I bet I’m weirder than you!

May 16, 2011 · 40 comments

So I’m kind of weird. Scratch that. I’m really weird. Actually, I’m willing to bet you are just as weird as I am. Why am I weird you ask? Well, I’ve realized I have some weird money habits that I thought you all might enjoy hearing about…

Tipping on a credit card.

Whenever Girl Ninja and I go out to dinner, I always tip enough to make the final bill a whole number. If the dinner bill is $23.45 I would tip $4.55 so the overall total was $28.00. Does anyone else out there do this?

Carrying Cash.

I’ve wrote about it before, but I hate keeping cash on me. I know you credit card haters will say “Studies show people spend more when they use a credit card…blah blah blah” but I’m a ninja and I’m not bound by statistics and science. If I have cash I spend it. It doesn’t hurt me at all to drop a couple benajims, probably because I’m too lazy to track my cash expenses. With my credit card account, my balance automatically syncs to Quicken and shows me exactly how much I spent at Store XYZ today, yesterday, and even last year. I hate debt, but I sure do love my credit card.

Transferring interest.

I have three savings accounts with ING. My emergency fund, a vacation fund, and an extra savings fund. I decided a while back, I will always make sure I have $10K in my E-fund just in case I lose my job…or need to buy a kidney through the black market. Each month my $10K E-fund get’s credited $9.16 in interest. Instead of letting this account slowly grow, I immediately transfer the $9.16 to my “extra savings” fund to ensure my E-fund is ALWAYS at $10,000 and not a penny more. Again, it must be something to do with nice clean whole numbers.

Organizing my money.

Like I mentioned above, I don’t like carrying cash on me, but since I do some side hustles, I accumulate a couple hundred bucks each month in cash. When I am at the bank and filling out the deposit slip, I have to take extra time to organize my money. I make sure all the bills are facing the same direction and that they are ordered from highest denomination on top to lowest denomination on bottom. I think deep down inside I must be insecure, because part of me desperately wants the bank teller to profess to the entire branch that I am their favorite customer since I’m so organized. Yeah, I know. I have issues. Oh and I don’t organize my money when it’s in my wallet, only when I’m going to hand it to someone else.

Obsessively checking bank accounts.

I bet quite a few of you are also guilty of this. I probably look at my checking and credit card bank accounts three or four times a day. Don’t ask me why. Every time I make a purchase on my credit card, I have to check to make sure it appears in my account balance. I think I must be scared that some restaurant is going to charge me $250 for dinner instead of $25. As if that isn’t bad enough, even when I know I haven’t spent any money and I know that I’m not getting paid for another few days, I still have to check my accounts. I don’t know what my deal is, but I HAVE TO check my accounts EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Aside from my finance related quirks, I also hate seeing the battery meter drop below 100% on electronic devices. I hate putting miles on my car, it seriously stresses me out. And I frequently scream really loud when I’m driving all by myself just because I think it’s fun (anyone else?).

I’m hoping you will be a little vulnerable and share some of your silly money and non-money related quirks. Do you sanitize your hands a bajillion times a day? Does your money have to be placed a certain way inside your wallet or purse? Or maybe you pick up every coin you see on the ground…even super dirty pennies? Come on people, share your quirks!


{ 40 comments }

1 rachaek

I do check my accounts reguarly, not every time I do a transaction though

I prefer to carry cash, no reason, I just prefer it. I can certainly understand people preferring credit cards though.

My money quirk is having to save all my coins, then when my coin jar is full, getting it cashed at the bank.

2 Stephanie

I defiantly do the tip thing on cards, I do it at the gas pump too.

Hate cash, as I always spend it on stupid things.

I save all my coins as well in my pirate piggy bank :)

3 Ann

Wow! I was laughing and flinching a bit as I read your list. Some weird things we have in common. I organize my paper bills, check my accounts at least once a day and yes, I scream in the car too (usually at my near death misses). My secret little obsession is collecting change. Every day I scoop up all the loose change in my wallet and my husband’s pants pocket. Sometimes his pants are still on. Anyway, you would not believe how it adds up. Just last month I had enough to pay half of what it cost to hire someone to come in and paint my main floor. As E-Trade baby says, “Serious coin”.

4 Mo D.

Hubby has a love of round numbers, too; he’ll top up our E-Fund and our US Savings account to see a clean number.

We save the majority of our coin as well (about 90% of it) and use use it to off-set Christmas expenses.

