In Life, Minimalism

Can what you carry as a bag or a wallet really say anything about your personality?

Totally random thought but it just occurred to me the other day that what you carry around as a bag could say a lot about you.

To some extent, yes, what you carry does say something about who you are.

THE BIG BAGGERS

Cornelia-Guest-Nicolas-Wool-Satchel

… but big bag people, don’t always carry only useless crap or are on the way to the gym.

I like bigger bags (I only carry the “gym” bag if I know I have a lot to tote back) because I always end up buying something, or toting something around that BF is buying (usually a kitchen tool), and I don’t necessarily want to bust out my reusable bag.

I also carry what is handy for me in emergencies, aside from my wallet such as spare handkerchiefs.

THE ONES WITH TINY BAGS

Small bag people, aren’t always perfectly neat and organized as you might think.

Maybe they just don’t want to carry a huge bag, so they have a small purse instead, but then they have 3-4 reusable bags full of stuff that they tote around, and I see them struggling to maintain a kind of order with 2 bags in each hand just because their purse is just too damn small.

I wonder if it’s worse on their body and shoulders to carry 4 lumpy, unzipped, kind of awkward bags instead of one or two medium-sized ones.

THE BROWN BAG COMMUTERS

I also see women commuters who have a purse, then a laptop bag AND a lunch bag on top of all that.


Personally I’d just carry 2 medium size bags at the most, or just the laptop bag with my wallet in there and my lunch bag.

I’d a spare, empty purse at work to use when I don’t want to carry the laptop bag to nip across to the deli to buy a lunch, which is really the whole reason why they have a purse in addition to a laptop bag in the first place.

MEN AND WOMEN DIFFER IN BAG QUANTITIES AS WELL

Men don’t have this problem of having to carry a purse as well as a laptop bag because of a wallet, because their wallets actually fit into their pants or jackets.

Not only do women’s clothing have a stunning lack of pockets all around (real pockets, not stupid fake ones or small ones), our wallets also tend to look like this:

m0851-womens-wallet

Or at least.. mine does. I don’t know how women carry receipts, money, coins, passes, and their cards without having a zippered wallet to contain it all.

I have never seen a man with a wallet like a woman’s (unless they are traveling and have a passport as well as their tickets in there).

Their wallets usually look like this:

m0851-mens-wallet

 

WHAT KIND OF BAG OR WALLET DO YOU CARRY?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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15 Comments

  1. C
    Corianne

    Medium-size bag! With lots of stuff in it… I always bring a book, because you never know when you’re stuck somewhere and I need something to read. A notebook, a bunch of pens. Sunglasses, umbrella. Some paracetemols, a hair tie, hand cream, lip balm. Phone charger, a power pack (if there is no power outlet – it’s awesome!). My bag just fits my Samsung tablet as well, in case I need it. My big wallet, my tiny cash wallet (I bring the cash wallet when I go out to buy lunch). Loose plastic business-card case holding my electronic transport pass (it’s too much of a hassle to take it out of my wallet all the time, and the reader doesn’t read it when it’s close to credit card etc. 🙁 ).

    I love the layout of this bag. In the middle a zipper compartment, with all the important stuff. In the sides I keep my book, umbrella, etc. I also stuff a bottle of water and some snacks in the side compartments when travelling a couple of hours on the train.

    Then I also have a collection of canvas totebags. I have one folded in my main bag which I also use to carry my lunchbox(es).

    When I go out to meet friends in the evening, I have two smaller over-the-shoulder fancy bags. But for day-use I like my “not-so-big” bag. I don’t need to think in the morning what to take with me.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I have lots of bags for all my different purposes but I am still trying to work clutches that I own into my life. I feel like they are not as versatile, especially when wrangling a toddler…

      Reply
  2. Tania

    Former big bag girl, now a tiny to small bag woman. I have a degenerative disc in my neck, which doesn’t bother me so much now that I go to a private pilates session once a week. But when I was in pain I lightened up, literally and never looked back. But I drive daily. Things might be different with public transportation. I can leave just in case items in the trunk of my car and require no commuting reading material (my kindle paperwhite does however fit into most of my smaller bags). On the days a tote is required, I prefer Longchamp (light) and I still toss a tiny bag or a wallet with a cellphone compartment in the bigger bag so I don’t need to lug it everywhere with me (i.e. lunch break or after work friend meetup).

    Reply
  3. The Asian Pear

    My bag of choice right now is a medium sized convertible handbag/backpack. I do think that what you carry says a lot about oneself… I’m the one who carries all the stuff for emergencies which totally speaks to my being preparedness and OCD qualities. ^_^;

    Reply
  4. Karen

    I guess I range from the medium bag-large bag. The funny thing is, I feel weird if my medium or large bag only has a few things in it. For me, I feel it needs to have a bit of weight to it. I tend to carry a lot of things in my bag because I commute a couple of days a week into the office via GO train. So I’ll have a book to read, a notebook to jot down blog ideas, snacks, water, on top of the essentials-phone, keys and wallet. Sometimes I’ll even have a reusable bag in my purse, in case I end up picking some stuff from the grocery store or Shopper’s Drug Mart.

    My wallet looks like a Michael Kors but it’s really a Chapters. 😉

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I can’t help myself, I carry a lot too. I need hand cream, lip balm, a charger just in case my device dies…

      Reply
  5. Linda

    I have one medium-sized crossbody bag, made of hemp fabric. It isn’t entirely sustainable, like I expected it would be. The strap looks to be made of synthetic material. 🙁 I’m not sure what any of this says about me.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It says you are very conscientious and sweet to be so concerned about things that most people would not even bother about. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

      Reply
  6. M
    Michelle...

