When choosing between a money clip or wallet, there are two priorities to keep in mind. Whichever you carry, it ought to be:
So, which option is more practical? The answer depends on what you need to carry. Standard items you definitely should have on you:
- A small amount of cash
- One form of ID
- One or two debit or credit cards
- One or two business cards If you stick to these basics, either a money clip or a wallet should be equally practical and function well for your needs.
Which is more presentable? Let’s be honest: the answer to this question also depends on what you plan to carry. If you insist on overstuffing it, either option will look sloppy and disorganized. Not sure if you’re overstuffing? Here are some items you definitely should not have in your money clip or wallet:
- A thick wad of cash (If you need to carry that much cash, carry larger bills so you don’t need as many.)
- Multiple forms of ID (Except for a required work or school ID, there is no need to carry multiple forms of identification on a regular basis. If you’re traveling and need to carry your passport, invest in a travel wallet to keep yourself organized.)
- Insurance cards, club cards, library cards, etc (Keep these in your car for those times you’re actually going to use them, or better yet, save them in electronic form on your smartphone.)
- Social security card (Carrying your social security card around is a terrible idea, regardless of whether it’s cluttering up your wallet or money clip. Keep it at home in a safe place.)
- 7 debit and credit cards (Really? Time to downsize. Or, again, use your electronic wallet options on your smartphone.)
- 14 business cards (If you must carry more than 3 or 4—like when you’re at an actual networking event—carry a separate business card holder.)
A wallet is more prone to overstuffing simply because there’s more space available compared to a money clip. If you tend to overfill any space you give yourself, a money clip may help you keep that under control. It simply won’t hold as much.
But, a well-kept wallet is classic and timeless. (Note: “well kept” is the key part of that statement.)
Whether you opt for a money clip or wallet (Or hey, how about a hybrid: the money clip wallet!), most options will be fine as long as you keep it tidy and don’t overstuff it. Bottom line: find a well-made option that speaks to you, and carry it with pride.
Be sure to check out our collection of rugged leather wallets and money clips for inspiration.