Have you ever thought about how you physically handle your money? I’m talking about your cash – where you put it, how crisp and organized your keep it, how you hand it to others. Have you ever thought how you physically handle your money could be a reflection of your money mindset – and it could make or break your finances?
I want to share with you the three major buckets of “money handlers” I’ve seen, and what also typically comes with it. I personally think how you handle and respect your money physically is a direct reflection of how you handle your finances overall. If you’re disorganized with your cash, you’re likely disorganized with all of your finances.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
Disorganized And Broke
Crumpled bills. Wads of cash. Money in multiple locations (purse, wallet, in pocket). Handing money to a cashier as a wad. This level of disorganization is scary, and it probably represents a deeper level of “lack of respect” towards money.
If your money looks like the image to the right, it’s time to think about your attitude and mindset towards money. Treating your money like this means you don’t respect it. It creates an environment where you can more easily lose it. It makes it harder to work with when paying for something. And believe me, the cashier you’re handing it to is thinking this about you.
It you’re this disorganized, sadly, you’re also probably broke. It’s time to start treating your cash with respect, and you’ll soon start seeing yourself moving in the right direction.
Semi-Organized And Working Towards A Money Goal
Folded bills, not crisp. Bills going in different directions. Not keeping your money in order in your wallet or purse. Maybe most of your money looks like the image to the right – not crisp, but at least you made an effort to straighten things out.
This is a big step in the right direction – much more respectful than the disorganized money handler, and I guarantee your total financial life looks more organized as well.
People who are semi-organized with their cash are likely more organized and working towards a money goal than others. They likely have a budget, keep track of their accounts, and have a good level of respect for the cash in their wallet.
When paying for things, these people tend to make an attempt to straighten out bills before they hand them to a cashier. They also aren’t scrambling to find the right bill to pay – they know what they have and where it’s located.
This person is moving in the right direction with their money, and their cash shows it.
Crisp, Organized, And On Track
Are your bills crisp, in order, all face up in your wallet or purse? When you pay the cashier at the store, do you hand all of your bills face up, in order, and counted out? If if you use a money clip, are all your bills going the same direction?
Do your bills look like the picture to the right – in order by denomination? If so, you have a high respect for your money, and I guarantee that your finances reflect this.
This is the most organized level of cash handling, and it usually means that the person is on track financially. They budget. They use their cash with a specific purpose. And above all, they respect their money and show this via their organization and how they hand it to others.
Respect Your Money, Change Your Money Mindset
If you are struggling with your money, look at the pictures. Which looks the most like your purse or wallet today? The goal here isn’t to make you feel bad – the goal is to help you understand how you physically handle your money reflects your overall financial life. And you can change it!
Studies have shown that how you physically act has a big impact on your mindset. For example, people who smile more are happier. Which came first – the smile or the happiness? It’s hard to say, but people who focus on smiling are happier.
The same can work with you cash. If you start respecting your cash more, keeping it organized and crisp, I guarantee that you’ll start seeing better results in your financial life. How you physically handle your money goes a long way with your money mindset.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.