Monday, April 18, 2011

What's In Your Wallet?

I just cleaned out my wallet. Let me tell you, it's much lighter now. I still think my wallet has less stuff in it than my friends and family and I usually know what I have in my wallet exactly. Today, I decided to get rid of some of that fat, if you will, by taking out unnecessary items. These items were once necessary to have in my wallet at times but I'll go through some of the things I got rid of and why.

What I took out of my wallet

(2) Credit Cards - I took out two of my credit cards because I found out my spending habits started to go wild; or so I think they did. I guess it's just a different feeling to pay a lump sum at the end of the month because you put it on credit rather than paying throughout the month with cash. I haven't done the math yet, but I'm almost one-hundred percent positive I've spent more using my credit cards for a month than I just used cash. One things for sure, I earned a lot of rewards points but these boys had to go.

My Social Security Card - I bet most of you are asking yourself: "Why would you carry your social security Card in your wallet"? It's a dangerous thing to do, I know. If I happen to lose my social security card, it can be used for fraudulent purposes. It can be used to steal my identity and I'll have to live in fear for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe not the rest of my life but you get the picture. So I think my social security card is better left at home than in my back pocket.

Receipts - Yes, receipts. Tons! I had so much paper where my money used to be. It's not a good sign when your money turns into receipt paper. Some of these receipts I kept were in case I had to return or exchange an item I had purchased but most of them were for things that couldn't be. These receipts also taught me what my spending was like for a good month or so and I realized I had spent a lot on coffee.

Used Gift Cards/Prepaid - I still had a prepaid card I received as a gift for a local coffee shop that I completely used up and it was just taking up space in my wallet. I kept the card in hopes of refilling it because the card gave my discounts if I used it but I figured I would spend more on coffee if I had currency just for that purpose. My wallet started to feel lighter already.

It doesn't seem like much but I noticed that most of these items, if not, all items I took out were to prevent a financial disaster. If I were to lose my social security card, there's a good chance my credit score could be impacted. If I carried a balance on that coffee shop gift card, I might have more receipts to replace my money. If I carry both credit cards with me, I might be carrying around large balances as well. I now only carry my drivers license, library card, cash and an ATM only card in case I need more cash. I might even have to downgrade my wallet into a simple card holder instead.

So what are some of the things you carry around in your wallet? What's one item that got you into trouble just because you had it at your convenience?

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