Less financial options in your pocket David 19 Apr 2006

79 comments Latest by Ben R

While living in Denmark, I used to have just a debit card in my pocket. No additional credit cards, no cash. The card fit inside a aluminum sliver made for just that one card. Life was good, life was simple. “Just on the amount” was in the top 20 of most used daily phrases.

Coming to the US was a rude awakening. You actually need cash. And cheques. And multiple credit cards. Entirely too many financial options for my one card sliver, so I broke down and got a 5-card holder and a money clip for cash. But that’s two pieces, now. At least one too many.

Now here comes the Jimi: The wallet for people who hate wallets. That’s a great idea! Just about enough reduction to make it viable for the US overload of options.

Now make one that doesn’t just fit the look for someone with their cell phone in a belt clip, a pen or two in their front pocket, and their pants riding entirely too high above the waste. In other words, what’s up with those colors? Neon’ish colors and a translucent shell is such a short trip from neat to tacky.

79 comments so far (Jump to latest)

ML 19 Apr 06

Interesting bit from article about the creator:

“Do Not Overload,” the instruction sheet warns, “Jimi holds five cards…plus three folded bills.” And since it’s made of hard plastic, you can’t simply fatten it up by stuffing more cards and receipts and other things into it, as you can with a normal wallet. Basically, if you want to use a Jimi, you will have to play by Jimi’s rules, and that probably means you have to pare down. As O’Neill says, this is a borderline anti-American notion. “It’s funny how many people write us and say, ‘If I could just get one more card in there.…”’

Ploafmaster 19 Apr 06

I dunno, if it weren’t for my driver’s license, I really wouldn’t carry anything except my one credit card around.

Even most fast food places accept plastic these days, and since I only write a check to pay for rent, I don’t carry my check book with me either.

Jamie Tibbetts 19 Apr 06

Sounds like someone needs a money clip. Best option IMO.

Taco John 19 Apr 06

The Stealth-colored Jimi would be the option for you. Basically black.

JF 19 Apr 06

My dad uses a few rubber bands for his wallet.

Don Wilson 19 Apr 06

I use Lodis’s credit card wallet that couldn’t be more than 1/4” in height.


I’ve got two debit cards, one college id, one atm card, health card, and on the opposite side my drivers license (behind clear plastic so I just throw down the wallet when they need to see ID. The wallet also has an inner hidden pocket for loose, small paper.

This wallet has all of the benefits of this hard plastic wallet, minus the hard plastic and ugly color.

brad 19 Apr 06

it’s surprising that debit cards haven’t caught on more widely in the States. In Canada we have Interac, which most (but not quite all) merchants accept, and I can normally get by with just my debit card and a bit of cash. But then there’s my driver’s license, health insurance card, Air Miles card, etc…they do add up. Twice a year I take photographs of everything in my wallet and store the images on a secure site that I can access from anywhere in case my wallet gets stolen, and I’m always amazed at the amount of stuff I keep in there. It’s like those photos of American families with all the contents of their houses spread out on their front lawns.

Eddie 19 Apr 06

Hard plastic? Wouldn’t that hurt in your back pocket?

My front pockets are reserved for my RAZR and keys, receipts and/or iPod.

Ian 19 Apr 06

Get the Big Skinny:


I love this little guy.

Eddie 19 Apr 06

“Big Skinny” link has gratuitous use of cleavage holding the wallet. Safe for work, but somewhat unprofessional IMO.

Eddie 19 Apr 06

..or maybe I’m just a prude.

Adam Brand 19 Apr 06

The US actually I think isn’t that bad…you should try Cairo. It is a nightmare in Egypt to get anything done without cash. When we were setting up our office their we found only one computer store that would take AMEX. It is an accounting nightmare to deal just with cash.

Someone should invent a wallet that automatically dispenses cash and records the transaction so you can download it later. Kind of like an e-receipt.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss 19 Apr 06

Wilson: don’t you mean “fewer English”?

Wilson Miner 19 Apr 06

Jacob: No, that would be Getting Xenophobic(TM).

Eddie 19 Apr 06


Would this receipt even bother to record “baksheesh?”


Mark 19 Apr 06

I’ve had a jimi for months. They’re a great company to do business with and were very helpful when one of my orders arrived broken.

Less is more is good for pockets too.

Mark 19 Apr 06

(Prior to the jimi I was doing the rubber band thing too. It’s annoying when the break. And they don’t slide in and out of a pocket like the jimi.)

