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Just where is that $20?

I have gotten sloppy this year with the paper money that I carry around in my wallet.

Usually I organize the notes from lowest to highest, left to right, with the face side of each note duly facing left.

If I need a $20, which is usually the highest denomination that I carry, I go immediately to the notes farthest to the right.

If I need less, I move toward the left.

This year I have gotten sloppy.

I stopped by the IGA on the way home from work yesterday.

The $6 change, a $5 and a $1 bill, are still stuffed in the wallet to the right of the $20s.

I know, I just checked, and will have to correct that after I finish this post.

My younger, paperboy-trained self, would have been appalled by this lazy disorder.

It takes longer to conduct a transaction if I have to go fishing for the correct amount.

So far, I have avoided the embarrassment of discovering that numerous $1 bills are disguising the fact that I have little cash on me. But that day could be coming if I don’t straighten this out.

Is there anything besides laziness causing this disorder?

I find that I am more and more reaching for a credit card rather than for cash and I certainly know how to get right to one quickly.

I put the paper receipts from a credit card transaction in my wallet until I get home.

I find that these receipts compete for wallet space and are too easily dislodged if I reach for paper money, or try to organize what’s already there when I am on the move.

I have long been aware that credit cards compete with cash on many levels, but until this year I don’t think I realized that it was going to turn into a race for space in my wallet.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."