Would You Carry $100 in Your Wallet or Purse?

Brent Pittman —  04/10/2012

I’ve been thinking about carry a $100 bill around with me. Risky? I could get mugged and loose all that cash. I think overspending is more risky than the chances of getting mugged (even though I’ve been I-phone jacked).

Did you know that breaking a $100 bill is a difficult thing to do? That bill is just so-perfect. It represents the largest note you’ll ever hold. $100 is a a lot of money, especially holding it in cold hard cash.

Save Money By Holding a $100

Let’s use the fact that it is 48% harder to break a $100 bill than spending $100 of smaller bills to our advantage. There are also studies that show spending cash is more difficult than using credit cards and debit cards; let’s use that fact to help us save money.

Spend $100 in Your Mind

If you have to go to the store to get an item, pack ‘Uncle Ben’ with you to the mall and spend it all. Then spend it again. Yeah! Go crazy with that money. IN YOUR MIND. Don’t cash it. Don’t even touch that bill.

Spend that $100 on items over and over in the mall. By spending the money in your mind, it will help get that spending bug out of your system. Plus, you’ll have spent not even a dime of that one hundred dollar bill. Try it. Better yet, spend $100 on paper 20x.

If you are in debt and being forced to be frugal, then you need a creative outlet for spending. If frugal isn’t in your nature, you need to spend without anyone getting hurt–especially Uncle Ben.

Have you ever tried this $100 bill spending trick? Would it work for you? 

Photo Credit AMagill (Creative Commons)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • I have found this to be true.  When I took out cash from the bank for a vacation they gave me three $100 bills and the rest in small denominations.  I had a really hard time wanting to part with the $100 bills and only did so once and spent almost all of the rest of my cash.

    • So you had $200 left? What did you do with the cash? 

      • Sorry for never responding back. I didn’t get a message saying a comment was left until today (over a year later). I ended up keeping one of them for a very long time the other one I eventually used taking my family out to dinner.

  • thisthatand themba

    I never have any cash on me.  I would love to even carry a 20.  As a nation now we are so quick to grab our card and swipe it.  I was talking to my wife the other day we have no problem going to star bucks for 10 dollar coffees but when you ask me for 10 bucks in cash to pay for the 9 holes at golfing it seems like so much more money!!

    • I think paying with cash is empowering, but those days are numbered. It starts with phasing out the penny and then nickel, dime…one day we’ll be explaining to our grandkids what it felt like to hold money in our hands. 

  • Very interesting. I want to try that one out but I earn cash back with my PerkStreet account so I can’t fathom spending money and not getting cash back lol. Luckily, I’m not an impulse buyer so I guess that’s okay. 

    • Cash back is good. I’ve been wondering about PerkStreet, but seems not getting as much back as appears since you have to have a large balance and could be gaining interest on that money. Does it seem to be a positive for you? 

  • I’ve read about this tip just recently and have been thinking about it. I don’t ever carry that much cash on my person. I find that when I have cash, I spend it. It seems to be different than the norm where more people spend more with their debit card. I do see the reason though. There are times when I have 20s on me and can’t be bothered to break them for a smaller purchase.

    • Cool! I’m glad you’ve found what works for you. Ah, so you have a crush on Mr. Jackson eh? 

  • JackieWalters

    I actually carry ( I won’t tell you how many $100 Ben’s) around in my envelope system at any given time and it does hurt to break him.  I do think twice when I have to bring the big guy out and pay for groceries though.

    • I know many who also use the envelope system (we currently only use for a few categories) and it helps them save money too–perhaps due to the pain of spending cash.