Accessible Assistive Technology Resources Bridges Blog Financial Resources Independent Living Resources Series: Diving Into December 2021

Diving Into December: Organizing Your Wallet

As we enter December, we reflect on the previous year and begin to set goals for the swiftly approaching New Year. December is a great time to get organized to be ready for all that the holiday season and the New Year has to offer, so get excited to dive into these topics with us this month:

  • Organizing Your Wallet
  • Organizing Your Kitchen
  • Organizing Your Clothing
  • Organizing Your Mail

In this first installment of our “Diving Into December” series, we will take a look at the best ways to organize visual information in your wallet.

Why It matters

From money to cards to papers, everything in our wallets is labeled in print that is not accessible to blind/low vision individuals. Learning strategies to keep up with everything that goes in and out of our wallets is key to financial success and general organization. Prepare to have spaces for gift cards or cash received as holiday gifts, and to keep your debit and credit cards organized for holiday shopping!

Organizing Cash

Most blind and low vision individuals have a personalized system to have their money folded in specific ways so that they can identify the bill value immediately upon touching it. For example, one could choose to have $1 bills folded in fourths, their $5 bills folded in half, their $10 bills folded in eights horizontally, and their $20 bills folded in eights vertically. It is important to set aside time to organize your cash so that you are able to readily identify it when you go to reach for it to make a transaction. The Seeing AI app, which has been featured previously on this page, has a currency reading mode that can allow users to identify bills across many different currencies. Taking the time to sit down to go through and organize cash with an app, reader, or iBill Talking Banknote Identifier can help you to feel more in control of the money you have and to feel confident in the exact value of each bill.

Luckily, coins are a bit easier to organize tactilely:

  • Quarters are the largest coin and have rough edges
  • Nickels are the second-largest coin and have smooth edges
  • Pennies are the second smallest coin and have smooth edges
  • Dimes are the smallest coin and have rough edges

Organizing Cards

We seem to carry more cards than ever, including insurance cards, legal ID, work or student ID, transportation access cards, credit and debit cards, and gift cards. Sometimes, it is easy to tell cards apart. The new REAL ID cards have rough markings on them which make them unique to the touch. Perhaps your insurance card is made of a thinner material than all of your other cards so you are able to tell it apart from the others. Even with these distinctions, there are still likely cards that feel the same and have no notable differences from other cards in your wallet.

Many wallets are designed with layers of card slots in which you can categorize your cards based on your own system. Many people find it helpful to have a specific place for each card so that they always know they are presenting the correct one. As you are still getting used to your card layout system, you may even choose to write it down so that you can refer to it until you are able to find each card in your wallet fluidly. The Bridges Helpdesk is always here to help you brainstorm ways that will work for you to organize your wallet in a way that is personalized and useable.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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