Jeff Martin 19 Apr 06

I don’t know why everyone is saying you need multiple cards in the US and you feel for us in the US. The only card I carry is my BOA Visa debit/credit card. It works as an ATM card, a debit card and a credit card. I use it everywhere from grocery shopping to fast food. I don’t use regular credit cards at all. Here’s the contents of my wallet (it’s a $8 Walmart special)…

BOA debit/credit card
Driver’s license
Handgun carry permit
Business cards
Insurance card
Access card for front door at work
$7 in cash

Ritz 19 Apr 06

You know the little id holder/picture wallet that’s usually inside those huge wallets(that make it look like you have a goiter on your a**). Anyways, it’s perfect for holding an id, a card or two, and some cash.

Just take the useful part and throw away the rest!

Then one of those little $0.29 notepads in your other pocket to write down ideas/notes and you got everything you’ll ever need.

Gayle 19 Apr 06

I was just going to post about Canada using Debit more than the US. I’ve never written a cheque for anything other than rent in my life - it’s all debit, baby! I don’t carry ANY cash, ever.

Doesn’t mean my wallet’s not bulging with other crap. But still. I think I’d like to get a couple of those for my purse - one for my debit/credit/driver’s license cards, and another for all those extra things - Subway stamp cards, air miles card, etc. Buried in the pockets of my purse, the different colours would rock - plus I could take just the one with my essentials and stuff it in my pocket when I’m not carrying a purse.

Me likey.

Jamie 19 Apr 06

I’m totally with you David, I hate carrying around multiple cards, extra cash, extra junk. I carry around one credit card and my driver’s license in .

Jamie 19 Apr 06

Sorry…in this beauty.

Chris S 19 Apr 06

I do the same as Jeff, with the exact same contents (plus a combination hunting/freshwater fishing/saltwater fishing license). Except I got suckered out of 12 bucks at WalMart for mine (bifold slim real imitation leather).

jonhohle 19 Apr 06

i rocked the jimi for about 6 months until i decided to go back to a standard wallet (Tumi bifold, taller-than-its-wide), unfortunately, I couldn’t get away with only 4~5 cards.

CC (for the points)
Debit (for places that don’t take CC, like costco)
Driver’s Licence
Student ID (for the discounts)
Insurance Cards
Miscelaneous discount cards

i liked pimpin’ the bright orange plastic. they’re also available in less conspicuous “smoke”.

Jeremy Fluhmann 19 Apr 06

I quit carrying cash and writing checks a while back (I live in Texas). I use my Visa debit card for almost everything. When paying bills, I usually either use my debit card, have it directly withdrawn from the bank, or have the bank cut the payee a check. Sadly, I still carry around my wallet (a plain old Stafford wallet). It has my debit card, business cards, driver´┐Żs license, library card, grocery ‘plus’ cards, Sams Club card, pharmacy card, pictures of my family, and a slew of various notes and receipts. I could really minimize my load, but I’m just too lazy.

Noah 19 Apr 06

I’m from Edmonton Alberta Canada and if your store doesn’t take debit/interac around here large masses of people will shun you until you get one.

The only time I ever have “cash” is when someone pays me in cash and I spend it on coffee on the way to the bank.

I however still have to have a gazillion cards

Debit, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Health Inssurance, Health Care (gov’t), Office pass card, Business license, Driver’s License, CAA card, Costco Wholesale Card… And about 10 business cards. It’s a mightly thick stack

Jeremy Fluhmann 19 Apr 06

So, when will the day come when you carry ONE card and it serves as your Driver’s License, any sort of ID, bank card (including credit, check, debit, etc.), wholesale and grocery discount card, and so on and so forth? Similar to a Single-Sign-On or Central Authority system. Granted, if the card is lost or stolen, then so is everything else tied to the card. But then again, there’s only one number to call to report it and request a new one. If I lose my wallet, I have to get a new license, get all new discount cards, call the bank to cancel my Visa check card and have them send me a new one, etc.

Clerk: “Sure, we can get that account set up for you. Do you have your SSOID card?”
Me: “Sure do! Here you go.”
Clerk: “Okay, everything should be activated now. Have a very pleasant and joyous day!”
Me: “Why thank you very much. It was a pleasure.”


DHH 19 Apr 06

Up until recently, you really could get away with just your debit card in Denmark. It does both credit and debit, it had your picture on it to do ID, and cars are so expensive there that most city folks don’t have one.

Now they took away the photo, to much public outcry, so it doesn’t really serve as well any more. Disappointing.

dm 19 Apr 06

I have a cheap no-fold Fossil front-pocket that I wear in my back pocket:


Since I go to quite a few bars that ID it’s handy. If I didn’t (or I was older) I would probably buy a nice credit card holder (Kenneth Cole or some such…) and keep my cash, whenever I have cash, in my front pocket.

Caleb 19 Apr 06

After seeing a friend’s I ordered myself a WalletBe. I’ve been happy with it for the last year or so of use.

