # on an ATM by monitoring the heat of your fingers on those digits ! We live in an interesting time. I use cash almost exclusively for food/grocery purchases. ☺

  21. joey says:

    I’m a believer in this. Having been a cash handler for years, I am appalled at how few people, even cashiers, don’t face and order money properly. It drives me crazy. lol
    I’ve come to assume this is MY problem and I can’t expect old ways to stay on, but nonetheless it drives me crazy.
    You will find my bills, faced and folded, all in order, in the front right zipper of my bag. Now and again, you’ll find change there, but most change is allocated to a mason jar, and all the quarters are kept in my car.

    • There is an art to cash handling for sure, Joey. I remember watching a cashier in training at a Walmart, who had a sponsor watching over her. Her drawer was a complete mess..bills mixed in denomination, some folded, curled up, coins out of place. I remember thinking “I wonder how long she’ll last at this job?” I’d have reassigned her almost right away, given the chance.
      Funny…I always keep quarters in my car, mostly for the car wash. ☺

  22. Val Boyko says:

    This is interesting! When I was a child I was very careful with my money and would organize it. I even hid bills in different purses, so I would be surprised and delighted when I came across it. (Wonder what that says about me)
    Okay, so I do that with chocolate now…. and I know I respect chocolate!

    • What a clever idea…to hide $ for a later surprise…very innovative. I was obsessed with counting coins from a very young age…the toy cash register was a favorite toy at age 3. I would stash my babysitting money, counting it in solitude in my room until I begged for one of those passbook savings accounts. Thanks, Val. 💖
      And, by the way, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t hide a bit of chocolate !! ☺

  23. I’m with Ibeth – not much! Especially after my casino stop. I came home with something like $4. It works for me!

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