Save. Spend. Splurge.

A (Hybrid) Minimalist’s Wallet as of June 2013 (Contents and Value)

You’d think minimalists just walk around with some keys and 2 credit cards right?


How impractical is that? Here’s what I carry around and feel is pretty practical and useful for my everyday life.

PURSE = $1707.94

Click to biggify


Wallet = $454.94

See below for contents.

Emergency Pouch = $54

See below for contents.

Lip Balm = $4

I really like this one, it’s quite natural too and smells amazing.

Keys (Recut) = $10 (possibly more?)

Although come to think of it, I might have to redo all the locks in the house if I lost my keys.

Music (iPod Shuffle & Headphones) = $80

The iPod shuffle is $50 before taxes and the headphones are at least $20, plus we have 13% sales tax in Ontario.

Organizer (iPod Touch) = $452

My heart skips a beat if I think I lost it or left it at home.

Sunglasses (Persol) = $353

Polarized, glass lenses = NOT CHEAP.

[OPTIONAL] Digital Camera = $300

I sometimes bring it out when I know I will be walking around and may want to get some shots. Or going to dinner.

WALLET = $454.94

Click to biggify


CASH = $164.17

Surprisingly I carry around about $100 – $200 worth of cash at any given time in bills, but rarely use it.
I only take out cash when I am forced to (at ethnic grocery stores).


I am a flip flopper when it comes to having my hair up or down, and pins are handy when your skirt flies open or something rips/pops.

PEN = $15

For when other people don’t have a pen and you need it. This one is a super slim one by Moleskine and is made in Italy. It writes very well and smoothly.

WET WIPE = $0.20

You just don’t know when you’ll need one and wish you had it.


When your forehead gets unimaginably shiny.


I always have a spare Day Pass around and a few tokens just in case. You never know. I also bought a pass for June.


Reward cards from stores I frequent quite often. The reward cards with money are:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum = $30 in points
  • Air Miles = $10 in points

GIFT CARDS = $39.62

Still trying to use up my gift cards…

  • Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum = $7.01 left as a balance
  • Starbucks = $26.61 left as a balance + a free drink reward ($6)


Toronto Public Library card (must-have!), my LiveGreen card for organic stores, and I am going to move that Mountain Equipment one into my other Archive wallet because I so rarely use it and it takes up space.


These ones really get used a lot, except for the Hudson’s Bay one — that one is just for discounts and points.


I rarely bring these out unless I need to deposit money.


Click to biggify



This is to hang my purse when there is no room otherwise.

PILLS = $10

Motion sickness pills (Gravol) and Allergy pills. I’ve used them often enough to need them in case of emergency.


These are just ginger chews to bring down my nausea if I get sick.

WET WIPES = $1.00

Always handy!


Sometimes using your shirt is not an option.

FLOSS = $0

Free from the dentist, it’s great to get out that annoying bit of food stuck between your teeth. Also doubles as string in a pinch.


Lots of hairbands and pins.


Can never have enough.


Free in most hotel rooms, never know when you need to stitch up some ripped pants.

EARPLUGS = Priceless.. just kidding. $1

For screaming kids, loud venues, and just in general when you need some peace and quiet.


Never know when you need them…

PEN = $10

Made in Switzerland, it’s handy to do crossword puzzles with.


Tide-to-Go has saved many a shirt of mine.


When I feel a blister coming on, I rub this over my feet.


When a blister has already started (or even before, when I know I am going to be walking a lot), I use this to tape up my feet and toes to prevent blisters.


On any given day, I carry around about $2000 worth of stuff in my wallet. That’s how much it would cost to replace everything at retail.

Quite an interesting exercise. It makes me even MORE careful to keep my things close to me when I walk around (not that I wasn’t paranoid before..)



  • BooBooNinja

    I carry an emergency pouch too. It’s very streamlined as I have a small purse. The one thing I have that you don’t is a small pack of tissues.

  • rasilla

    I agree that you can never have enough face blotters. Seriously. I have them in my wallet and in my mu bag as well. I’m going to have to look in to this foot tape thing. I hadn’t thought of using a tape for blisters and such. Just been stashing extra bandaids for those occasions, so thanks for the idea 🙂

  • Tania

    You carry a ton of more little items than me! But, I also go to an office each day and commute by car. I’ve never been good about carrying a pen or emergency items with me. I also can’t stand lugging around reward cards. I really appreciate when I can just enter my cell # at the register (Safeway/Barnes & Noble) or keep my frequent user card on file at the shop (I used to go to a coffee shop that let us do that).

    I have a wallet with ID, debit card & corporate credit card. Some cash but not very much. An iPhone, a tech pouch (contents: ollo clip lenses for my iPhone, iPad mini, hotspot and cords). A personal care pouch with eye drops, tic tacs and lipfusion in red. I also carry a mini measuring tape.

    In my office I have a drawer with a brush and stain remover pen. My car has deodorant (in case I forget to put on at home, true story!), a bigger measuring tape, a brush, a pen and dental floss.I also have a ton of re-useable bags, tennis shoes, a beach towel for impromptu sunset watching and a cooler for leftovers.

    • Tania

      @Tania: Oh yes & sunnies! I totally agree with you that good quality ones are worth the $$. I’d also advise people to buy from reputable sources. I used to work in luxury and discount retailers like Ross/TJ Maxx are rife with counterfeits which may not have the proper protection. Outlets of reputable dept stores no longer just stock from their own stores so counterfeits exist there too.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: I loathe reward cards, but every time I don’t have one, I see the money fritter away.. even if it’s fractions of pennies.

