Grab your wallet and examine the contents. Are you carrying around things that make you vulnerable to identity theft? Are you needlessly carrying around receipts and cards that weigh you down? Are you missing important documents should you get into an accident? In my case, the answers are yes, yes, and yes.
Here is what’s in my wallet:
Vitals – license and current insurance card
Money – $41 in cash plus $4.91 in change
Plastic – main credit card, debit card, and AAA card
Plastic money – gift cards to Starbucks, TJ Maxx, Jo-Anns,
Plastic that is occasionally useful – loyalty cards for FedEx Kinkos, The Body Shop, Club Bev, Anthropologie, and the Ocean State Library system
Paper – 18 receipts, 8 coupons, two business cards, and a sticky note with two ID numbers I use for work
Lists – contents of boxes that I put in storage and carried in my cheap cross country move
Personal – two pictures of me and friends, two bobbi pins, half of a picture frame mount
My excavation was promoted by an email I received from a women’s personal finance site called LearnVest.com. According to the site, there are only 10 things you should carry.
1. Your main credit card—only.
2. $25 to $50 in cash.
3. A.T.M./debit card.
4. Driver’s license.
5. Insurance card for both health and auto insurance.
6. Transportation card, such as an unlimited rail pass.
7. Reward cards for stores you visit frequently (grocery, drug store, etc.).
8. Gift cards.
9. Membership cards (such as to your gym).
10. Airline cards.
Now for what not to carry in your wallet.
1. Personal information like your PIN (although a first name and phone number is OK in a note to someone who find’s your wallet)
2. Account numbers
3. Social Security card
4. Back up credit cards (they belong in a safe place at home)
Opps! I made three mistakes. Carrying around two ID numbers for work could make me vulnerable if someone know how to also log into that account. My receipt load is way too high; it’s time to sort out what I need to file and shred the rest. And I took my health insurance card out a few days ago and forgot to put it back in, which is a no no.
How did you do?