Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do You Know What's In Your Wallet?

As we all know, I "lost" my wallet a couple weeks ago...and then I found it.

I wrote about this, and how it would have been a much easier experience if it had turned out it really was lost, since I had very little in my wallet (which is, really, a medium-sized coin purse).

A girlfriend and I went out to lunch last week, and I told her my story, and how I'd thought of her specifically, when I thought of someone I knew with a bigger (and proper) wallet, and what it would be like if someone with a big wallet lost or had it stolen. She said that she needed to make a list of what was in her wallet, because she didn't know what was in her wallet. That was a pretty stunning revelation. As it was, she showed me most of what she had in it, and that consisted of: 2-3 each of major credit cards, store credit cards, debit cards, and then other things like a library card, insurance card, receipts, etc. She said she would have to go through her financial paperwork to re-create what was in her wallet, if she had the unfortunate experience of losing it. She also said that she didn't use all the cards that were in her wallet (and no, she doesn't have any credit card debt...seriously).

Part of me is thankful that I never developed the desire, or ability, to maintain and carry a proper wallet. I tend to carry small purses, and having a full size, fold out wallet doesn't work. I'd rather carry a paperback book than a space hog wallet. I have a half-size fold out wallet, that I used for a little while, but now it just sits in a bag and I haven't used it in years. I do have a full size wallet, that I used very, very briefly, and now it just houses my collection of foreign currency.

I just don't think it's necessary for most people to carry a large wallet. Aside from the obvious concerns about what would happen if it was lost or stolen, why carry that much information about yourself in one place? Is it necessary to carry every card that you have?

Some people think I'm cold-hearted or just plain mean, because I won't even sign a petition on the street, much less give any personal information to the people on the street who are shilling for charities. With the relative ease of stealing an identity, I'm not going to just trust people who come up to me on the street are who they say they are, and hand over anything -- especially my signature. So why should anyone make it easier for potential thieves and identity thieves, by carrying a wallet packed with so much that the owner doesn't know the entire contents?

Do you know what's in your wallet?


Kenneth D said...

I totally agree with people just having the basic amount information in your wallet, it saves from heartache. Thanks for the post.

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