How to Slim Down Your Wallet

This is my wallet:


I love my binder clip wallet. It’s frugal, and it forces me to carry as few things as is reasonable. My wallet contains the following:

  • Clipper card
  • Driver’s license
  • Credit card
  • Work badge
  • Gym membership

That’s it. Occasionally, I’ll carry $20 clipped to the back if I know I’m going somewhere where I need cash (like the farmer’s market), and I often switch out the credit card depending on my spending requirements at the time, but I try not to carry anything else.

If you want to slim down your wallet, for each item in your wallet, ask yourself the following:

  1. Did you use this item in the past week?
  2. If not, would it be really, really bad if you were caught without it?

If you answered “no” to both questions, take it out of your wallet. This means that you definitely don’t need to carry receipts around, you probably don’t need more than two credit cards, and most of your membership cards can be removed.

I use every single thing in my wallet at least 4 times a week, except for my driver’s license, but I figure it’d be really, really bad if I didn’t have my license in some situations. I used to carry around a debit card as well, thinking that there might be situations where I would need cash since I usually don’t carry any cash with me, but after months of never using it, I determined that it wasn’t necessary. And if I’m ever really desperate for cash, I can always get a cash advance on my credit card.¬†For everything else, I stash them in a drawer at home, or if I use them at least once a month, they might find a place in my day bag. I only put things into my wallet as needed.

What do you carry in your wallet? Do you have any favorite tips for slimming your wallet down?

4 thoughts on “How to Slim Down Your Wallet

  1. yenergy

    What do men (efficient and non efficient) do with change? For instance, one reason I carry cash is to collect quarters for laundry. Which then go in my girl wallet.

  2. Cloakedwolf

    Question: What about your health insurance card? Couldn’t things be really really bad if you get in an accident and don’t have it?

    1. Edward

      That’s a good question. As far as I know, you won’t be denied emergency medical care just because you can’t provide proof of insurance, although it might save you billing hassles later. My health insurance card is one of those items that I keep in my bag, and I do keep my health insurance information on my phone. I’m curious if other people have experiences or thoughts to share around this.


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