What’s in Your Wallet?

It’s the motto of Visa and a good question to ask yourself. I refer very specifically to the cards you have in your wallet. Have you ever thought about what you could lose if your wallet is lost or stolen? I’m going to break down for you exactly what it is you need in your wallet and what you should leave at home or take in and out as necessary.

Necessities:
1. Photo ID- Duh.
2. Debit card- if you’re still using checks bring yourself into the 21st century and get a debit card.
3. A check- ok, but have one just in case. This is more for those times you are without cash and need to pay the babysitter or someone else who doesn’t accept a debit card.
4. 2 credit cards- one needs to be a major card accepted almost universally, like Visa or Mastercard. The second is a back-up card and can be a less accepted card like American Express or Discover. This is merely to cover you in case of a catastrophic emergency and you can’t leave without paying an exorbidant bill. Unlikely, but that’s what it’s for.

If you have more than 2 credit cards leave the others at home unless you know you use them for very specific purchases, like a store credit card or a rewards card specific to travel.

Extras:
1. Your most used frequent purchaser card- for example, A and I go to a sushi place and froyo roughly twice and 4 times a month respectively. Rather than track taking our “frequent diner” card in and out of my or his wallet, I just leave it in mine.

And that’s it! No Social Security cards, no passports, no extra frequent purchaser cards, no gift cards. Keep your wallet light. Like a salad instead of a burger.

The only exception is if you are a small business owner and have a small business debit or credit card.

Right now I know I’m violating my own rule by having a few extra coupons and receipts stashed that I just haven’t unloaded yet.

How do you stack up with the slimmed-down wallet?

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This entry was posted in credit cards, habits, personal finance, small business. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s in Your Wallet?

  1. Justus Kat says:

    Oh! Transit card, too. Don't forget that one. Perfect for those times you end up stuck somewhere and just can't do with any more walking. I also keep my library card and medical card on hand. šŸ˜€ You've encouraged me to go through my wallet, though, and I just cleared out a ton that didn't need to be there (like my scuba card, old transit tickets from Canada, etc). šŸ™‚

  2. Verhanika says:

    Good one, Justus! I keep my Orca card in a pocket on my backpack so I didn't even think of that. I can't wait for the day when it's built into our phones.

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