Bryce 19 Apr 06

Where I come from, ‘whipping out your Jimi’ in public is frowned upon. Prosecutable, even.

jonto 19 Apr 06

I use two of my wife’s hair rubberbands to carry a debit card, credit card, student id, & drivers license. (No, they there not used). Cheap, simple, effective.

jonto 19 Apr 06

I use two of my wife’s hair rubberbands to carry a debit card, credit card, student id, & drivers license. (No, they were not used). Cheap, simple, effective.

Joe 19 Apr 06

You don’t NEED multiple credit cards in the US. I use my debit card the vast majority of the time, and occasionally cash for minor things, and an odd check (for which I could almost always use a debit card).

Evan 19 Apr 06

I swapped my wallet for a Jimi for about a month. In the end, it just didn’t work. It wasn’t so much for the cards as it was for the cash—I’d go someplace for lunch that didn’t take credit, so I’d have to go to an ATM. I’d pay with a $20 bill and end up with 4 or 5 bills in change—and the Jimi only holds 3. Plus, you have to fold them up in an unbelievably anal-retentive way, which slows you up at the cash register.

Consequently, I’d have the Jimi in my pocket next to this continually-growing wad of loose bills. In the end, I just went back to my old wallet, pulled out the really unnecessary stuff, and it ended up being smaller than the Jimi anyway.

I think the Jimi would work if it had a money clip on the outside, but as it is it complicates things, rather than simplifying them.

Lau T. 19 Apr 06

Not every place in Denmark takes the “Dankort” debit cards, though the vast majority does. But, I still need cash for some places. And cash are faster in places where the card terminals uses dial-up. A mastercard is a good backup card, especially when travelling. Then there’s the drivers license and “health security” card.

I never wrote a check until I lived in the US for a while. I feel that when handing out cash or writing the numbers on the check, you relate to the amount in a different way, than just swiping a card. But to me, checkbooks are definately too bulky to carry around everywhere.

I wonder if or when, paying with your cellphone/pda will be as normal as using a plastic card.

jono 19 Apr 06

Evan, maybe the jimi wallet was just trying to turn you into a better tipper.

This would probably work better in a place with more prolific dollar coin use.

Robert G 19 Apr 06

I mostly use one Visa debit card. (Why does it feel wrong to put McDonald’s on a debit card???)

I haven’t written a check in a long time. I hate getting behind people at the store that use checks. Check writers are so slow.

Tumble 19 Apr 06

My weapon of choice: A youth sized yellow Lance Armstrong wrist band. It’s the exact right size for several bills folded over a driver license, insurance card, and a debit card. It’s just perfect, durable, and simple.

pwb 19 Apr 06

Having cash as a back up makes sense. Having a back up credit/debit card seems resonable.

Michael 19 Apr 06

David, beeing a product of danish design has some obligations to it - Get this: http://www.royalshopping.com/ecommerce-products/product-picture?image_id=1951

I’ve had mine for about half a year already, and although I live in Denmark, it contains my drivers license, VISA, Social Security card, business card and some cash too. Beautiful and practical all at once.
Of course it doesnt look good in you backpocket, but then again, if you ever do that, I will personally travel to Chicago and scratch your car :o)

Ohh, and by the way, I think you guys have a great thing going with 37s…! A real inspiration to me.

Greetings from a fellow dane!

john 19 Apr 06

But can you fit a jimmy protector in a Jimi? Personally I carry a wallet and a bill roll…OG style!

Jonathan 19 Apr 06

The Jimi is not really that pratical for a normal guy who likes to keep his wallet in his pocket. I bought one when they were first introduced, and never actually used it. I found the hard plastic case really strange, and it would never fit in my pocket (front or back). Since I don’t usually carry a man purse, where else am I going to put it? Also, at least for me, I couldn’t find room for the bare essentials, much less the cash I needed. Great idea, but perhaps it should be redesigned. It’s now being used as a nice business card case. Good luck for those who purchase the wallet.

Jonathan 19 Apr 06

The Jimi is not really that pratical for a normal guy who likes to keep his wallet in his pocket. I bought one when they were first introduced, and never actually used it. I found the hard plastic case really strange, and it would never fit in my pocket (front or back). Since I don’t usually carry a man purse, where else am I going to put it? Also, at least for me, I couldn’t find room for the bare essentials, much less the cash I needed. Great idea, but perhaps it should be redesigned. It’s now being used as a nice business card case. Good luck for those who purchase the wallet.

nickd 19 Apr 06

Going to put in another vote for Slimmy… mine has been wonderful since I got it a few months ago.

