The Weirdest Thing in My Wallet

Spring Cleaning Wallet

It’s been a busy week at work for both of us, so we’re TGIF’ing up in here. It’s a shame that our Baby Girl will never enjoy a Friday night with the Winslows or the Tanners or the Matthews. We had it good.

Because of the increased workload from our day jobs, we’ve been moving through our spring cleaning spree much slower this week. But last night, we decided to get started on one of our more disorganized culprits: our wallets/purses. (Just to be clear, the “s” on “purses” refers to the multiple purses Joanna owns.)

The wallet is the black hole where many things random and forgotten find a home. Year-old Chick-fil-A receipt, a random business card from your the annoying sales guy on your last flight, gift cards with $2 balances remaining. But no “wallet black hole” has or ever will match that of my grandpa. Take your right hand and pretend like you’re holding a double cheeseburger. Now imagine that cheeseburger magically turns into a wallet. And that’s my grandpa’s wallet. He had receipts, business cards, coupons, small kittens, notes, spilling forth from the sides and torn bottom. I can only imagine the kind of weird stuff you’d fish out of there.

I purposefully have a slim billfold wallet to avoid this family tradition from taking root in my pocket. And even with the slimmer wallet, weird and random things still find a way of creeping in. Case in point, here’s the weirdest (but probably coolest) thing buried in my wallet.

Gemini Horoscope

Here’s the backstory… It was the beginning of June 2009. It was the last day of my NYC internship. I picked up one of the free morning metro papers and boarded the train to my office. I perused the newspaper and on a whim decided to look at my horoscope. It’s worth noting I had never previously looked at my horoscope. Ever. So I scanned the page and found Gemini. What followed was straight out of an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Let me break this down for you.

  • “There’s still a caution flag out, when it comes to anything involving long-distance travel” — Just an hour before reading this, I had checked us in online for our flight from NYC to LA the VERY.NEXT.DAY.
  • “…higher education” — I was finishing one internship in NYC and starting another in LA. Why? To complete a requirement in my college (aka, higher education) major.
  • “and advertising.” — Major in what? Internships in what? ADVERTISING.
  • “Put it all off until later.” — That would have been helpful a few hours ago before I checked-in to our flight and effectively sealed our doom by reading this horoscope.
  • “Go over your plans again, specifically the financial part.” — When I got to this line, I knew the horoscope was just trolling me. Both internships were unpaid in two of the most expensive cities in the country. Going over our plans again was probably in order.

I’d be lying if I said I just ignored the freakishly perfect tailored horoscope. As our plane touched down in LA the next day, I let out a sigh of relief. But I get the sense that we upset the horoscope gods and their day of reckoning awaits… sorry, Gemini! Until that day comes, I’ll keep it in my wallet as a supernatural keepsake.

What’s the weirdest thing in your wallet/purse/fanny pack? Know that if you have a fanny pack, I’ve got extremely high expectations from you. Happy Friday!

A reader alerted us that the HomeBudget app we use to keep track of our budget, which we talk about here, is 40% off (only $2.99) for a limited time. This is the ONLY app we’ve ever bought, and it’s well worth every penny.

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  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 12, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I have a runner’s fanny pack, but all it’s got in it is sunscreen, sunglasses, and about a dollar in change. Not too exciting.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:02 am

      I thought everyone who owned a fanny pack had a 1990’s copy of Reader’s Digest and an arsenal of vitamins stored in there. Runner’s ones must not count.

  • Reply Jefferson @SeeDebtRun April 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

    we too are deep in the middle of a spring cleaning.. it feels so good to lighten your load.. but like you guys, we are restricted to getting much done until the kids go to bed..

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:03 am

      The best way to know whether or not our girl is going through a growth spurt is looking back on the weekend and counting the number of hours we were able to get things accomplished. Needless to say, she’s going through another growth spurt this weekend. 🙂

  • Reply Brian April 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I have two “fortunes” that are no longer in my wallet but hanging at home that always make me chuckle.

    1. Some men dream of fortunes, others dream of cookies
    2. If you are still hungry have another fortune cookie.

    Also, the entire concept of the unpaid internship is odd to me, but maybe that is because I was an engineering student and we got paid some “righteous bucks” for ours.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:08 am

      I think there’s a typo in the second one. It should read: If you are still hungry have another sugar-dusted piece of stale cardboard.

      Unfortunately, unpaid internships were the name of the game in my industry. It seemed wrong at the time, but knowing the competition to snag a spot, it seemed worth it. In hindsight it probably was. But it doesn’t make it any more right to stiff already loan-burdened students.

  • Reply Laurie @thefrugalfarmer April 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Ok, by and large, I dismiss horoscopes as a bunch of BS, and still will, but that is FREAKY! We’ve had that type of thing happen with fortune cookies too; weird, man! And the wallet story reminds me of our friend Randy, who we passionately refer to as George Costanza because of his big fat wallet. 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:15 am

      I haven’t read a horoscope (more like horrorscope, amIright?) since. Probably because the first time was freaky enough.

      And George Costanza would be the perfect descriptor of my grandpa.

  • Reply Elvin Peria April 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

    The Gemini Horoscope looks like a winning lotto ticket to me. Can you imagine, how often do you see a horoscope prediction that really matches your activity for that day?

    Anyway, my wallet usually contains recipts, money, calling cards, IDs, guitar pick, and a note that contains my contact details in case my wallet got lost. Pretty boring unlike your grandpa’s cheeseburger wallet that has small kittens in it. Laughs.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:16 am

      Well, considering it was the first and last horoscope I’ll read, I guess it’s 100%. 🙂 And had it offered up lotto numbers, you better believe I would have bought that ticket.

