3 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Wallet (or Purse, or Money Clip)

book analysis spreadsheetI’ve blogged before about the contents of my money clip (which i LOVE – so much easier to carry around than a wallet!) but every now and then i get on a rant about what I believe people should always keep on them.

Your wallet contents aren’t that high on the “oh crap” meter, but it definitely matters. Especially if you’re one who always says you have cash on hand, when in fact you’re a big phat lier and you ask to split a cab ;)

I also make it a point to check out/clean up my clip every now and then to make sure i’m not carrying around any nonsense like my social security card, or bank statements. Luckily it’s a lot easier than cleaning out a hamburger looking wallet, or even a purse I’d imagine.

But other than social security cards and banking info, I don’t really care what people carry on them as long as they have the following three things – listed in no particular order:

1. Always have cash on hand.

The last person i wanna be like is that cab-sharer i mentioned above. Or even worse, “That Guy”. The one who always borrows a few bucks and never pays it back, or the guy says he’ll catch ya next time yet never does. Plus, it’s always important for an emergency snack, or even an emergency period. (2 periods in a row, i love it) Not everyplace accepts plastic, and especially those handy vending machines carrying ice cold water in the middle of heat wave.

2. Always carry at least one credit card.

I know this contradicts my “emergency” situation i just discussed, but these are more along the lines of your car breaking down and you need to get it fixed ASAP kinda thing…and you’re in the middle of la la land all by your self. Credit cards are life at times like these.

3. Always have your driver’s license/ID.

I once missed a night out w/ the boys celebrating a 21st bday because i left my license at home and couldn’t prove i was 21 :( And I was over 200 miles away, so I couldn’t run back to get it.

While that really blew, carrying your license w/ you is more for security reasons than anything else. You’ll never know when you’ll actually need it, and if you get in the habit of carrying it with you every single day, you wont’ ever have to worry about forgetting it. Airports, hospitals, police headquarters, clubs – they all require it ;)

I thought it would be cool to share the contents of my clip again, and compare it with what I had in there 5 months ago. Here’s what used to be in there:

  1. USAA Rewards MasterCard…..for personal spending
  2. USAA Platinum Rewards MasterCard…..for all house related items
  3. USAA Debit MasterCard…..only used to take out $ from atms (FREE by the way through USAA! any one, anywhere.)
  4. Work swipe card thingie…..allows me to get into work…unfortunately.
  5. Driver’s License…..ALWAYS on me 100% of time cuz ya never know.
  6. $28 buckaroos….

And here’s what i have in there right now:

  1. USAA Platinum Rewards Mastercard
  2. USAA Debit Mastercard
  3. Work swipe card thingie
  4. Driver’s license
  5. $23 in cash (two 10’s and three 1’s)
  6. … and a stray receipt from breakfast on Sunday…they sometimes get stuck in the money clip ;)

So, as you can see, i’m following my own advice pretty well here (for once). It took me years to find a method that works for me, but now that it’s a daily habit I’ve been steadily on track. If i could only get my friends to start paying attention now!

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  1. Brian Drolet August 11, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    I use this exact approach. I like using a money clip because it fits snug in my pocket, and forces you to only carry things you use often and things that are important.

    Here’s my money clip (Canada):

    Amex (SPG)
    Travel Rewards Elite Mastercard (MBNA) – Since American express isn’t accepted everywhere (tim hortons) and this also shows me temp transactions which is nice
    PC Financial Debit
    Drivers License
    Subway Card
    $5 bucks

  2. J. Money August 11, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Haha nice. It’s a shame all the other comments got knocked away when I converted this blog over to WordPress cuz there was quite an interesting mixture! I think what I like the most about money clips though, is that it forces you to keep just the necessities in there :) Perfect if you’re trying to be more minimalist!