Thursday, April 7, 2011

Space of the Month: How to Organize Your Wallet

Do you know how you can spend 15 minutes to protect your identity and safeguard your financial life? It’s time to grab those wallets and purge, organize, protect, and simplify!!
Do you find that the only time you truly purge your wallet is when you buy a new one? It’s time to gather up your wallet (or wallets, if you have more than one that have items inside) and dump out on a table. Wipe your wallet down lightly with a germicide cleaner and set aside.

Purge- The first step is to toss out the trash from your wallet; receipts that you don’t need, out of date appointment cards, etc.

Organize- Place back into the wallet the following items:

• Insurance medical/prescription ID cards

• Driver’s License

• Membership cards

• Supermarket bonus cards- Make sure you purge out the stores that you really do not shop at, just carry the card around. If you have more than 5 bonus cards, you may want to hole-punch a corner of each (make sure you stay clear of the magnetic strip) and place them on a carabiner key ring (can be found at sporting good stores) and keep them separate from your wallet.

• Roadside Assistance card

• Credit cards – Only the ones that you really need to carry

• ATM card

• Cash – Keep $20- $30.00 in your wallet, depending on how many cash transactions you do in a week.

• Coins- Only keep a couple dollars worth of change in your wallet in a variety of coins.

• Emergency contact card- If you don’t have a standard emergency contact card, simply grab one of your business cards and write your contact information on this. Keep it very simple: just make sure your name and phone is marked on here. In addition, place the phone number and name of person (or persons) to contact in the case of an emergency. In addition, place on here any other information that could be helpful (blood type, allergies, etc).

• Checkbook (if your wallet has an area for your checkbook)

Protect: Take all of the cards you have decided to keep in your wallet and lay them face forward on a copy machine (may have to do this more than once). Once you have made a copy of the front, turn over and make a copy of the backside. Keep this paper with your other important papers. In the event your wallet becomes stolen or missing, you will have all the information (account and telephone numbers) for each of your items in your wallet.

Simplify: Once a week purge out your wallet. If you do this weekly, it should not take more than 2-3 minutes.

Happy De-Cluttering!