  • Reply Chris April 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Stopped carrying a wallet because of the cheeseburger effect. I’m getting into the money clip thing which seems to cut down on my hoarding. Driver’s license, debit card, cash, business cards, and anything else I need to be carrying that day. It is about as thick as 2 quarters. Works pretty good so far. My wallet also always breaks my credit/debit cards. I hate it!

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:18 am

      I’ve wanted to try the money clip. There’s something about it that seems shady/mob-like, too, which is something I’m always going for. Have you found yourself needing to pay people to keep quiet more often?

      • Reply Chris April 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

        Only when I do nefarious activites. So, no more than the usu.

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt Roundup April 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    My wallet is one thing that I keep very clean. I have slim fold as well. I don’t keep stuff in my wallet. Never have and hopefully will. My receipts go in my pocket and then in my folder when I get home. I don’t have anything strange in my wallet, but I am sure my wife has some things in her purse.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:20 am

      My receipts used to go in my pocket… and then the laundry. So I’ve opted to go the wallet route and then I try to clean it out once a week. Sometimes weeks turn into months, but who’s keeping track.

  • Reply My Financial Independence Journey April 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I keep wallet thin and generally devoid of weirdness. Although I will admit to occasionally stuffing an auspicious fortune in there.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:24 am

      It’s funny how we hold on to those. I have a hard time coming to grips with throwing my fortunes away. I feel like I’d be upsetting whatever fortune god wrote it and crammed it in that cookie.

  • Reply Laura/No More Spending April 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I don’t keep anything weird in my wallet, or read horoscopes – but I totally understand why you kept that one!

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:28 am

      I think Joanna sees it as a bad omen that I should throw away. But if I haven’t been struck down by lightning yet, seems like the bad omen would be throwing it away.

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl April 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    It`s scary how those horoscopes occacionally fit perfectly to what´s going on in your life! I don´think I have anything weird in my wallet, it´s just filled with debit card, transportation card, student identification card and a donor-card.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

      Sounds like a perfectly normal wallet to me. But you could probably change that by reading the horoscope section more often. 🙂

  • Reply debtperception April 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I clean my purse out regularly because I stick loose change in random spots and it really weighs it down after a while. Nothing weird, but I did have a gross used tissue in there from a time I had to use a kleenex but there was no trash can around. Points for not littering?

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Huge points for not littering. A kleenex (used or otherwise) is always handy to have around anyway.

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls April 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I try not to carry a diaper bag now that my girls are older, but I have to sometimes carry extra stuff in my purse. Often when I go to take it my planner at work Monday morning I can find some odd stuff. I have found, My Little Pony figures, dinosaurs, wipes and even extra undies (clean thankfully) for the children.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:40 am

      Sounds like normal things to bring to work to me. Never know when you’ll need a dinosaur for a client presentation.

  • Reply Diane April 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I clean my purse out regularly because I like to keep it lightweight (really!) so there’s not much strange in there… unless you consider it weird to carry dog treats. Nah, that’s a normal thing to keep in your purse.

    • Reply Chris April 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

      I carry dog treats when I run because I’m deathly afraid of dogs and treats are great distractions. So, no that isn’t weird, it’s just extremely practical.

      • Reply Diane April 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        That’s a great idea, Chris~ I’ve never thought of that. We are sometimes approached by dogs while walking in our neighborhood, but we just shoo them off and they leave. I carry them in my purse for my own dog. If I threw one when we were walking she’d try to get it too and that would cause a real problem!

      • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Note to self: next April Fool’s Day, post a Free Dog Whisperer Sessions (the bigger and meaner, the better!) event on Facebook and list Chris’ address.

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

      That’s an 8/10 on the weird scale. Which wins you 8 awesome points in my book.

  • Reply Meghan April 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I have one of those iPhone wallets and it is my purse most of the time. It holds my DL, AMEX (everyday card), Visa for back up, my grid card for work (annoying) and a few bucks if I happen to have cash. That’s it!

    My purse on the other hand has a few random things, namely two epi pens, two exercise bands, a grandma-like pill container (hey I had shoulder surgery), a makeup bag containing anything else I may need, a lint roller, glasses, tea packets with sweetner, and a phone charger. It’s more than I want to carry but it’s all practical!

    • Reply Johnny April 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

      I really want one of those iPhone wallets! I’ve always worried it wouldn’t carry enough of my stuff, but I really only need what you listed there. The exercise bands seem weird, but that’s because exercise is a foreign concept to me right now.

  • Reply Meghan April 15, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Yeah me too. I keep thinking that if I have them in my purse, I’ll use them between projects at the office and I’m supposed to do exercises a couple-three times a day. Honestly, they aren’t doing a lot of good in the purse. But yeah I highly recommend the iPhone wallet. I’m typing with the phone in the wallet right now in fact! It folds back and mostly covers the cards when you’re using the phone. I’ve been a bit rough on this one and am going to order another, which says a lot. I got this one from Javoedge but I don’t like how the phone snaps in to a plastic piece. You have to take the phone out to take a picture with a flash and I’ve broken bits of the plastic. A holder with leather/plastic in front that the phone slides in to protects it more and you can get the phone out easier.

  • Reply Danielle @ Truffles n' Treadmills April 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Wow that’s crazy! Sometimes I really want to believe horoscopes. I would hold onto that forever if I were you. The strangest thing in my wallet… I mostly just have my IDs, coupons, and cards so nothing too out of the ordinary here.

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