What’s in Rachel Hollis’ wallet

A gift from one of her best girlfriends, Hollis’ wallet contains some of the basics: two credit cards (one personal and one for business), a debit card, her AAA Membership card, all the insurance cards for her plus her four kids and a key card to her office.

Having just traded in her California driver’s license for a Texas one, her wallet also carries a paper placeholder until the new one arrives in the mail.

“I’ve lived in Texas for two and a half years, but I just got my driver’s license,” Hollis tells CNBC Select. “I did that because I was so desperate to make sure that I was able to vote.”

Along with some coins, she also has $20 in cash stashed inside. Hollis admits loving her cash-back rewards, but says she always carries cash when she travels.

“I worked in the service industry for a long time, so I’m a really big tipper,” she says. “I know what it feels like to have someone tip you well.”

In addition to the usual pocketbook belongings, Hollis also has a $75 gift card to a nice sushi restaurant in Austin and a memorable keepsake: a little medallion decorated with a guardian angel. It was a gift from a woman who came up to her at a book signing eight years ago.

The Jay-Z motto Hollis lives by

Jay-Z is known for incorporating financial tips into his song lyrics. He is even said to have once mentioned in an interview that if you can’t buy something twice, you can’t afford it — a motto Hollis lives by when it comes to managing her own money.

“I read that once and I was like, that is the way that I want to live my life,” she says.

Having steered clear from using credit cards until she got married, Hollis today is very cautious about how she spends money, especially on her credit card, to avoid debt. 

“I really am terrified of anyone having a credit card to be something that gives them money they don’t actually have,” she says. Her number-one rule is to never buy things on her credit card that she can’t afford in cash. This way, she can pay off her balance in full every month and never pay high interest.

Hollis even teaches Jay-Z’s motto to her young kids and instills early on the importance of saving up for a big purchase, such as a laptop or device. “I just really believe there’s incredible value in anticipation and building up to something,” she says.

If you haven’t yet started saving, it’s never too late and you don’t need much to open up a high-yield savings account. Look for one that doesn’t require a deposit to sign up or any monthly maintenance fees and minimum balances to earn interest.

The Varo Savings Account meets all this criteria and offers a higher return than most other savings accounts right now.

Varo Savings Account

Information about the Varo Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Bank Account Services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.81% (with option to earn up to 2.80% if meet requirements)

  • Minimum balance

  • Monthly fee

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

  • Overdraft fees

    None up to $50; anything greater, Varo would decline the transaction

  • Offer checking account?

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Varo checking account

Pros

  • High APY and option to earn even higher
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle
  • No penalty for overdrafts up to $50 (anything greater, Varo declines the transaction)
  • Option to add a checking account
  • ATM access if you have a checking account
  • Offers 2 programs to help automate your savings

Cons

  • Overdrafts over $50 will cause transactions to be declined
  • Cash deposits are only available through third-party services, which may charge a fee

If you want to make sure you have easy access to your cash while it sits in a savings account, opt for the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings. Like Varo, Synchrony has no fees but also offers an ATM card to its savings accounts for convenient withdrawals.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Information about the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Synchrony Bank is a Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Minimum balance

  • Monthly fee

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None, but may result in account closure

  • Overdraft fees

  • Offer checking account?

  • Offer ATM card?

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle
  • Easy ATM access
  • 1 physical branch (in Bridgewater, New Jersey)

Cons

  • Account could close if you make more than 6 transactions in a statement cycle
  • No option to add a checking account

This story is part of CNBC Select’s “What’s in Your Wallet” series, which profiles celebrities and media personalities on the contents of their wallet and the best financial advice they’ve received. For interview recommendations, email reporter Alexandria White at [email protected].

Don’t miss CNBC Select’s “What’s in Your Wallet” with: Arianna Huffington , Tony Hawk, and “Queer Eye’s” Bobby Berk.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



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