Texas Living

Spring Clean Your Wallet

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 4.28.14

I love my wallet — Coach leather, robin’s egg blue. But the metal clasp can barely shut. It’s full of receipts, a Costco card, an AmEx and MasterCard, a debit card, and more. My passport is even crammed in there, along with folded copies of all three of my young sons’ birth certificates — which I recently needed for air travel and for preschool and kindergarten applications. It also holds a pharmacy rewards card, a library card, and gift cards that have probably expired. Along with a few dimes, it also has a checkbook holder full of blank checks.

According to the Better Business Bureau, I’m an ID theft victim waiting to happen — not to mention a disorganized mess.

Deep Clean Your Wallet

A wallet isn’t just an accessory that holds money, IDs, and photos of your family. It holds your personal financial security. To keep it as safe as possible, the BBB recommends the following:

  • Keep only essential credit cards in your wallet. Leave department store and random credit cards at home.
  • Keep personal IDs to a minimum. Your driver’s license or photo I.D., auto insurance card, and health-insurance card should suffice. I’ll be moving my passport to a safety-deposit box, home safe, or at least the valet on our dresser pronto, along with our Social Security cards.

Sure you may want some cash on hand, but don’t have more than you’re willing to lose. And think twice about how many personal family photos you include. You want to give the would-be thieves as little information about you and your personal life as possible.