You Can Tell a Lot About a Person by What’s in Their Wallets

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(Photo by Cole Tan)

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(Photo by Cole Tan)
(Photo by Cole Tan)

The contents of someone’s wallet can say a lot about the type of person they are.

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For Tiffany Davis, assistant coordinator for the Personal Money Management Center, wallets are a direct translation of someone’s larger financial situation.

“The number of credit cards they have can be an indicator of how they manage their finances,” she said. “And having a lot of credit cards is usually not a good sign.”

Amy Huynh, a freshman in business, doesn’t necessarily agree with that interpretation. She has several credit cards in her wallet.

“I shop a lot,” she said.

Like most people today, Huynh did not have any cash on her. In a 2014 Bankrate survey, 40 percent of people living in the United States were found to carry less than $20.

When students come into the Money Management Center for help with budgeting, Davis recommends the envelope method. Once you get your paycheck, you divide the money into different categories, placing the individual allotments in envelopes for rent, tuition, etc. — that way you don’t spend more than you have.

Davis also recommends keeping receipts. This is a habit Meghan Martin, a freshman in elementary education, has acquired.

“It looks messy because I have all of my receipts shoved in there, but then I take them out and record them,” she said.

In Martin’s wallet there’s a Starbucks gift card, which could indicate her love for coffee. Her friend, Laura Tatham, is pretty similar. Tatham, a senior in biomedical engineering, has six different coffee shop cards and a picture of her boyfriend.

“There’s just not a lot of space in a wallet,” Tatham said. “You have to pick and choose what you put in it.”

Besides financial stereotypes, the style and contents of a wallet have some social implications as well. Arianna D’Isola, a junior in psychology, likes guys who have nice wallets.

“Leather is classy,” she said. “One of my ex-boyfriends had a Power Rangers wallet, and that wasn’t too attractive.”

James Farley, a senior in geology, tries to keep his wallet full of the essentials but not over-packed. He carries his concealed weapons permit and Student Life Center pass.

“You can tell a whole lot from people’s wallets,” he said. “Anyone who has a Velcro wallet is instantly a nerd.”

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