Trim your wallet

When I decided to buy a smaller wallet (I went with the Slim Slimmy, by the way), my next step was cleaning out my old, oversized wallet.

When I first received the Slim Slimmy, I was skeptical that I would be able to keep everything I needed in such a scaled down space. With some very easy decisions, I was able to trim down what I carried and my pockets were immediately less cluttered. Here are the things I removed from my wallet:

Insurance cards: I was carrying around three insurance cards. Did I really need to have my vision and dental cards on me at all times? Not likely. I now only carry my main insurance card.

Blockbuster card: I never rent movies from there anymore (thank you, Netflix), so that was an easy choice.

Shopping cards: I had two grocery cards in my wallet. I removed both and added a smaller barcode to my key chain. I only shop at one of the grocery stores anyhow.

Buy 12 get the 13th free cards: Ok, I get my haircut at a discount joint up the street. Is it that much of a deal that I carry that card everywhere I go? It really isn’t even a good deal. I basically saved about 8% on my haircuts over a year and a half. Why was I carrying that thing in my wallet? I’m sure you carry around one of these cards for sandwiches, bagels, or coffee. Figure out the savings and it probably isn’t worth carrying around everywhere you go.

Pictures: I had a wedding picture and a picture of my daughter in my wallet. They both never saw the light of day, so it wasn’t worth transferring into my new wallet.

Memories: I had a ticket stub from a museum in Amsterdam and a visit to the Empire State Building from a high school trip. I’m not sure why I still had them, but they obviously didn’t make the transfer.

Just a quick scan of what I had in my wallet and the transition to a much smaller and sleeker wallet was made so much easier.

36 Comments for “Trim your wallet”

  1. posted by Janet on

    I keep most of my cards in a business card holder in my car. Then when I get to wherever it is I’m going I just take out the cards I need. I put them back when I’m done.

    And as for the photos of your wife and daughter – let me get this straight. You never look at them. You never have the urge during the day to take a look at a picture of your wife or your daughter. You never want to show anyone how beautiful your wife and daughter are. Matt – keep the photos in there and start looking at them, OK?

  2. posted by olivier on

    I once read a post (It might have been yours) about leaving most of the cards we have in the wallet in the car. I applied it, and to my surprise, I only found myself whishing once that I had taken one of the cards. And that in over 2 or 3 months. Yes, it is much nicer to take the wallet everywhere.

  3. posted by six on

    Ah, a slimmer wallet – I’ve gone from the cluttering-hell that is the bi/tri/oh-my fold wallets to the Storus Smart Money Clip (www.storus.com), and I’ve never once had the inkling to go back. Honestly, I cannot imagine now needing more than five or six cards. My pockets are much happier now because of it.

    I do agree with olivier though – I do have a bunch of cards I keep with me in the car (auto insurance, grocery discount cards, etc.) that also help trim the fat.

    Glad to hear your wallet transition went smoothly!

    .6

  4. posted by Mau on

    In case the Slim Slimmy ends up being TOO small for you, I relatively recently found one that works for me. It’s the front pocket wallet from Col. Littleton.

    http://www.colonellittleton.com/?p=products&cat=5

    Good luck!

  5. posted by Mark C. on

    In case the Slim Slimmy ends up being TOO big, I’ve recently been using the Money-band. If not convinced, they offer a free sample to test drive:

    http://www.money-band.com

  6. posted by Anna on

    Although I like the idea of leaving your cards in the car for when you need them, you probably should carry your insurance card with you at all times. You never know when something unexpected might happen, and you might not actually be in your car, or the people helping you might not know where to look for your insurance cards and ID.

  7. posted by Tobias on

    I made a similar transition last year. I love my new sleeker wallet. In fact, I can keep it in my front pocket now, rather than having a huge lump under my butt when I sit down.

    But I found that I was missing a few of those club cards I had purged. I found the solution at http://www.justoneclubcard.com. The site helps you generate a single, credit-card sized printout with the UPCs for up to eight different club cards. Problem solved.

  8. posted by Ryan on

    My wallet is never cluttered since it lacks one key item: cash.

