What’s In Your Wallet?

We previously covered what not to keep in your bank safe deposit box.  With the holidays upon us, and shopping at a yearly high, the potential for losing a wallet or purse increases. There are several items you should consider to not keep in your wallet or purse, which if lost or stolen could become very costly to your budget and identity.

  1. Spare key to your home. No-brainer here. You lose your wallet or purse with your home key and you will soon make the wise decision to re-key all your door locks…very expensive. Also, don’t keep in under the mat or flowerpot next to the door!
  1. Social Security card. One sure way to increase the chances of identity theft is for a thief to get your Social Security number. With this and a bit more information that is relatively easy to get, a thief can open new accounts in your name; begin fraudulent charges and it may be months before you discover you have been scammed. This advice also applies to your Medicare card.
  1. Blank checks. This is something my father used to do and I remember the time he placed his wallet on top of his car while placing packages in his car…then driving down the road with its contents flying out! Forging a signature on a blank check is child’s play to many a would-be thief. Keep your checks and checkbook in a safe place.
  1. All your credit cards. Ideally, you will have only 2-4 credit cards. Be sure to keep one or two of them in a safe place other than your wallet. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you will have a spare card you can use until they can be replaced which can easily take a week. Also, be sure you have your credit card information stored in a safe place including the customer service number so you can all quickly if a card is stolen.
  1. Gift cards. Gift cards are like cash and stores do not require any identification when someone uses one. Keep them in a safe place until you are ready to shop at that store.

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What NOT to Keep in Your Wallet (or Purse)

  1. Spare key.
  2. Social Security card.
  3. Blank checks.
  4. All your credit cards.
  5. Gift cards.


professional photo of certified financial planner Stewart Welch wearing black suit and red tie Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including  J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaireand 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget.




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