I recently upgraded my wallet from a back pocket “Costanza” wallet to a front pocket, minimalist style wallet. Slimming down my wallet has been great for me, but it really made me think about what I needed to carry around and what was just taking up space.
How Wallets Get So Big
It is easy to carry a giant wallet in your back pocket if you are not careful. First you have your driver’s license, insurance cards, credit cards, and a little cash. Then you throw in some receipts that you will need later. Then you let those receipts start growing into a big pile.
While your receipt pile continues to develop, you go grab a burrito and take a frequent diner card to get your 10th burrito free. Then the loyalty punch card from the taco place for the 12th meal free joins the stack. All of a sudden, you have ten of those cards which you use, at most, once every few months.
Just like George Constanza, it is easy to let your wallet get out of control. If you are a man, bi-fold and tri-fold wallets can easily fit more than you need. I didn’t realize I had a problem until my butt started to get sore on long car rides. If you are a woman, you might not even notice your wallet growing inside your purse. It is a problem that we don’t all realize we have.
What to Take Out
When my butt got soar from sitting on my wallet while driving to work every day, I knew I had to change something. First, I took out every single receipt. I threw out most of them and kept the important ones in a manila folder in my file cabinet.
Next, I took out every single frequent dining card and put them in the storage spot under the radio in my car. I rarely go eat without my car, so I will always have the cards I need with me.
After that, I took out all but two credit cards. There is no reason you need more than a primary credit card and a backup at any given time, so there is no reason to carry six credit cards. If you like to use store credit cards when you go specific places, which may not be a good idea anyway, keep those in a safe place in your car.
I was able to cut down, but I knew I was not doing enough. I wanted something slim and easy to deal with. I decided to head over to the store and took a look at the wallets. I kept coming back to the slim, front pocket style wallets.
This wallet forced me to make the tough decisions. I am down to two credit cards, one debit card, one insurance card, one student ID, and one driver’s license. Honestly, I don’t miss carrying any of that stuff around. I have it in my car, which is rarely too far away, if I ever need it.
Lately, I’ve been using a wallet from Nodus that they hooked me up with. I use the
The nuclear option is to find a minimalist wallet and carry only the bare necessities. These wallets will force you to live on just a few cards and a little cash. I have not tried any of these myself, but I like what this video is all about:
What’s In Your Wallet?
What type of wallet do you carry? Do you have a Costanza or a minimalist? Do you feel like you need to slim down? What are you waiting for? Share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences in the comments.
19 thoughts on “What’s In Your Wallet?”
Carrying less has only made me happier. Looks like your wallet is not too bad though.
I’ve had a wallet like this for about 7 years. It is awesome, and never bothered me at all. I keep a student id in there (for the discounts) 2 credit cards, a debit card and my drivers lisc. I also keep a library card and a small printout with “the code of the west” on it in there. no receipts, no “Frequent buyer” cards, none of that trash.
It looks like you were always on top of things Jeff. Good job not needing to de-crapify your wallet.
I remember that episode with George and that crazy wallet. I have actually never carried a wallet and about a few years ago I got a little card case made from Polo. Two credit cards, DL, SS card and two pics and thats its. I dont need all the other stuff.
I would not carry the social security card on you. Other than when you get a new job, you should keep it locked away somewhere safe.
I still carry a George Costanza wallet, but this may be the push I need to get over the hump and get a minimalist one. Thanks!
I am thrilled with my downsize. I am not quite minimalist yet, but I love having the smaller, front pocket style wallet.
My wallet has about 30 cards in it. Its sad.
Any plans to cut back? Do you have a good list in case your wallet or purse is stolen to cancel them right away before a thief can use them?
I have a Costanza style wallet. Even though I carry it in my purse, I notice when it’s getting out of control because it seems to take up 30% of my purse and it won’t snap close. I used to have a wallet that I kept so packed with credit cards, crap and receipts that it stayed open like a book. It was pathetic.
Have you done anything to cut back? Have you considered a smaller wallet and carrying fewer cards?
I operate on a cash only basis and find this tactic works to help me stay within my budget – so as long as I have a place to stash my debit card, driver’s license, and a few business cards I’m set to go! I think taking a minimalist attitude can help your finances – especially if you’re not carrying around a stack of credit cards. Great insights and good points on downsizing!
Sounds like you have things under control and have a good system. Do you feel like you are missing out on rewards by not using any credit cards?
I used to keep my wallet in my back pocket (like most guys). But my Doctor told me sitting on a HUGE wallet can actually screw up your back. So now…I keep it elsewhere.
My wallet used to be bursting at the seams…literally…but these days it’s not so bad. I stopped putting receipts, business cards, pictures & every rewards/discount card I had in it. Made a big difference, but I could still get rid of more stuff.
I didn’t realize the big wallet could be so bad for your back. Glad to hear you downsized a bit. The new wallet helped me a lot.
Costanza-style here…but I don’t keep receipts there. That, plus minimizing loyalty cards, makes it manageable actually.
Is it uncomfortable to keep in your pocket?
Been using a money clip for the past decade and would never switch back. I can carry up to 5 credit/debit/id cards and all the cash I need for a night.
When you use cash, do you feel like you are missing out on rewards for spending you would do anyway? I never tried the money clip but it seems like a good idea. I just worry about magnetic ones and my credit cards.
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