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Battle of the bulge…in your wallet

Yes, I know there’s a recession, and yes, I know wallets are not as full as they once were, and because of this one would think our wallets would be thin. But let’s face it, while your wallet may not be full of cash, I’m sure it’s full of credit cards, business cards, receipts, photos, used ticket stubs, gift cards, change and who knows what.

Am I right?

“The presidents still face the same way,” proudly states my friend Natalie in Los Angeles, ever since we met four years ago and I gave her wallet a makeover. But it’s not just about keeping your dollar bills in order it’s about keeping the whole thing looking neat. This is our money, why would we keep it in something messy? How would you feel if your local bank’s counters and desks were in disarray? Bet you wouldn’t feel so confident saving your money there.

The same with your wallet.

What’s the best wallet to buy? It really doesn’t matter as long as you stay on top of keeping the clutter out. While it’s always good to keep the bills in order, I feel it’s more important to keep them separate from the rest of the stuff. With credit cards, be ruthless about how many you really need and also what do you really need to be walking around with? I recommend keeping the cards for Home Depot, Costco or any other place that you drive to, in your car to eliminate some of the bulge. As for gift cards – which are cash – keep them together and make sure to check their expiration dates.  As far as receipts and stubs or anything that doesn’t really belong, try cleaning out your wallet every night, but if that’s not doable, at least go for weekly. The more you stay on top of your wallet, the easier it will be to keep it looking good.

A few years ago my wallet and passport were stolen in Peru hours before I boarded a plane home. Luckily I had a copy of my passport hidden in my luggage, and that, along with a police report, enabled me to fly back to the States. Once home, while it was a pain to have to replace all my cards, the process was much easier since I had copies of every card I had in my wallet – front and back – at home in a safe location.

Hope this helps.


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