How many times has this happened? You take $20 out of the ATM and are absolutely convinced you tucked it away in your wallet. Nope. When you look for it, it’s just not there.

You’re not alone. Did you know Americans lose an average of $5,591 in their lifetime? That’s a lot of money!

There are some simple things you can do to keep track of loose money, so you can stop spending hours searching for it.

A Place for Everything, Everything in Its Place

Wise words from Benjamin Franklin. The easiest way to keep track of loose money, car keys or your wallet is to keep them in one place. There really isn’t a “good” place or a “bad” place. Just pick one and stick to it.

You may have gotten into the habit of dropping your things one by one when you get home from work or errands. Your wallet lands on the dresser. Your keys fall behind the couch. Your kids kick your purse under the bed.

The average person loses nine items every day. If you do the math, that’s about 198,000 lost things in their lifetime. That same study found we spend 3,680 hours looking for our stuff.

Designate one place in your home for your key, wallet, and cash. Make a habit of putting those things away in that one place every time you come home.

Take Time to Secure Your Loose Money

We’ve probably all experienced self-inflicted anxiety from trying to get through the line at the ATM as quickly as possible, so the people behind us don’t get annoyed. In our rush, we stash the cash somewhere in the car and move on.

However, don’t just toss your money on the seat next to you and carry on. Pull into a parking spot if possible and take a moment to put your cash away. If you’re a receipt-keeper, put the ATM receipt in your wallet or purse at the same time.

Create a Holding System for Your Cash

That sounds a lot more complicated than it is. You simply need to decide how you’re going to handle and store your cash while you’re out and about.

For women, it might be a compartment in their billfold or a separate pouch in their purse. Men might keep cash in their wallet or their pocket. Rather than stuff those bills into your jeans, consider one of these money clips to contain your cash.

Remember Where You Hide Your Cash

Some people like to keep a stash of cash in their homes for emergencies. And the most commonplace is in the freezer. In fact, 27 percent of us freeze our assets, so to speak.

Just remember where you’ve hidden your money. Try to pick a place that’s not obvious, in case someone breaks into your home. Instead of tucking it under your mattress, stow it inside a book or a box in the garage.

Keep Your House Clean

Americans lose $62 million a year by tossing cash in the trash. If you sort through paperwork on a regular basis, it won’t pile up and become an accidental hiding place for your loose money.

The last thing you want to do is throw out a pile of junk mail only to realize later that your cash was folded up inside.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Browse our other articles for more organizing advice.

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