Wallet Crashing #4: Kathy Kristof – Kiplinger Editor and Award Winning Journalist/Author

Wallet Crashing’s back! This time to the ladies and their purses :) Specifically, my dear friend – and AWESOME journalist – Kathy Kristof from the L.A. Times, Kiplinger Mag, and more. She’s one of the few personal finance “experts” that actually crack me up (See: the Liz Weston vs. Kathy Kristof blogger showdown), which is why I thought she’d be perfect for this ;)

Here’s some background on her from her bio for those not familiar:

About Kathy Kristof

Kathy is an award-winning personal finance writer, who blogs for CBS MoneyWatch and serves as a contributing editor at Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine and Kiplinger.com.

She’s also the author of three books:

  1. Investing 101
  2. Taming the Tuition Tiger
  3. Kathy Kristof’s Complete Book of Dollars and Sense.

Formerly a staff writer with the Los Angeles Times, Kristof’s awards and honors include being the former president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; the recipient of Consumer Federation of America’s Betty Furness Media Service Award; the California Alliance for Consumer Education Award for Excellence in Consumer Education; the ICI/American University Award for excellence in personal finance writing; and a John Hancock Award for excellence in news reporting.

Now Onto Her Purse!

kathy kristof purse

[As copied/pasted from her email to me ;)]


I knew I might be a little horrified to see what was in my purse, but Lordy…..

Okay, a little explanation is required. I got a really huge purse a few months ago because I was going on a business trip and I wanted a bag that could fit my laptop. The problem becomes that when you have a purse that huge and you’re not traveling with a laptop, you somehow find a way to fill it up anyway.

So, here’s what’s in my purse, in categories:


  • $87 and change, $17 of which is in ones. Don’t ask me why. I am not a waitress.
  • a check register and checks
  • 2 credit cards (Capital One’s Venture because I love the points that can be used for any travel and a Costco/American Express card because it’s the only one they take at Costco)
  • a debit card
  • an auto club card
  • a health care card
  • a Starbucks card


  • driver’s license
  • three pens and a pencil
  • an iPhone/iPad charger
  • headphones
  • a notebook
  • sunscreen (I drive a convertible)
  • keys
  • Washington, D.C. subway map (refer back to comments about the business trip)
  • assorted business cards


  • my passport because you never know when you might need to leave the country
  • high-heeled shoes (Dancing, later?)
  • make-up, to freshen up before dancing, perhaps…or after
  • a scarf, in case it gets cold when I’m out dancing
  • notes from a writer’s workshop (I live in LA. We all have a screenplay idea. It’s a rule.)
  • bracelets. I don’t know why they’re in my purse.

And I got rid of the assorted grocery store receipts before taking this picture. They were too messy and this pile of debris was humiliating enough.

kathy kristof purse contents

Haha… gotta love a whimsical woman :) You can follow Kathy’s articles in Kiplinger Mag here if you’re not already subscribed to it (You should be!), or you can check out her blog at CBS MoneyWatch.

Thanks again for participating, Kathy! And stay tuned for the next wallet/purse/clip/? crashing to come… If any one knows of some fun celebrities who’d be up for it, please do tell ;)

Our previous Wallet Crashings:

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  1. jestjack December 20, 2013 at 6:23 AM

    Wow that is a lot of stuff…the heck with the purse….what a cool chair the purse is resting on….Windsor maybe?

    1. J. Money December 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Haha… that is a nice chair, isn’t it?

  2. Brian December 20, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    I was thinking the same think lots o stuff! I would have never guess a pair of shoes where in Kathy’s bag.

    1. J. Money December 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      It would be interesting to just stop random chicks on the street and have them dump their purses to see what’s there :) I bet you’d find all kinds of goodies!

      1. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel December 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        You would probably find more pairs of heels! My mother-in-law keeps heels in her purse sometimes. It seems so weird to me. If only I had big enough pockets to fit my football cleats…

        1. J. Money December 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

          I need a wallet that could fit my hoodies… would love to be able to interchange them when out and about! ;)

  3. Brandy December 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I looove the purse. Too cute. Its nice, sleek, stylish and can hold alot.

    1. J. Money December 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Really? I just see a square. Haha… I should have asked her the brand and where she got it from for those interested :) Note to self for future…

  4. Broke Millennial December 20, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Carrying my passport around would make me really nervous! I keep mine in my lock box when I’m not traveling, but I love the notion of having it in case you decide to just go abroad on a whim (or being able to even afford to just go abroad on a whim).

    1. J. Money December 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Agreed – I never take my passport with me for security concerns. Or social security card for that matter.

  5. Tushar @ Everything Finance December 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    This is funny. Some women actually walk around with high heels in their purse? Aren’t they heavy?! Like Broke Millennial, I get nervous when I have my passport with me because I’m scared I will lose it.

  6. Gina December 23, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    She needs to be more security conscious and stop carrying her passport around. It should be in a safety deposit box at her bank. I like her chair so much, can she post a picture of her dining table too? lol

    1. J. Money December 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Haha… I’ll ask her ;)