    I’m a small bagger. In fact, I’m about to list my big bags for sale. I just don’t use ’em.
    If I’m ducking to the supermarket or out on a quick errand, I often just take my phone/wallet jobby. But if I’m out for the day, I take my Fossil Keyper Crossbody. It has (obviously) an adjustable crossbody strap but also has handles. It’s also coated canvas rather than leather and it’s indestructible. Used it while traveling through Italy last year and I can jam an umbrella, a water bottle, a Kindle, my phone/wallet and a bunch of personal items in there. I usually have a wee Loqi packable tote stuffed in there too, for if I need extra carrying capacity.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I waffle between being a small bagger and a big one. If I have a ton of errands and need to buy a lot, I take the big bag.. if it’s just to the grocery store or I don’t plan on buying anything, the small one will do.

      Reply
  7. A
    Anne

    I aim to a life that is functional and kind of minimal but at the same time flexible and aesthetically pleasing. 10 item wardrobes and strict amount of possessions are not for me, even though I like not owning too much stuff. I think my way of life is reflected in my choice of bags and wallet.

    My wallet is roughly the size of a credit card, zippered, with plastic pockets for 12 cards and a small pocket for coins. I cannot store too many receipts or coins in there, but I can have with me everything I need. It’s small enough to carry in a pocket if needed And it’s so pretty, orchid neoprene!

    I like to have my hands free, which is why I don’t own a tote. The straps tend to glide down from my shoulders especially when wearing winter coat. Instead, I have three bags so that I can choose the best one for the activities of the day.

    For evenings out with style I have a small silver bag with a strap that can be used as wrist or shoulder strap. There’s enough place for smartphone, key case (needed to avoid scratching the screen) and lipstick.

    For regular working days I have a leather bag big enough for ipad/book, with both top handles and a detachable crossbody strap. Suitable for both less fancy evenings and daytime use.

    Finally, for the days I need to carry my laptop/training clothes/the going-out-with-style stuff, I have a big, sturdy crossbody bag.

    Oh, and I also have a foldable backpack, which I have in my day bag and use for carrying home groceries. I also use it to pack the training clothes inside the big crossbody bag, so that I can go out for lunch without carrying the training gear with me. It also works as a beach bag/day pack when traveling.

    Reply
  8. s
    suzi

    So, I’m a “tiny bag” person, and I’m chuckling. I’m totally “neat”, conservative, organized, and like expensive leather bags, wallets, and the like. I don’t carry a bunch of “over-stuffed” bags because my purse is too small. 😉 Ha Ha! If I’m going to stop and do a bit of shopping, I take my phone-wristlet out of my “tiny” purse and put it into a tote or something I have along. Normally I have that wristlet (nice leather Coach one) tossed in a tote for work anyway. If I’m running into the grocery, I grab the wristlet, and a re-usable grocery bag that’s kept in my car and off I go. On weekend outings, or a trip to the city, I toss that same wristlet into a nice leather, larger hobo style bag, which can fit my necessities for the day. For evening out to dinner, all I need is a small, leather cross body; of which I have many to fit the occasion. All I need for an evening out is my phone, ID, 1 credit card, some cash, and my car “key”. (I don’t carry one of those “wads” of keys I see many carrying. A single car/house key is all that’s needed for me) Better yet, a pocket is okay with me for my key. I travel light, and I travel with class! 😉 No big, bulky daily handbags for me, nor do I need the kitchen sink with me on a daily basis. I fix my hair, put on my make-up properly so it stays put for the day, and “presto”, I’m off! The less I drag around with me the better! Less to keep track of, right?

    Reply
  9. M
    Marie-Josée

    I always carry a medium sized crossbody bag. It holds my wallet, reading glasses, smartphone, small pack of tissues and a small pouch containing lip gloss, mascara and two sanitary napkins). It also contains a perfectly sized nylon reiussable bag for impromptu errands. Week-days, I carry a large to medium sized tote. It holds my lunch, umbrella and can hold gym clothes and toiletries if I train – but that’a pushing it. I have all of my online shopping delivered at work and I have hauled so much stuff in my tote! I need to remplace my tote and am having a hard time finding a perfectly sized, leather tote with bottom studs, as I deposit my tote on the subway floor during my commute. The subway is so crowded.

    Reply
  10. Kailash

    I have small bags. I love them <3. And all the big ones I sold or donated because I simply do not use them. Rarely I shop something unplanned – but in my small handbag I have nice IKEA reusable bag which you can scroll into small neat package – I have this one: http://www.ikea.com/hr/hr/catalog/products/40282314/#/40282823
    My bags are big enough to hold – my wallet, iPhone, handkerchiefs, small planner/notebook with pen, keys, and reusable bag. And of course lip balm/lipgloss/lipstick, small hand cream. Even small umbrella (I have one which becomes really small).
    Now I'm thinking these days to bay Longchamp Le Pliage (found thrifted for amazing price – unused!) big one – but then again – do I need it?
    Also – I have "a thing" for mens wallet, maybe it has something to do with archetypes or symbols or something but I love black small mens wallet similar to one you have on the photo. To buy it or not? hm hm

    Reply
  11. NZ Muse

    I’ve always been a big bag persno – but mid last year I cut everything down and now I’m a tiny bag girl (like I was at age 12 when you first start to carry them!) And yet I still seem to struggle to find my keys in there….!

    Reply

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