Organizing Tip: What Type of Change Should You Keep in Your Wallet?

posted in: Organizing 3

What Type of Change Should You Keep in Your WalletHave you ever thought about how much change you keep in your wallet?

It can sure get tiring having to break a twenty dollar bill for something as small as a $1.99 pack of gum (sigh).

For today’s post, I thought I’d mix things up a bit and help you bring order to your wallet in a different light.

Before we begin, thanks to N.S.I. for suggesting this blog post topic.

Part of being organized in this world has to do with having what you need, when you need it…money included!

I completely recognize we can easily pay for purchases nowadays using credit and debit cards, and even our cellphones.

However, there are times when it pays (literally) to be prepared with some cold hard cash on hand (blackouts, natural disasters, electronic glitches, anyone?).

Then again, perhaps you just prefer to carry around cash and keep things simple.

Here’s some tips to help you keep things organized:

Make a trip to the bank teller.

Having small bills on hand makes it so much easier to complete register transactions.

I’ve literally seen cashiers breathe a sigh of relief when I fork over a smaller bill instead of a twenty for something say, less than five bucks.

Besides, smaller bills means another great sigh of relief for you…less time waiting on line waiting for someone to try and make change for a large-ish bill.

Keep a well-stocked wallet.

I’m no mathematician, but I’ve done a fair share of informal experiments over the past few months while making small purchases. In my experience, having at least the following combination of bills and coins seemed to work well when making change.

Remember, these numbers are my best guess and seemed to work well for me:

  • One twenty dollar bill
  • Two ten dollar bills
  • Two five dollar bills
  • Five one dollar bills
  • Four quarters
  • Two nickels
  • Five dimes
  • Five pennies

Keep a separate change purse.

I’ve found it much easier to keep bills and coins separate from one another and you might want to consider this route to keep things simple and contained. Plus, change purses are often smaller and easier to handle than trying to jingle out coins from a ridiculously small coin section of a wallet.

Give a cashier change.

Lastly, if you’re looking to lighten the coinage in your wallet or change purse, pay attention to those totals on your purchases. If something comes to say, $17.60, duly fork over a twenty and sixty cents and voila…you’ve got three whole dollars and no fussy coins to deal with afterwards.

Now to you…what’s your take on the optimal amount of change to carry with you for simple register transactions? Any professional or amateur mathematicians out there who would love to crunch the numbers? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

3 Responses

  1. Rafael

    Just want to share a good alternative to keep your change organized…

    • Rashelle

      Looks interesting! Best of luck with the project.

      • Rafael