I do like to carry some cash, and I HAVE to have the denominations run from smallest in front to largest in the back, all facing the same way. Our CDN currency is colourful, with holograms, but we have yet to have a denomination with a unicorn on it ;-)

5 Catch!

AHH! # 1 – Tipping on CC the odd amount to make it an even number! My husband does this, and it drives me crazy! I told him, first of all, it doesn’t make a difference on the CC bill, because there is most some change on there, so it will nto make the CC bill an even number….and also, that is really annoying for the server, then they have to count out an odd tip, like $5.63 rather than just grab a bill or some loonies/toonies. So since my husband was a server for a long time, I think that part got him, he realized it probably was annoying for the server, so now he just rounds up! Instead of leaving $5.63 he would leave $6

6 Austin

ha ha I tip to make CC receipts whole numbers, too. I have this (probably invalid) theory that it’s easier to spot people messing with your tip – theoretically they make it a non-whole number, and since I ALWAYS make restaurant amounts into whole numbers, I would catch them! It hasn’t worked yet, but I’m hopeful for the future.

I am very meticulous when it comes to finances. There’s always some numbers to crunch on my Google Docs collection of a thousand spreadsheets. Needless to say I’m on the credit card web site almost daily.

Some people say quirky, I say “organized.”

…And Hoarders just can’t throw things out….

Austin

7 John

Early on my Dad taught me to make sure my paper money was always organized in my wallet. Big bills in the back and dollars in the front. He also said when paying for something to make sure all your bills were face and right side up. I still do this today and find it very annoying when someone gives me change back and the bills are all mixed up. arrrgh.

8 slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com

By forcing your EF to stay at $10k you’re actually neglecting it. As inflationary pressure affects the cost of your living, your EF is gradually becoming less and less able to sustain you over a set period of time. What once was a 6 month EF is slowly eroded to a 5.75 month EF then a 5.5 month EF. You should let it grow. It will still trail inflation, but at least you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Oh, and all my money is organized with bills facing the same way and by denomination.

9 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

I used to tip on credit cards to whole dollars all the time, now I just do it sometimes. I don’t carry cash either. The rest of your stuff is just weird. Especially checking bank accounts. I check mine once a month (when I do my net worth update) unless I have reason to believe I’m close to overdrawing.

10 Laura

I do the tip thing on credit cards too. It drives my husband insane sometimes. I don’t carry cash for the same reason you don’t carry it. I check my bank accounts about twice a day too…I had my identity stolen 6 years ago and didn’t realize someone had been cleaning out my bank account for 3 days and now I’m completely paranoid. It’s weird, but I’m not going to stop doing it (especially since I can access my account on my phone–LOVE THIS).

11 Amy

This drives my husband mad — we charge everything but I write it in a paper checkbook register like it’s a debit transaction like I’ll write 5/15/11, Publix, Amy’s Discover and then I put the amount in parenthesis. So I have pages and pages of stuff that is “held” for when the bill comes in. Then I’ll say to my husband that we have to watch ourselves, our account is getting low but he sees the $2,000 balance on the ATM receipt and laughs. I also have a sticky on the inside of my wallet with the different credit cards bonus offers so I know which card to use where. This has a tendency to also drive my husband crazy!

12 Jsn

I greatly prefer some sort of round number on tips (18.25 is fine by me). I carry only enough cash for the few times I need it, and I hate change (my wife likes to collect it, so she ends up with all of it). Otherwise, I always use my card. Credit cards allow you to track/record your spending and never worry about the nearest ATM (which I hate!). Not to mention I get 1% back on EVERYTHING. I don’t think I would ever bother making an interest bearing account even, but it does sound appealing to have lots of zeros. When I have cash in my wallet it has to be small to large, right side up (I also do this when paying/depositing). Mint!!! I check my account via mint at least a few times a week, but often every day. I like to keep up with all the odd things mint mislabels, so that the data is useful when I need it. If these things are weird, then I guess a lot of people our age are weird!

Do you really scream in the car? Cause THAT is a little weird.

13 Heidi

Sorry ninja, as a former bank teller, you are not the most organized person the bank teller has ever seen. I had many customers more organized (read: neurotic) than you.

I do the same thing with tips on credit cards and I also spend time “facing” my money (organizing it so it all faces one way, large denominations in back). Its a habit from being a bank teller and needing to keep my drawer straight so that I wouldn’t be off at the end of the night.

When I worked at the bank, I would check my bank account constantly because I had access to all the behind the scenes activity and could be completely up to date at all times. I’m better about it now, I only check it about 5 times a week.

And I also scream in my car, but only when I’m really angry about something. It is good stress relief and it is better than doing it in the house as the screams might scare the cats and neighbors.

14 Larry

Contra Kevin: the thing about checking your checking account doesn’t strike me as weird at all. I have for example had several instances where my account was debited 2 or 3 times for a single transaction – because the system was slow and the person processing the transaction clicked the Send button multiple times. In one case I came close to being overdrawn because a $1000 purchase was debited 3 times – but since I checked my account immediately, I resolved it with the bank within hours. I also was hit a few years ago when Amazon.com was hacked and my password found out; in this case my account was debited for 3-4 transactions I never made.

