A man’s wallet can either be an organised tool where everything for just that day is included or a big of a cluttered mess where a lifetimes-worth of receipts and pennies call home.
This guide is for those of you who fall in the latter category, which is probably most of you reading this as seeing a wallet is a very grab-and-go accessory, although there are probably areas in which even the most organised of people can still make improvements.
Let’s face it – you want your wallet to be as organised and small as possible for fitting in your pocket and making everything easy to find.
And the less time you spend routing through to find banknotes in all the receipts, or that pound coin for the parking meter in amongst all the pennies, the better you’ll feel.
So below are some ways in which you can minimalise your wallet, from practical everyday changes to making use of new technology.
Change your mindset
How many times have you taken a bit of money out in your wallet ‘just in case’ even though you have never used it? Why do you hold on to those receipts long after you’ve gone past the point of returning that product, and why do you keep it in your wallet of all places?
Ask yourself if you really, really, really need to keep that thing, or if you’re just keeping it to be too safe.
Cut out the points cards
Well, don’t actually cut them out, because tapping a points card can give you free money and products eventually.
But you don’t need to carry 12 of them. We know, you might have to nip into that shop to pick up something on the way home and no card can mean lost points. But more and more of them are coming in digital forms, through the app on your phone.
You can now even get one app to replace all of your cards if you’d rather not clutter the phone’s wallet too. An app like Stocard or the Rewards Cards app can put them all in one place, or you can simply add them to your phone’s digital wallet.
Don’t worry if you don’t have your phone with you – most of the time, you can tell the cashier you haven’t brought your rewards card with you and they can give you a receipt which has all the details on of how to add them to your account online.
Add the bank cards to your phone, too
Payment services like Apple Pay or Google Pay are now more incorporated into payment methods than ever before. Anywhere which takes contactless payments will accept payment on your phone, too.
And they are safe. With fingerprint or face recognition, only you can pay, and there is no risk of paying accidentally. By all means, keep a bank card in your wallet in case your phone malfunctions or you run out of battery, but going back to the first point, you don’t need to go overboard and take multiple cards too.
Scan your receipts
Yes, really. There are loads of apps out there which allow you to take a picture of your receipt so you can keep track of purchases.
Whether you usually keep them because of tax returns or because you’re a stickler for returning things if they break or aren’t up to scratch, keeping a record of them on your phone means you can throw those bits of paper away (in the recycling, of course).
Some online accounting services offer their own app, too.
Buy a wallet which doesn’t allow clutter
Having a coin pocket is handy for some people, but if you’re mostly cashless, what is the point? If you aren’t paying with notes, you aren’t going to be getting any change.
Likewise, don’t go for a wallet which can carry dozens of cards if you’ve gone digital. You’ll just be tempted to keep them filled (and it adds unnecessary bulk).
If you like cash – use exact change
Maybe you go somewhere which still only accepts cash, like a market stall. We will let you off if you have cash in this case.
Got a load of 10p coins in your wallet? Pay for that 60p bottle of juice with them. Get the money ready before you join the line to pay if you’re worried about the cashier glaring at you.
Don’t be tempted to just tap your card or pay with a £5 note, or even a £1 coin. Small traders will actually be glad of change.
If you know how much money you have in coins on you at all times, you know if you can use it so you won’t be tempted to be lazy. As soon as you get change, make it your mission to get rid of it. There is no reason why you need it, especially if it is just a small amount which can’t even give you a coffee.
If you don’t spend it that day, get a jar or money box at home and clear out your wallet of change when you get home every night. You could save up more than you think. Or even better – don’t even put small amounts into your wallet again. Make use of a charity box.