The wallet is an interesting invention. Normally, we wouldn’t think to put something valuable and hard-earned into a small leather pouch, but we do so with a wallet. Because of this, wallets are highly vulnerable to being stolen or misplaced. Hence, there are a couple of things you shouldn’t put into a wallet to protect your financial and personal security. Below, we have six of the most significant things to leave out. If you have any bad personal experiences dealing with your wallet, let us know in the comments below.
1. Your Phone
While most phones can’t fit in standard wallets, manufacturers have created iPhone cases that double as wallets/card holders. They usually include two pockets that allow you to slip in two or four cards and a couple of dollar bills. While they allow you to carry more on you while taking up less space, this combination is quite dangerous. First off, some cards can be tampered with by cell phone waves, making it a bad idea to keep them in the same proximity. Secondly, when you wallet is snatched, it means you will lose your phone as well.
2. Important Codes
Wallets can be a very messy place for many people. Because of the pockets, it is a common occurrence to keep old receipts and other important papers and cards. However, while it may seem like a smart idea to keep alarm codes and passwords in your wallet, when your wallet is stolen that will be a different story. The thief will have your address based on your identification card, and how will also have the alarm code to your home. If you seem to be a bit forgetful, find a journal application that will allow you to password protect notes that can contain relevant codes.
3. Social Security Card
Social security cards have a disclaimer at the bottom that the card should be kept in a safe place. This is because a social security number is the ultimate access point to an individual’s personal information. Instead of carrying your social security card in your wallet, consider hiding the card in a unique place instead. Because chances are, if you remember your social security number, there will be very few places you’ll be required to make use of a physical card.
4. The Checkbook
Checkbooks are quickly being replaced by check cards, or cards that take money from your checking account, to allow you to purchase things in the same way you can purchase using a credit card. However, there are still some traditionalists who prefer to write out a nice, crisp check. If you are one of those individuals, consider not carrying your checkbook in your wallet. Instead, look into alternatives like a bank card or simply keeping your checkbook separate from your wallet. Thieves can make use of blank checks and can even transfer money using the information found on checks.
5. Unnecessary Gift Cards
Up until now we have covered what things to not carry in your wallet due to safety and financial security. Now, we are going to cover what you should leave out based on simply up-keeping an efficient wallet. This includes not having unnecessary gift cards in your wallet. Periodically check the balances of the gift cards you have to ensure they are worth keeping. For the ones that are in fact worth keeping, look into applications like Lemon Wallet that digitize your gift cards. Passbook is also a great onboard program that does the same thing. Plus, it’s password protected, which allows you to keep your cards safe.
6. Large Amounts of Cash
This may seem obvious, but there are some people who are against bank accounts…or safes. If you are one of these individuals, you are setting yourself up for a safety nightmare by holding large amounts of cash in your wallet. Once stolen, unlike organized financial accounts, paper money doesn’t have a paper trail, which means you may not be able to recover the stolen bills. For this reason, going plastic is a good alternative. Checking with financial institutions is a good start. For those scared away by these institutions, alternatives like Simple make for approachable financial institutions.
If you’re an individual who usually keeps your wallet light, you’d be surprised that individuals keep all of this in their wallets. But it’s true, and not only is it an annoyance to carry around something so bulky in your pocket, we now know it can also be very dangerous.
These hacks will change your life, don't miss them: 100 Life Hacks That Make Life EasierFeatured photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via Flickr