I tip 20% of the bill, whether or not it rounds nicely. I organize my bills by denomination so I know how much cash I have. I do not care whether they’re right side up, forwards, backwards, or diagonal.

I do not scream in my car; however, I have been known to sing from “La Bohème.”

15 msimonkey

i think you’re the male version of me. <3

16 MW

I used to work as a waitress and probably half the people I served rounded up the tip to make it an even number. It’s not that weird. (Oh, and as a server, it made no difference to me whatsoever at the end of a shift.)

I, too, organize my bills when I’m depositing cash, but mostly because I know the bank teller has to do that anyway, so, to me, it’s just a way to save time.

I am positively USELESS with cash. I lose it so far. My credit card is my best money-saving friend.

17 Stephanie

I hate carrying cash because I always spend it faster than I run my debit card. The hus spends cash and credit equally, so it’s a no-win situation lol.

I do the tip thing, and I do the “money must face the same way” thing too. And I have 3 ING accounts, which are soon to be 4, since I really should separate out the emergency fund. Plus a brokerage account, an IRA, the hus’s 401(k), a random bank account that we had to have to have our car loan at a certain bank, and 2 checking accounts + one christmas savings account at another bank…wow, my money is EVERYWHERE.

18 MW

Oh, as a sidenote, I’m sure there are some sketchy servers out there, but if your CC balance shows you paid more than you intended to for a meal, it’s more than likely because your tip/total was illegible and the server misread it. (Or you just made a mistake.) Servers are legally obligated to input whatever is on the total line, even if it’s wrong, and not doing so is considered fraud. Which means one time someone left me a $20 tip, and added it wrong, which means I got a $5 tip instead. That was lame. Another time a customer accidentally left me a $100 tip (reasonable would have been more like $10!) and I had to race out the door to catch him and get him to change it, otherwise I would have HAD to process the $100 tip. And I would have felt super guilty for it.

19 Norman

Is this “Confess your weirdness to a Weird Ninja” day? Hope I have the right day. Ok, here goes. I don’t have a germ-a-phobia, but I always wash my hands after I handle money, coin or paper. I also sing in my car if nobody’s around. I use chap-stick a lot. So much so that it could cut into my retirement funds if I didn’t get ‘em three for a dollar at the dollar store. Not really that bad, but trying to out-weird a weird Ninja is really hard!

20 krantcents

I do not carry cash either! In my case it works for me because I spend less or nothing. I put everything on my credit card because I earn miles. The few times I may go to a place I need cash, more preparation is involved.

21 Travis

My morning routine always involves checking my bank account balances online and updating my budget spreadsheet. It usually only takes a few minutes, and once it’s done, it’s done! Usually nothing changes, but it’s force of habit now.

Also, my grandmother taught me at an early age to organize the bills in my wallet facing forward, upright, and order them smallest to largest denomination. My partner however does not share my quirks… He usually just wads cash in his pockets to have to dig out later.

22 psycharah

After revealing all of that Ninja, why would anyone ever take that bet? ;)

23 jesse.anne.o

I definitely do the credit card round up to whole numbers AND the ING interest transfer!

I wish I was better about checking my bank accounts every day! I have an email alert from my main account and I usually leave it at that.

24 MommaStar

It doesn’t matter if I’m tipping in cash or on card it has to be whole dollars at all times. I check my account numerous times in one day. I constantly look at my gauge and gas line in the car while driving and it can get dangerous but it drives me bonkers seeing the miles go up and the gas go down.

So yes I’m weird…

25 Ryan

Whoa – it’s nice to know I’m not alone! I do the tip thing and I obsessively checking online banking and Mint. On my iPhone. All. The. Time. I also get upset/annoyed when I’m getting gas and I mess up and end up buying $60.01 worth. Sooo freakin’ frustrating. I hate carrying cash. The only time I do is when I have to pay a friend for “adult” beverages!

26 Alotta Lettuce

Duuuuude. I do a number of these things too! Particularly, I always tip in such a way that the total charge to me will be a nice round number. Likewise, I try to do the same at the gas pump, although I can’t always get it to a $X.00. At the very least, I try to not let the last digit be anything other than a 0, which means I’ll settle for $35.40 or $33.60 if I HAVE to.

I also shuffle money around in interest earning accounts in an effort to keep the balance at an even number.

I do carry a little bit of cash with me – always under $20, but I always forget that I have it, so every time I open that section of my wallet, it’s like a little found money surprise!

27 Steph/seenonflickr

My partner does the round number on the credit card bill thing – it screws him up when we are outside of Canada, though, and the exchange rate changes it to a non-round number!

