Most of us have been there, that moment when you start to panic because you can’t find your wallet. It’s an unfortunate situation that for many, means a big headache. Although it can be difficult to keep what you carry in your wallet to a minimum, it can certainly save you a lot of time and money should you lose it.
Here are 5 things you should never carry in your wallet.
If you’re one of those people who saves receipts, you likely stuff them in your wallet. Although many people think you should save them in case you need to return a purchase, it’s not the smartest idea. The information on receipts like the merchant info, last four digits of your card and your name, can help hackers piece together the rest of your information.
It’s best to put them somewhere safe like a designated envelope at home so you can still keep a record of what you buy and make that return when you need to.
All of your credit cards
If you carry all your cards in your wallet at all times and lose it, you’ll end up being on the phone all day trying to cancel them before your wallet thief goes shopping.
You should only carry a debit card and one backup credit card for emergencies. And let’s be honest, this tip will also help keep you from unnecessarily over spending.
The same goes for gift cards. We know they were gifts but it’s still money for criminals to spend. Take what you need or snap a picture of your gift cards so that you have access to them at all times.
The new phone cases with room to hold your I.D. and credit cards are meant to eliminate the need for a clunky phone case and an over stuffed wallet, but that can only lead to trouble.
We know it’s convenient to have everything you need in one place but what happens when you accidentally misplace your phone? Now you’re caught calling your banks and your phone company, plus paying for a new phone. You lose your phone, you lose it all.
Your Social Security card
This one is pretty obvious but lots of people carry this with them all the time and they shouldn’t. Your Social Security card is the golden ticket for identity thieves. If you misplace this you can’t get a new Social Security number, and it will mean dealing with the possibility of identity theft for awhile. Not only will you have to contact the Social Security Administration directly but you’ll also have to file a police report and inform the credit bureaus to closely monitor your credit. It’s worth it to memorize your Social Security number and leave the card at home.
If you’re still carrying a checkbook, you might want to stop. In the past if you lost a blank check all you needed to do was call your bank and put a block on the check number that you lost.
Now, even a lost voided check that you block can be an issue because it contains some very personal financial information. Those little numbers on the bottom that include your bank routing and account number can be a one-way ticket for a thief to gain access to your money. Sure, just like anything else you can call to change or close your checking account but that will have a ripple effect on everything your account is connected to.