    I got maybe four cards and my security keycard. Pretty much makes up my wallet. Anything from ticket stubs, to receipts, to pictures that end up in my wallet usually don’t make the trip through the washer and dryer when I forget to empty my pockets.

    Yarr.

  9. posted by Kyle on

    I hated a thick wallet, too and have been using the All-ett (http://all-ett.com/) for over a year now and love it. Easily the thinnest I’ve tried.

  10. posted by CodyP on

    @Anna: I think he kept his main insurance card – just removed the vision and dental.

    @Janet: Thanks. I just cleaned out my wallet and added one key thing – pictures of my wife and kids. That was lacking.

  11. posted by Alex on

    I just recently switched from a small leather card wallet (my cash and reciepts goes into a very powerful magnetic money clip), to a cigarette case. I walk for my commute, and I found that I was soaking my leather wallet in sweat. I purchased #10 on this list http://www.kyledesigns.com/product/WALLETINFO from Kyle Designs. Love it. I keep all my credit cards, two different corporate cards from two companies I work for, 4 personal Credit cards, ID, insurance card, and the rest is filled with business cards for the day job. Smaller and lighter than my old wallet, and it’s metal :).

  12. posted by Donna on

    I have a very slim little case that carries my driver’s license, security card for my office and three credit cards (and I probably don’t need all three credit cards there.)

    For all else, (affinity cards, two library cards, insurance cards for me and dkids, AAA, et al.) I’ve punched a hole in a corner of each and threaded them on to a hinged ring – still goes in my purse – but is far more convenient to find and to hand over the whole batch when needed for scanning.

  13. Avatar of MattNiemi

    posted by MattNiemi on

    @Janet,

    I have photos of my wife and daughter on my cellphone. Problem solved.

  14. posted by Tim on

    I got the view slimmy several months ago from Koyono. It’s a great wallet. I do find it not to be the best wallet for holding cash. It really doesn’t work well over about 6 to 8 bills. I wish the wallet had the same design but maybe just with 2 compartments and the license window, but with an added clip to hold cash. Prior to the viewslimmy, I was using standard paperclips and before that I had a mild version of the George Kastanza wallet. Koyono is currently offering 25% off with the following coupon code: FF25.

  15. posted by Tim on

    For got to mention what all I carry in my wallet now…
    driver’s license, picture of my niece, 2 insurance cards, emergency card, library card, 5 business cards, Sam’s Card, 2 credit cards, and 6 bills.

  16. posted by SuperChuck on

    I programmed my insurance information into my phone. if I absolutely, positively need it, it’s available there.

    I’ve also considered scanning in all my various cards and placing them on a secure website so it’s accessible anywhere with a computer.

    Realistically, if there’s some kind of unplanned medical emergency, an insurance card is the least of your concerns. Insurance matters can always be dealt with tomorrow.

  17. posted by Steven on

    I echo the comments on http://www.justoneclubcard.com
    I elimiated my collection of loyalty keychain cards, plus Blockbuster and my library card as well. Nobody has given me any hassle about scanning the consolidated card…

    – Steven

  18. posted by Martin on

    I’ve been using Umbra’s Bungee Wallet for a few months now and it serves me well. It’s a hard-shell case, so I feel better about having it in my front pocket, and the cards don’t get damaged. The only real downside is that bills are sometimes hard to get out.

    These are widely available in Ontario, if you’re a Canuck. Come to think of it, most things from Umbra are decent (and no, I don’t work for them *grin*).

  19. posted by Chris on

    I’ve used the Big Skinny wallet for almost a year. I only carry two cards, drivers license, and a small amount of cash.

    http://www.bigskinny.net/

  20. posted by Sean on

    Five or so years ago, I scanned all my frequently used barcodes, printed them on a small sheet and laminated it. I also started using a rubber band to keep my DL and check card together. Our Blockbuster can use our DL to lookup our account and I find myself not shopping at grocery stores that won’t allow me to enter my phone number. So I’ve got my check card, my driver’s license and my business credit card in my wallet these days. Anytime my rubber band breaks, it’s never *that* long until it’s time for a dinner including fresh broccoli.