LukeP 19 Apr 06

Wow, 59 wallet comments and counting, maybe I should write about pocket lint? If you can’t beat ‘em… I guess I’ll add my 2 cents to the communal wallet…

I have had immense satisfaction from using an antique cigarette case, but beware the sharp metal edges do take a toll on pockets and can make it hard to endure sitting down for long periods and hard surfaces. Not to mention getting alot of questions about why you have a metal wallet in your back pocket.

Mike B 20 Apr 06

I was just about to accuse you of some sort of linkola scheme, an ingenious plot by the Jimi creators to pay off high profile bloggers to talk about their cheap plastic products in language that makes them seem innovative and exciting to we feeble minded readers of your always-convincing propaganda until I realized that your post links to the 43 Folders post that was my only evidence for such a plot and my dreams of a blogosphere-wide pay-for-links conspiracy evaporated. Not that you aren’t probably getting the ball rolling a little bit.

Danno 20 Apr 06

I don’t like the idea of a wallet telling me how many paper bills I can have on me.

I refuse to be arsed to figure out the change I’m going to get back from my purchases during the day just to appease my wallet.

Otherwise, I like the wallet.

chris hulbert 20 Apr 06

Check this out, all you ‘less is more’ guys, its really fascinating:

A car that does 1.5L / 100 km. (thats one sixth as much as my current SMALL car)


Mr T 20 Apr 06

Hehe, cheques.. That’s so 1995 :) I haven’t seen one of those for at least 5 years..

Robert G 20 Apr 06

This is funny. After writing my complaint about check writers, I had to go pick up some alterations. And the lady didn’t have a credit card machine. I had to write a check, for the first time in years!

Morten 20 Apr 06

I just stuff it all in my pocket. Drivers license, credit/debit card and a wad of.. well.. a bill or two. It’s amazing how much stuff i can put in there before it begins to bulge embarrasingly much.

Eddie 20 Apr 06

Wow, 59 wallet comments and counting, maybe I should write about pocket lint? If you can’t beat ‘em… I guess I’ll add my 2 cents to the communal wallet…

Not only that, I “reblogged,” this! …but it’s more in the spirit of my site: “the design of everyday things”

Hmmm pocket lint… I smell tomorrows post!

Scott Cropper 20 Apr 06

I’d recommend a wallet from Timbuk2.

I can’t remember the site but I recently saw a page via Digg.com that had some info on taking all those ‘discount member’ cards and reprinting the barcodes on one card so you could easily carry them all. Looked like a handy idea if you’ve got 4 or 5.

Richard 20 Apr 06

Divide and Conquer:

I use two “wallets”, A standard lether wallet that has some cash, two plastic cards, and my drivers-license, I carry this one in my right pocket.
And I have a simple plastic “mini-book” where all the other cards are in transparent pages. I carry this one in my left pocket.

Chris 20 Apr 06

I had a revalation a couple years ago. I didn’t need 70% of what was on my keychain and 90% of what was in my wallet. Long story short, may set of keys moved down to a house key, a car key, and the car alarm remote. My wallet went away completely and was replaced with a money clip carrying my drivers license, a business credit card, and my debit card.

I carry cash is seldom as possible. In fact, I’m slightly offended when people won’t take plastic…. kind of like people who build web apps that *cough* only work on win/IE.

Andre 21 Apr 06

As a Canadian who frequents the US for shopping visits, I really feel the hurt when no businesses accept debit.
It has really developed into a great tool since having cash in my wallet is like having a miniature devil burning the bills away.

picky 21 Apr 06

“Fewer finanacial options in your pocket,” not “Less financial options in your pocket.”

jcburns 24 Apr 06

You’re NOT picky, picky. It stands out to me like a sore thumb. Correction, please?

Robert Matney 26 Apr 06

Easily the best. Wallet. Ever.

This think is compact and incredibly easy to use.

Kim Siever 26 Apr 06

I am Canadian as well. I can’t even remember the last time I carried cash. That being said, I don’t have a wallet. My PocketPC case came with a small pocket, and whatever cards I need are in there. I believe I have 5 or 6.

Anthony 29 Apr 06

Consider the Slimmy, made by Koyono. I have been using it for about 2 months. Works fine, but it must be positioned a certain way in your pocket to prevent the contents from falling out. Therefore, I’m considering a money clip/grip.

New Yorker in Germany 11 Jun 06

The German ID card (theoretically, one should carry this at all times) measures 10.5 cm x 7.4 cm (4.14 in x 2.91 in). Haven’t found anything better that a regular bifold so far. Any suggestions on something slimmer?

Ben R 14 Jul 06

New Yorker in Germany is the wallet something you need right now bc if not when you get back to the states you could try www.all-ett.com, or www.koyono.com I think that you should get the all-ett because it is THE THINNEST TRADITIONAL wallet around but if you don’t mind having something that is different you could try the slimmy or the slim slimmy