He also likes to pay for things (at the convenience store or similar) with exact change if at all possible.

28 Money Rabbit

If you’re weird, I must be too, since I do everything that you do (with the exception of transferring interest). Especially with looking at my bank accounts three or four times a day – I feel like my money is a nest of sleeping kittens and I’m looking in and feeling such feelings of fondness. My money gives me warm fuzzy feelings so I look at my accounts several times a day.

DON’T JUDGE ME!!!! :P

29 Laura

You crack me up!

I am insanely obsessive about my spreadsheets/budgets (mint is my hero) but am weirdly disorganized with cash. This is the exact reason I hate carrying cash. I tend to avoid places that don’t take card. I want to be able to track every cent.

I check all my bank accounts daily but also check bill accounts at least once a week. It is some irrational fear that I am going to screw up my payments and get dinged. Sadly my student loan account doesn’t update the payment amount for 5-7 days. DRIVES ME BATTY!!

<3 to all you other crazy people out there.

30 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

Both my mom and I round up to whole numbers on tips. So that doesn’t seem too weird for me.

31 fabulously frugirl

I’ve been on a sodoku/crossword craze lately and I grab them for free from wherever I can. Sometimes, I get them from people who left it on the train or buses. Sometimes, I’ll go out of my way to grab one from new stand. Sometimes, I even grab them from the recycling bins at train stations. As long as its not wet or has gunk on it, a free cross word is a free crossword. :)

32 Robert @ The College Investor

Dude, I do all of those things! Haha, I can’t believe I went 5 for 5 with your eccentricities!

33 Indian Thoughts

Well not even thinking on my own I can tell you two things from blog that I am obessesed with:
1) I have to check all my accounts almost 2-3 times a day.
2) I have to pick all the money that I found – and will never spend them – consider them as lucky charm. :)

34 Two Degrees

Screaming in the car? Who DOESN’T do that?!

35 Jessica

First off, I just want to say. I am a teller at a bank, and you would totally be my favorite customer! You should see how some people hand over their money, its awful! So we love people that have it all organized for us!!! Wohoooo for Ninja!!!!
Since I do work at bank I have so many money quirks! For starters all my bills have to be facing the same direction with the heads turned right side up, and it goes from smallest to largest. Second, I don’t carry coin (I don’t like to touch it, wierd yes since I work in a bank). Third I also check my accounts daily! Sometimes more than once, but I NEVER EVER actually balance my checkbook to the statement (awful, yes? specially since I tell my customers to balance their checkbook), but I have online banking so once something comes through I just check it off in my register (which I do keep a register with all my debits and credits and a balance). Also, I make deposits and then turn around and get cash right back out, could I have just cashed that check instead of depositing, yes, but I NEED to see those seperate transactions lol

36 Mike

I know what you mean about checking the accounts online. When I was in grad school (and bouncing checks was a real possibility), I used to check 5 or 6 times a day. I used to ask my wife how she enjoyed her lunch or other spending-related activity as I would see it online before I’d see her at the end of the day. I’m down to once a day. I have even gone a full day without looking at any of them – it was a great relief when I had access to a computer again!

37 David

I don’t do the screaming in the car thing, but I do like to leave enough of a tip that the result is a round number. (Generally it’s 15% plus a round number, so generally it’s closer to 18%) I also like transferring money between accounts so that my savings always has a round number (Generally ending in 50 or 100) in it. And I also order my bills in my wallet largest to smallest, right side up, facing the same way. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone!

38 Alice

I have three checking accounts in two banks. I check them regularly, but not always everyday. I check the personnel system where I work to see when they post my paycheck information. I only get paid once a month, at the end of the month, but they will have the check info posted up to two weeks early. I check it at least twice a day until I see that it’s there. The thing is, I’m salaried and it’s always the same amount but I just feel the need to know it’s there.

When I was married, I had to hide money from the hubby so that he wouldn’t spend it. Cash was something that he had to get rid of, like a disease. If he left the house with $5, that’s how much he spent that day. If he left the house with $50, that’s how much he spent that day. It was terrible – hence the divorce =).

I always have my bills facing the same direction. If I receive change from a cashier, I immediately recount it and put it all in the same direction.

I don’t really scream in the car, but I do sing at the top of my lungs like I’m a rock star – and I’m *really* not.

39 No Debt MBA

When I was using Bank of America’s keep the change program they had a certain match for your change so I went around making all my restaurant tabs add up to $XX.01 to maximize the “change”. Probably way more irritating and bizarre for my server and anyone who was with me.

40 Wesley Wise

I prefer to carry cash, too. I think I’ll be more disciplined when it comes to spending. By the way, I think that this post is a really entertaining read. I always love reading your stories.

Previous post:

Next post: