You’re in the checkout line, ready to pay, and you suddenly find yourself fishing around for the card you want to use or correct change. Sound familiar? If you’re tired of digging through your wallet, looking for credit cards, cash, or coupons, it’s time to get organized.
Optimizing your wallet makes it easier to find what you need while keeping your personal information safe and secure. Here are a few tips to get you started.
The first step to organizing your wallet is to simplify its contents. Consider these tips to streamline the following items:
Once you’ve cleaned out your wallet, remember to maintain your new system of organization. Sort through your wallet at least once a week to remove any clutter.
You can log receipts, digitize them, or simply toss the ones you know you don’t need. If you have coupons, discard any that have expired. Check the expiration dates on your debit or credit cards to ensure they’re active. If you have gift cards or prepaid cards, toss them if they’re empty or put them in a safe place if they still have a balance and you’re not planning on using them in the near future.
It’s a good idea to sort through your cash, too. Put loose change in a jar to take to a coin counter when full. If you need quarters frequently for parking or laundry, set those aside in a separate jar so you don’t have to search for them when you need them.
An organized wallet is a more secure wallet. When you only carry around the cards you use regularly, you’re keeping the ones you don’t from getting lost or stolen if you misplace your wallet.
There are other steps you can take to keep your personal information secure, too. Be cautious about the identification you carry. You typically only need to have one form of identification with you, such as a driver’s license. Leave other types of ID, like your Social Security card or passport, in a secure spot at home.
If you haven’t already, consider using digital banking tools and services to add an extra layer of security to your finances. For instance, rather than writing and mailing checks for bills, use your financial institution’s bill payer service to minimize the chances of having your personal information lost or falling into the wrong hands in the mail. Or, if you frequently receive checks, use your financial institution’s mobile app to deposit these checks with your smartphone so you don’t have to carry them around until you have time to get to an ATM.
Lastly, when you’re discarding any contents from your wallet that contain sensitive financial information, remember to dispose of it in a secure way. For example, shred any expired debit or credit cards, as well as any receipts that may have identifying information on them.
Optimizing your wallet is a simple way to organize your finances and secure sensitive information. To learn more tips on money management, visit our blog.