Wallet Crashing #2: Personal Finance Expert, Author, and Today Show Personality – Jean Chatzky!

Welcome to our 2nd round of Wallet Crashing! Last time you got a sneak peak of none other than Mr. J. Money‘s wallet money clip, and this time I’m proud to show off the contents of personal finance expert and author, Jean Chatzky‘s bag! Apparently none of us use old fashioned wallets any more :)

For those not familiar with Jean, let me help pimp her out a bit. She’s been helping people manage their money for more than two decades, and has written a number of books on everything from money and happiness (The 10 Commandments of Financial Happiness) to women and money (Make Money, Not Excuses) to how to thrive in a tough economy (The Difference – one of the books in my own collection!). She’s been a columnist in publications such as Forbes, SmartMoney and Money Mag, partnered with Oprah a number of times, and is currently the financial editor of The Today Show.

We’re dealing with a legit personal finance’er here today, folks ;) And she’s recently launched a passion project of hers too, called Money School. A product that:

“Helps you take control of your money with simple, affordable, virtual classes that I’ll be teaching in real time. Each one-hour live class consists of a 45-minute lecture followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Then, during the week following each class, the Money School team and I will host virtual “office hours,” so that you can ask any questions you didn’t get a chance to ask after the lecture (or that you didn’t think of until later).”

Click here to sign up and learn more: jeanchatzky.com/money-school – people are enjoying it so far.

But enough chitter chatter… Please to enjoy, the content of Jean Chatzky’s “tote” bag! A nice one I must add too, from Kate Spade (I pay attention to this stuff! I’m hip!). Pictures and words by Jean:


jean chatzky purse contents

So — a couple of caveats. I don’t do the purse thing very often. If I do it’s because I’m going out for dinner and there’s very little in there save for a lipstick, driver’s license, credit card and some cash.

My tote is more interesting, so that’s what you’re seeing. Among the items you may not recognize:

  • My wallet. I always have one with a zipper because I save receipts to track my spending and for expenses and I don’t want to lose anything.
  • Credit cards (4). I have an American Advantage Mastercard — which I’ve had forever. I use it for just about everything, pay it off monthly, and take a nice trip once a year with the miles. I have an American Express Platinum as well. I use it to get into airline clubs and for hotel discounts. And I also have Amex for business. I also have a J. Crew card because I shop there often and like the rewards and special card member deals. But I never carry a balance.
  • The white little box is migraine medicine.
  • The white connector is called a dongle. If you give power point presentations enough with a Mac you know what this is and to never, ever travel without it — it makes the magic happen.
  • The little pink iPod. This contains my music but also my books on tape. I run with them. Currently, I’m working my way through Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series.

jean chatzky purse zoom


Thanks for playing our silly game, Jean! Always fun peaking into other people’s things and seeing how they live a little :) Now whenever I hear anyone say “dongle” I’ll forever think of you, haha…

And there you have it! Jean Chatzky’s “things,” ladies and gentlemen…

What do you all think about those cards she uses? Anyone else have the same? Are you making sure to pay them off in FULL every month too?! I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again – if you can responsibly handle them they could be a savior. It’s one time WE can actually take advantage of the banks rather than the other way around!

Till next time, wallet crashers… Be easy.

PS: Click here to see all the wallet crashers we’ve done so far… a whopping two :)

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  1. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies November 1, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    The inside of Jean’s bag is a lot like mine – even down to some Hieronymus Bosch books on iphone for running. =)

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Hah, really? You’re seriously reading the same stuff??

      I need to get better about reading myself. At least with stuff *other* than money and business ;) It gets to be too much when business and pleasure is all mixed into one! Haha…

  2. Brian @ Debt Discipline November 1, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Surprised there would be no debt card in her wallet, with 4 credit cards you just need to manage your cards closely.. And in my best Beavis and Butthead … she said….Dongal.

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I can’t tell if you meant to say debt or debit there – cuz either one works! ;)

  3. Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) November 1, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Pink ipod, Kate Spade wallet, smart with money – sounds like my kind of gal. :)

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Start landing some TV appearances and magazine columns and you guys can be twins ;) Minus the… um… twins. (Ya see what I did there?)

  4. Debt BLAG November 1, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I think that once you have one credit card, there’s not much difference for most folks in having four since people don’t use more than one at any given store. Now, if someone carries four so that they can max out three and still keep spending, it would be a different story.

    Nice insight into the mind of Jean Chatzky :)

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Right right… I still prefer to only keep one or two at the most personally – just cuz of all the managing of them and what not – but yeah if you can max out all the rewards over maxing out the CARDS, then more power to you.

  5. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel November 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    It amazes me how much a woman can tote around everywhere :) Sometimes I get a little jealous, though, because my pockets are always full of crap

    1. maria@moneyprinciple November 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Ha, ha. My husband looked around in Bulgaria and laughed because most men had men-bags. Then he stopped laughing and got one – his trousers look so much better without the bulging pockets…

      1. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel November 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Hopefully the murse will one day be socially acceptable in the states :) It looks like man capris are slowly becoming more common in the states.

    2. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      I used to wish I could rock a purse back in the day too to carry lots of stuff – but now after slimming down to just a money clip it’s awesome! I never have ANY crap in my pockets cuz there’s no room!! :)

  6. maria@moneyprinciple November 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    How very interesting. My bag is more varied, I think. Some of the variation is no good (like old gum and stuff; messy). I carry more pens although rarely use them (prefer my iPad) – just like to feel of them. No dongal; no migraine but more electronics.

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      OLD gum??? Haha.. WHY???

      I challenge you to dump it all out on your kitchen table, snap a pic of it for us, then clean it out and post the before and after on your blog :) Along with why you’ve kept what you did (and what you’ve disposed of too)… That should not only entertain all of us, but serve a nice purpose in the end too :)

  7. Budget and the Beach November 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    ooh nice! I’ve never thought about using a book on tape or a podcast for running but maybe I should give it a try. I usually need the music to pump me up. I love using credit cards for rewards and yup, I pay them off at the end of the month!

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      I know, I ALWAYS forget about podcasts too – especially in the car (like when we drove 30 hours in total to FINCON and back last week!!!). Music is the best, of course, but after the 10th time of hearing the same songs over and over again it sure would be nice to use the brain to learn more, haha…

  8. Micro November 1, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I usually keep two credit cards on hand in my wallet. One is the flavor of the month/quarter card that I churn through to get my introductory $100 for hitting the spending threshold. Okay it’s not always $100 for each card but that’s a good estimate. The other is my AMEX card because it’s the only credit card Costco will take.

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      How do you manage all those cards??? It never stresses you out? I can’t do it :(

  9. Jacob November 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Only 4 cards?!

    J/K. I keep 2 credit cards and 2 debit cards with me. Though I do have 11 credit cards open… :-O

    Nice sneek peek into Jean’s bag. :)

    1. J. Money November 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Luckily you’re not your “old you” anymore though so I’m not worried ;)

      1. Jacob November 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        True. 11 cards and the old me = Blow thru $100k and then go $100k in debt in 2 years. Lucky I only had a CC with a $500 limit back then!!!

  10. L. Marie Joseph November 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I love to shop at j crew also. I’m looking forward to owning a amex platinum for my travel.

  11. Fehmeen @ Loans and Lifestyle November 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    You seem to have a very resourceful purse! I’m impressed you manage to track 4 credit cards at once – it would be a difficult task keep track of spending on all of them but you seem to be doing fine

  12. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen November 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I love Amex! Mine is specifically a Costco one:P Hehe. I’ve got a different set of cc but I pay them off in full every month.

    1. J. Money November 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      That’s the key right there ;)