In Praise of Money Clips

by Randy Murray on July 3, 2012

A money clip may seem like a somewhat old-fashioned device, but it’s actually a very useful tool. For many years I used (and still use) a small Victorinox Swiss Army knife as a money clip (in red, of course).

When I made the move to a skinny wallet, I mentioned out loud that I might need a new money clip. My daughter, Jen, disappeared and returned, handing me a gold colored money clip with my own initials engraved, something that I’d been given at a forgotten event years before and that I’d given to her for some purpose. She no longer needed it, so it’s back in my pocket. It’s perfect.

The first vital quality of a money clip is that it be thin and add no unsightly or uncomfortable bulge to the pocket. The next is that it be flexible enough to hold a dozen paper bills, folded in half, or hold a single one. My rediscovered clip works great.

Tip: If you have a larger stack of bills, use the money clip to clip the stack of unfolded bills, just off center, then fold the stack to place in your pocket. As far as I can tell, no one, outside of the movies, rolls their bills into a thick cylinder of cash.

Money clips are also great for the traveler. US money is uniform and small (not always the best quality, especially for the seeing impaired). A stack of pounds or euros in their odd sizes are not a good fit for American wallets. But they work fine in a money clip.

You can find ornate antique clips, multifunction ones like my Swiss Army knife, or even use a found paper clip. It’s a great way to keep your money organized and available.

Note: the organized mind sorts bills from highest denomination to lowest, with the lowest on the outside of the stack (this disguises your money from prying eyes). Bonus points for sorting the bills with the “face” forward and head upright and all bills properly aligned. And no, that’s not obsessive or compulsive. It’s just the correct way to do it!*
*That’s a joke, son!

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