What Your Wallet Says About You

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Money. We have it (that’s subject to debate). We do, occasionally, buy things with it. If, indeed, money is the means by which we procure goods and services, then it most certainly needs to be with us at the time of purchase. That means money has to travel.

Now, it’s easy enough to skim a couple bills from your Scrooge McDuck-sized vault and ferry said bills via drone over to Whole Foods for your month’s supply of kale and stone crab, but this isn’t DuckTales and who the hell is that good at flying a drone over long distances?

So, for us plebeians, we stick to herding around our small change in wallets. Simple enough, right? Yeah, not quite. Not when you take into account the diverse family tree that wallets occupy.

With that in mind, here are the usual suspects from within the wallet spectrum and, of course, what they say about you.

The Money Clip

Here’s to you, captain minimalist. Yes, you, the man who travels light and never asks for directions. You navigate life’s obstacles with the ease of Justin Bieber at a photoshop convention. Your ID, credit card, debit card, metro or subway card, and the emergency Benjamin — that’s it. That’s the whole show. Plus, carbon fiber is sleek, it’s durable, and it just sounds cool as shit rolling off the tongue.

Why don’t you carry any more than that on your person? Because life is simple, brother. Because you’re the type of dude who will not think twice about packing up the 4Runner and heading to the mountains to shred some splendid gnar at a moment’s notice only to head back into town on Saturday night just in time for your boy’s twenty-sixth birthday foray into the heart of the city.

You’re also confident, but not arrogant. You tread that fine line with practiced grace. You follow your old man’s lead with the levelheaded temperament of someone well beyond his years. Same goes for your money clip. You’re a young buck playing at an old man’s game and we can’t even be mad about it.

Fly on, free bird. Fly on.

Velcro Trifold

I would assume that you, in your twenties, have money to carry around, things to buy, and places to go. Assuming I’m right, at what point in your life have you experienced such crippling trauma that you need to lock your personal effects inside something as intense and binding as velcro?

I’m sensing you have trust issues. With gravity, with wind, with other people, with life in general. Why the velcro? Short of carrying a safe around in your pocket, you’ve got the most secure currency vessel known to man. Also, there’s a good chance you’ve got your mobile Fort Knox attached to the end of a wallet chain.

Again with the trust issues.

Here’s the thing: If you’re still on the velcro train, it’s safe to assume a significant portion of your life ended up as a tattoo on your shoulder blade in the form of Limp Bizkit lyrics. And, if that is indeed the case, you clearly didn’t have enough faith that modern rock music would evolve beyond what PacSun would play on loop during the summer of ’98 as you shopped for the one Element shirt that maybe, just maybe, would express your fiery dragon soul the way no other Element shirt could.

I digress. Travel safely, my scared friend.


You were a vice president at a Fortune 500 startup before you even turned thirty. You studied at Wharton. Aspen renamed one of its most famous runs after you.

You don’t just carry a bifold, you live it.

Like the money clip guy, you tend to stay fairly minimal. Yet where money clip guy was born in the suburbs and doesn’t have a suffix, you were born in the regency room of your family’s estate near Tahoe, and you not only have a suffix, but you have two middle names as well.

Your great-grandfather, Horace Tuck Granderson Pembroke II had his own bifold made from the hide of a buffalo that once roamed the great plains, which was pierced by an arrow from a great Sioux chief’s bow. Your bifold, newly arrived, is Italian and from one of the finest leather merchants in ancient Florence. It was the equivalent of two month’s worth of my take home (after taxes) and you’re just like “meh, ’twas mere pitons.”

I don’t hate you. I want you to know this. You have the Instagram account I pore over during my lunch break as I weep bitter, salty tears. And as I choke down my Chipotle, I see you, dad-bodied and raging face in Ibiza, your wallet somewhere out of sight, ready to feed that Orvis-clad monster.

Rubber Band

Okay, T.I.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here. You’re on a mission and you’re not making any effort to hide it.

I respect the honesty. These streets, they’re mean, and there’s no time to even think about cash withdrawals or which credit line you’re laying something down on. Also, I think about singles. Like, singles for a gentlemen’s establishment. You probably have those and may well be heading there now to catch the Wednesday lunch buffet.

I hear they have an excellent club sandwich.

Change Purse

Yes, an explanation is necessary.

I doubt very much that the Miller’s wife in The Canterbury Tales would think twice about the change…thing…you’re carrying around, but this is 2015, kemosabe. This is the era of Reddit threads and left sharks and fucking polar vortexes. There’s simply no room for that change purse.

Your twenties are, generally speaking, your last opportunity to take chances with your life. Please just don’t go throwing it away with such reckless abandon.

The Phone Wallet

You’re the ultimate modern man. Phone wallets are the future and the future is now, dammit. You’re not an innovator per se, but you were probably the guy filming the actual innovating.

You’re also out of your mind. I would know, because I’m one of these people. Your money, your livelihood is just out there in the open, exposed to the elements.

You’re daring the universe to warp its cosmic fabric in and over you, your plastic lifeline to your checking account and the iPhone 6 you nearly mortgaged a kidney for, to suck you down a black hole similar to what McConaughey surfed down in Interstellar.

I’m well aware of the risks and yet, against all my better faculties, I forge ahead. I push through, I tempt the fates themselves. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we only YOLO once, or maybe it’s because my company gave me one of the card holders with the adhesive backing for free and I decided to make a (small) change in my life. Whatever the case, I’m riding this future wave as far as it is going to go, and I’ll most likely lose all of my shit along the way and immediately regret everything I just said.

I wish I was a bifold guy.

Image via Shutterstock

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Defending Northern VA intercontinental bar sports champion.

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