      I have yet to create a hybrid card where it has all of them in one little pouch (all the barcodes on one card).

      I guess it’s because I don’t have a car I can’t store things like you do 🙂 Reusable bags, tennis shoes, etc.

  • Tammy R

    Mochimac, this was so interesting! I am afraid my frayed 5 year old LLBean bag and it’s contents are not worth $100 at any given time. I think this is good since purse snatchings are common occurrences here in H-town.

    What I will be peeved about is my 2nd grade picture of Rowlf from The Muppets and a poem given to me when my Nana died. Otherwise, they can have my $8 Docker sunglasses and even the digital camera as it’s old as dirt and really needs a replacement! 😉

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tammy R: What about your items in there such as your gift cards and so on?

      P.S. With your sunglasses you should make sure they are UVA and UVB 100% protection, or else you can really damage your retinas. Polarized lenses are pricey, but they’re the best for your eyes.

  • cj

    What a marvy exercise indeed, Mochimac! I carry a small messenger bag with business cards, nail clippers, nail file, sand paper (for nails), ear plugs, cell phone, darts (optional), keys, note pad. Then in may wallet I have money and cards of several varieties. What a hassle it would be to lose either!

  • The Asian Pear

    I think it was the sunglasses, camera and ipod touch was what brought you over. Everything else seems reasonable to me. o__o?

  • maz

    That’s a lot to carry around isn’t it? It’s amazing what we carry on a daily basis. What about me. Let me think. It really depends on where I’m going.
    If I’m just going to the shops ( without the baby ) I’ll just take my car keys, house keys, store cards, debit card, driving license & my iphone. My hand cream ,lip balm, tissues, wipes, plasters, extra pair of glasses, charger ( for my mobile ) are always in my car. I never, ever, take these items out of the car.
    If I go anywhere else, I’ll take a full handbag that hold a full purse (with all my cards incl library cards, store cards, driving licence, consulate card, kids club cards etc), book I’m currently reading ( or my e-reader ), my organizer ( old fashioned Filofax ), calculator, nail clipper & file, tissue, plasters, travel card, hand cream, chewing gum & lip balm, notebook & 2 pens. And I think that’s it.
    Of course, if I got the baby with me, even if it’s just to do the morning run for instance ( 20 min by car ) I add all the baby stuff ( baby bottle / wipes / nappy / extra clothes / formula / bib etc ) to my handbag.
    And yes, my handbag is extremely heavy ( but I drive so I don’t have to carry it around, I just shove it in the book & keep my mobile on the dashboard ). I’m not sure I want to know how much I’m carrying around ( in terms of money ) so I’ll skip that step. Might freak me out. Just the iphone is about £500/600!! Scary.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @maz: I think you are looking at a good £1000 or so.

      I freaked out when I realized how much was inside just my purse alone.

      Then let’s not even talk about my OUTFIT, because my clothes aren’t cheap either (although they aren’t designer for the most part).

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    I don’t own ear plugs so I never carry them with me. Why do people carry ear plugs? Is there a possibility you may be using a chain saw or operating a bull dozer during your travels?

    I carry my drivers license, health card, credit card, debit card, a few bucks in coin and a least a twenty in folding money. I have no cash right now because I am just that broke.

    I guess I need to think more about my personal appearance because I don’t carry anything in the beauty department.

  • SarahN @ Livetolist

    I’ve never thought of it as a $$ exercise, but I’m sure you saw my post about my handbag contents ( I also didn’t show the earplugs that are usually in the Longchamp side pocket, cause I cannot sleep without them! I also (in the past) have kept a list with the contents of my wallet and contact numbers (and ID numbers etc). Now it’s rolled into one bigger spreadhseet, that I also use when I move and need to do change of address.

  • Debt Blag

    Ooh. I love this topic.

    I’m surprised that you have floss, but not a toothbrush. I always have one of these travel toothbrushes — — and a single-use packet toothpaste. If there’s even a small chance I won’t make it home, I’ll have travel deodorant too.

    My phone takes the place of the music, organizer, and the pocket digital camera (If I know I’ll see something worth taking a picture of, I’ll bring my nicer — but bigger — camera). But this means I also always have a USB cable with me for emergency charging.

    Have you checked to see if your rewards, gift, and membership cards have a smartphone app that can take their place? This is what I do, or I just give them my phone number. Alternatively, what I’ve also heard of minimalists doing (on Lifehacker or something) is scan high-quality images of the barcodes, then print several onto a single card. Then, you just let the person checking you in know which code to scan.

    Nice post

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Debt Blag: I don’t carry a toothbrush because it’s too big. I have yet to find something small and portable.

      I actually find that if I floss, a lot of my teeth get cleaned out anyway, and then I just use a clean handkerchief to wipe my teeth down (works better than brushing, I find).

      I always bring my digital camera when I know I want photos to be taken but now I’ve gotten into the habit of always carrying it. The thing is that my iPod Touch is awful for photos, hence why I can’t use it as a backup.

      I actually don’t own a smartphone at all. Apps are useless for me, as I have an iPod Touch and would need Wifi.

      I do like that barcode scanning idea. I may do that because it’s getting annoying.

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