  21. posted by PNWGal on

    but you lost all your personal juju!

  22. posted by Kim on

    I only carry cash and a credit card now. All the others live in a business card case in the car, as someone else said. It felt funny at first, but the only problem I’ve had is putting a card in my purse and forgetting it’s not in the car any more :)

    Drivers License – when else do I need it except in the car? Ditto auto insurance. Store discount cards – I chucked anything I’d used less than 5 times in the last year. Kept the 2 library cards (different library systems, much wider choice) – and once again, I only go there in the car. Photos of family on desktop :)

    The biggest worry is security – I checked my card contracts to check I was ok if they got stolen and charged up a huge bill.

  23. posted by black rabbit on

    I’ve got a single money clip with my ATM card, license, health insurance card, and cash. The credit cards stay home, unless I’m going to need one of them, and the folks at the library are perfectly happy to use my driver’s license in lieu of the library card. The AAA card is in the glove compartment.

    I only have a single loyalty card, because I work for a major grocery retailer, and do 90% of my normal shopping at my employer. I don’t carry the physical card, though. At most retailers, the loyalty number is tied to your phone number, and you can usually get the loyalty discount by entering your phone number in the PIN pad.

  24. posted by Doug Hughes on

    Personally, I use a hair-tie. That’s it. One of those standard ponytail ones. I keep my various credit cards, insurance cards, license and such in it. In perhaps 10 years I’ve never needed anything more. I did miss carrying photos around for a while, but got over it. Now a days I have a nice set of photos on my phone to show off.

  25. posted by sp on

    Wish I had seen Tim’s comment sooner – the Koyono coupon code he mentioned expired on 11-15-2007. Does anyone know of a current one?

  26. posted by Anna on

    Funny that you’re attempting to de-clutter your wallet when companies like this:

    http://www.touchofginger.com/cat/browse/wallet.html

    are creating more things (essentials?) to ADD to your wallet. Maybe it’s just me, but most of these items seem very uni-purpose.

  27. posted by Bethany on

    As far as the “Buy 12 get the 13th free cards” and such, those can just be kept in your car or at your cubicle–whatever works for you. So when you’re about to get a haircut or go out to eat, you can grab the card on your way.

  28. posted by Khürt Williams on

    A wallet with a clip ( to coral the cash ), and two pockets. Drivers license, ATM card, one credit card, AAA, medical insurance. That’s all the wallet contains.

  29. posted by Emma on

    I scanned all my cards into my computer, saved them as individual jpegs and saved them as a photo album…

    they are now all on my iphone! including drivers license as that one is expensive to replace should i lose my purse…

    :D

  30. posted by Alex on

    I keep my favourite photos on my iPod.

    And as for membership cards and so on: If you have a decent phone, you can scan them and put ‘em on there. Everytime you need the card, just open the image and show it. There was some blog post a while ago about a guy who used his iPhone to do just that – and even scanning scanned barcodes was no problem. Worth a try.

  31. posted by Pauline on

    Where do those of us without cars keep all the extra cards?

  32. posted by james on

    I keep extra (non-credit) cards together with one money-band in my glove box (locked) and my vitals with me + cash with another money-band

  33. posted by Chris on

    does anyone have any coupons for these?

  34. posted by Jay on

    Thanks for the review. Just wanted to let all you know about our new website: Super Slimmy. It’s the official site of the Slimmy wallet.

  35. posted by dtj on

    When he was young, we kept pictures of our son in our wallet in the event he got lost. Having people search for a blonde haired, blue eyed boy in MN is not exactly distinctive. Now I keep pictures of my wife and our son to show to people.

    I also keep an emergency $50 in my wallet. Works nicely because it doesn’t feel right to break a $50 for some day to day thing.

  36. posted by Drew Friestedt on

    Looks like a cool little wallet. I used to roll with a big fat wallet. Then I transitioned to a rubber band wallet, which helped but kept breaking. I now use a Bandit Wallet – http://www.banditwallet.com which I happened to invent.

    The Bandit is a durable elastic band made of fabric that is smooth on the outside and rubber on the inside. It’s great for a few cards / cash or a great big wad!

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