Basic wallet maintenance can save you hours of stress


Knowing everything in your wallet can save you hours of stress. Image: Flickr / intenteffect / CC-BY-SA

A wallet can be an extension of ourselves, with everything from our identification to a variety of financial documents. Basic wallet maintenance can help save you hundreds of hours and lots of stress in the future.

Make a wallet inventory

Anyone who has ever lost a wallet knows how tough it can be to remember everything stored in that wallet. A basic wallet inventory that lists the cards and items in a wallet can be very helpful. That list should also include the 1-800 numbers to cancel cards and any identifying cards or documents that might be in the wallet. Beyond credit cards, include information for loyalty cards or frequent-user cards that you keep in your wallet. Keep a physical copy of this list in your strongbox or safety-deposit box, and update it at least every few months. A digital copy, stored in your e-mail or in a secured account, can also be useful if you are away from home.

Clean out your wallet

Wallets can be a collection point for receipts, notes, pieces of information and a variety of little things. These little things need to be cleared out on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. Keeping your wallet more organized will help you keep better track of the places your money is going. Remove any cards that you do not use on a regular basis, and utilize any discounts that you may have built up. Keeping extra stuff in your wallet means your wallet will get overstuffed, which makes it far too easy to lose something.

Clear out your personal information

Your personal information can be accessed in a variety of ways. Your health care cards, your insurance information, your credit cards, your identification, and even your frequent-shopper cards all carry your personal information. Make a photocopy of your insurance card and use a marker to black out at least some of the information. Your wallet will always carry some personally identifiable information, but minimizing how easy it is to steal your identify can help if you do ever lose your wallet.

Know your own habits

Every individual is different, and knowing yourself is important. If you are the type of person who will forget your ID in your pants half the time if it is not in your wallet, keeping your ID in your wallet is a better option. If you are confident that you can remember to grab two things each morning, then separate your ID and your credit cards. Keep in mind, too, that things like your cell phone can carry as much personally identifiable information as your wallet, so take at least basic security measures on those devices as well.


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