I once I wrote about how I was on the verge of the Costanza Wallet. I have learned more about keeping my wallet de-cluttered and small in the time since, and got it down to a list of my top five tips for an organized wallet.
1. Get Rid of What You Don’t Use
I always have my credit card, a backup card, debit card, insurance card, and ID on me, plus a little cash. Why would you ever really need more than that? You don’t. I used to keep store loyalty cards in my wallet, but thought about how often I really used them and the value they gave me. I didn’t get rid of them, but did get them out of my wallet, which leads to tip #2.
2. Keep Stuff Elsewhere
My of the time, I have my car with me when I am going to a meal anywhere that has a punch card or loyalty program. So why should I keep those discount cards in my wallet? I keep them in a small compartment in my car.
Even better, I keep most of my cards on my phone. With apps like Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook, or my favorite card organizer app, Key Ring. With Key Ring, I can just scan my phone and don’t need an extra card hogging up space in my wallet.
3. Force Yourself to Downsize with a Smaller Wallet
I used to carry a tri-fold wallet that had enough space for every loyalty card I could imagine in addition to all of my credit cards. When I got a smaller bi-fold wallet, I ensured I would never go Costanza again.
I mentioned the few things I carry above, and I don’t really have room for anything more. In fact, I have a smaller “weekend wallet” that has a built in bottle opener for a little extra fun. It can’t hold more than a little cash, a credit card, and a driver’s license.
4. Be Prepared for Emergencies
One of the benefits of a smaller wallet is that you have less to worry about if you lose it. I don’t have much in my wallet these days, but I do have a very quick list of what I have to do in case my wallet vanishes.
I have a file at home, in a safe place, with a photocopy of the cards I keep in my wallet. If it is ever stolen or lost, I can quickly call the credit card companies and have the cards cancelled without any big worry.
5. Rinse and Repeat
This system only works if you keep on top of it. By adding new credit cards, loyalty cards, receipts, business cards, pictures, and other scraps to your wallet, it will get out of control again sometime soon. Stay ahead of the curve by keeping your wallet minimized and clean. I have a calendar reminder to do so every other week just in case.
What Do You Do?
How do you keep your wallet clean? Let us know in the comments.
Image somegeekintn / flickr