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5 Reasons Why I Keep My Small Bills On the Outside

Kramer: Nobody carries wallets anymore. I mean, they went out with powdered wigs. Yeah, see here’s what you need. Just a couple of cards and your bankroll.

See, keep the big bills on the outside.

Jerry: That’s a five.

I just couldn’t resist the quote above. Many moments in life remind me of either The Simpsons or Seinfeld and I just can’t help but smile and think about those classic lessons from the 1990’s. The other day I was going to make a large purchase and I decided to do it with cash, but (against the advice of Kramer) instead of putting my big bills on the outside of my money clip, I felt it was much more wise to keep them on the inside. In fact, I came up with five reasons why I disagree with Kramer’s sage wisdom of keeping his large bills on the outside.

1) Reduces my risk of becoming egocentric 


  1. thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings or desires of others; self-centered.

When people start to feel like they have money, they run the risk of inflating their ego to dangerous levels. When your ego is out of control, you start to think you are more powerful and wealthy than you actually are. Inevitably, this causes many to become pompous jerks. Don’t be a pompous jerk. Put your singles on the outside of your money clip.

2) Deters theft

When I am paying for my groceries and the shifty person behind me catches a glimpse of my two visible singles, he won’t even think about giving me a beat-down in the parking lot. For two dollars, he’ll just let me walk away peacefully. However, if I have three $100 bills fall out of my clip (because they are on the outside), then my chance of getting robbed have just escalated severely. By keeping my small bills on the outside, I’m reducing my risk of robbery and potential injury.


3) Reduces My Spending

If I look into my money clip and I see a $100 bill, not only might my ego get the best of me, but my spending will most likely rise as well. When I see that hundreds bucks, spending just $20 doesn’t mean all that much so what the heck, let’s just buy a new baseball cap. No big thing, now I still have $80.


Did I really need that baseball cap? Absolutely not! So I just wasted $20. If, however, I would have had my singles on the outside, I probably wouldn’t have had as strong of an urge to spend the money. By keeping my small bills on the outside of my clip, I will almost certainly spend less over time.

4) My Friends Won’t Ask For Handouts

Just like the muggers, if my friends see that I have one dollar bills instead of 20’s, 50’s, or 100’s, chances are they won’t ask me for money. So, not only do I not have to go through the awkward conversation of telling them that I don’t want to lend them money, but I also don’t have to get into another argument if I choose to and they never pay me back. Live frugally and your friends won’t ever give you the guilt treatment when it comes to money.

5) If I lose money, chances are it will be the single

By putting the big bills on the inside of my wad, chances are that the smaller bills would get lost first (let’s be honest though – I NEVER lose money). If I did happen to let some bills slip out of my money clip though, I will probably only be out a couple bucks instead of a couple hundred.


Weekly Round-Up

I read some great articles this week. Have a look! I hope you enjoy them as well!

How’s Life 2 Years After Early Retirement? – by Retire by 40

How to Save For Retirement When You Are Self-Employed – by Narrow Bridge Finance

What I’ve Learned By Starting an Online Business – by Reach Financial Independence

Why “Working Retirements” Are a Growing Trend – by Frugal Toad

The Danger of Buying a Home in a New Neighborhood – by Money Q&A



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. So true! I have felt that egocentric feeling many times. I would make a bigger purchase then I needed to. Then later, wonder why did I spend that much. I can begin to say that I will be more at ease, knowing that I can always come to this article to remind me,
    why not to keep my big bills outside.

    • Crazy how that happens isn’t it? I don’t mind looking at my singles and keeping my money in my wallet. In fact, now that I’m so used to it, I fell a little stressed if I flip to the big bills to spend them. If it makes sense, then I of course still spend the money, but if it does not, this simple flip through the bills reminds me to cool it and not make the purchase. Thanks for the comment David!

  2. LOL – #firstworldproblems

    Seriously though — makes sense to hide the big bills. Personally, I hate carrying large amounts of cash. As a woman, I already feel vulnerable…don’t need the added anxiety of lots of cash.

    • Haha, I love that phrase (first world problems). We have so many issues in the US that truly don’t matter when you consider the grander scope. Thanks for the comment MomCents!

  3. I love cash. I don’t usually have more than $200 or so in my slim credit card style wallet. I try to get $50 and $20s. $100 bills are hard to break sometimes shopping. I also love Seinfeld. One of my recent posts had a Seinfeld theme. The show is still funny and I continue to quote it and refer to it all the time. Timeless I think. Cheers seems a bit more dated now. Harder to watch, but still funny as well. Thanks!

    • Sounds like too much cash to be carrying around to me Wade. Why do you need $200? I typically carry no more than $15 because I know that I’m likely to spend it otherwise.

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