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How Much Cash Should You Carry in Your Wallet?

How Much Cash Should You Carry in Your Wallet?

You should always carry cash in your slim minimalist wallet in case of emergencies. While you don’t need to carry wads of cash, you certainly should carry enough to get you through the day. Here are a few reasons why you should carry some cash in your minimalist leather wallet at all times:

Why should you always carry cash in your wallet?

#1 What if you need to split the bill?

Eating out with friends? Instead of promising to Venmo the funds, pay what you owe right then and there. That way, there’s no way you’ll “forget” to pay. Similarly, if you’re sharing a cab, it’s easier to split the cost with cash.

#2 How will you tip?

If you tip your server over credit, management will likely take their own cut. It’s better to hand your server bills so that they get the tips they deserve. Keep a few bills in your front pocket wallet at all times.

#3 What if your payment won’t go through?

Sometimes, your credit card simply won’t cooperate. To avoid the embarrassment of holding up the line while the cashier tries your card again, carry cash on you at all times. Slide a few bills into your minimalist leather wallet in case your card decides not to function.

#4 How will you avoid overspending?

The best way to get out of debt is to practice paying with cash. With a credit card, you’ll be tempted to overspend every day. This is because paying with cash can be painful -- as you watch as your hard-earned cash is spent, you’ll want to hold on to what you still have.

renegade wallet leather zipper cash

Pro Tip: Aside from paying with cash, one way to avoid overspending is by dividing your cash into categories, such as “Groceries”, “Gas”, and “Coffee”. Buy a wallet with multiple compartments such as the Renegade Zipper Wallet so you can split up your cash easily.

#5 What if you can’t pay with credit?

Not every cab driver accepts credit. If you find yourself unable to pay your fare at the end of the ride, the cab driver might not be too understanding about it (that’s why you should always ask if they take credit). Since refusing to pay your fare is considered a criminal offense, you should always keep a few pieces of cash in your front pocket wallet.

#6 How will you pay tolls?

When it comes to toll booth payments, it shouldn’t be a, “We’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” type of situation. If you find out at the last minute that the toll booth doesn’t accept credit, you’re in trouble. The booth operator will issue you a fine and fee, or the cameras will capture your license plate and you’ll soon find a Demand Notice in the mail.

How much cash should you carry in your wallet?

There’s no exact number, but it should amount to an entire day’s worth of expenses. For example, if you have to pay for parking, the amount should cover that, plus the rest of your day-to-day costs, like your gas, groceries, etc.

As a rule of thumb, keep $100 to $300 in your front pocket wallet. Why this amount? This is because anything less than $100 isn’t enough to get you through an emergency, but anything greater than $300 is way too much to lose in case your wallet gets stolen.

Let’s say you run out of gas and you’re too far away from the nearest gas station. You’d need around $200 to hire a tow truck to take you there. Or, what if you’re on a date, and your credit card and debit card get declined? If you’re from New York, the average cost of movie tickets, drinks, and dinner is $111 according to 24/7 Tempo.

cash wallet roam

What cash denominations should you carry?

Now that you know how much you should keep in your front pocket wallet, let’s discuss the denominations that you need.

  • Keep twenties in your wallet. Carrying big bills can be a problem. What if you want to tip a barista ten dollars but you only have a hundred dollar bill in your wallet? It would be a bit rude to tell them to return the change.
  • You don’t need one-dollar bills. What can you buy with one dollar, anyway? Unless you’re planning on making it rain, keep fives, tens, or twenties in your front pocket wallet. That way, your wallet won’t get bulky.
  • Determine how much a cab ride home costs. If it takes $32 to get home, keep $32 in your wallet. Even if you drive a car, keep $32 in your wallet in the event that you need to take a cab.


If you’re looking for a wallet that can keep your credit cards and cash at the same time, check out Trayvax’s wide range of well-crafted wallets. Whether you’re into metal wallets or leather wallets, we’re confident that you can find the perfect wallet that suits your lifestyle.

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