In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden has a very casual relationship with money. He often spends it easily and thoughtlessly, yet at the same time he often seems to feel scornful of money. Here is one passage we can look at where Holden extensively describes his feelings toward money:
"While I was in the cab, I took out my wallet and sort of counted my money. I don't remember exactly what I had left, but it was no fortune or anything. I'd spent a king's ransom in about two lousy weeks. I really had. I'm a goddam spendthrift at heart. What I don't spend, I lose. Half the time I sort of even forget to pick up my change, at restaurants and night clubs and all. It drives my parents crazy. You can't blame them. My father's quite wealthy, though."
What we can gather from this passage is that Holden comes from a wealthy family and has always had what he needed and never wanted for anything; therefore, he doesn't need to worry about how much money he spends because he will always be able to get more. As he says, he is a "spendthrift," an extravagant squanderer of money. However, even though Holden doesn't need to worry about money, he recognizes that money doesn't necessarily make one happy. He says, "Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell." It seems that whether Holden has money or doesn't or gives it away, it makes him sad.
Yet another example of Holden being careless with money is when he quite literally throws it away:
"I took out my dough and tried to count it in the lousy light from the street lamp. All I had was three singles and five quarters and a nickel left--boy, I spent a fortune since I left Pencey. Then what I did, I went down near the lagoon and I sort of skipped the quarters and the nickel across it, where it wasn't frozen. I don't know why I did it, but I did it."
He has almost no money left, yet from what he has, he throws the coins into the lake. Holden has a very immature and realistic relationship with money.