6 Things You Should Never Keep in Your Wallet
Make more room for, um, money. Here are eight things to banish from your wallet—now and forever.
1 Your Social Security Card
“This is the number one item never to carry with you,” says Natalie Colley, an analyst with New York City-based wealth-management firm Francis Financial. “Someone with access to your Social Security number can easily open accounts in your name.” Keep your card at home, in a locked file cabinet or safe, along with your passport.
Got a clipping habit? Swap it for the Grocery Pal app, which displays weekly sales at supermarkets in your area.
Refuse receipts from grocery stores, delis, and coffee shops. Throw out any in your wallet right now. Planning to return an item or submit a receipt for reimbursement? Get that paper out of your wallet daily and into one of two folders: expenses or potential returns. At clothing stores and the like, if you’re offered an e-mail receipt, take it. Set up an e-mail address just for receipts to shield your main e-mail address from mailing lists.
4 Other People’s Business Cards
Colley recommends CamCard, an app that lets you snapshot the info and make it searchable by name.
Even though your wallet has a compartment for change, it should never see a coin. “Use that spot for tiny emergency items—Band-Aids, safety pins, earring backs,” says Colley. Drop change you receive in your pocket so that you’re reminded to use it that day. Whatever remains goes in a jar by the door at home, then to the Coinstar machine at the grocery store. “But don’t exchange coins for cash from Coinstar,” says Colley. “There’s a hefty fee. Instead, take one of the no-fee eGift cards it offers.”
6 Store Loyalty Cards
Most stores allow you to type in your phone number to access your account. “Go that route,” says Colley, and trash the actual cards. Or consolidate everything into your phone with the Keyring app, which can hold it all—your supermarket, drugstore, library, and gym cards.
7 Gift Cards
Place them wherever you sit when you shop online. Use them to buy ahead for other peoples’ birthdays. You will feel liberated and organized. Download the Gyft app to hold what’s left.