7 Ways to Slim Your Wallet

Do you suffer from "Dad bulge," i.e. the extra 2 or 3 inches of padding your wallet adds to your back pocket? Do you suffer from back pain? According to Men's Health (applying to men and women alike), that overstuffed wallet that you're carrying in your back pocket is not only adding unnecessary stress to your day-to-day, it's also putting you at risk for developing chronic back pain. What's to be done?

The process of slimming your wallet begins by asking yourself, what's the bare minimum I need to have on me when I'm on the go? Do I need to carry all of my expense receipts on me? Do I need to have so many credit cards? And are those loyalty cards really worth carrying around? Here are some of the latest solutions we've found.

1. Digitize Your Receipts

You might need to keep your expense receipts for budget and tax purposes, but you likely don't need to carry them in your wallet. These can bulk up surprisingly quickly, but depending on your needs, there are a variety of apps available for smartphone users to help you keep track of your expenses digitally, saving you wallet space and potentially some hassle come tax season. OneReceipt is great allowing you to sort your personal from business expenses; Shoeboxed is aimed at those wishing to outsource the hassle; and Expensify let's you track business expenses, as well as billable hours and mileage during business trips.

2. Merge Credit and Debit Cards

These days, there's a credit card for any and every kind of purchasing, and the additional volume they add to your wallet builds up quickly. Talk to the Customer Service department at your bank about merging your debit and credit accounts onto the same card. Your debit card might already have Visa written on it so you're half way there. 

3. Go Plastic

More and more people are getting rid of their bills and coins and making the switch to debit and credit cards for all of their purchases. It takes up far less space in your wallet, it's more secure than cash, and with added rewards offered by credit card providers, it makes a lot of sense. 

4. Say "No Thanks" to Loyalty Cards

It's not always easy to say "no" when credit and loyalty card pushers are trying to hustle you when you're on the go, but allow me to simplify this for you: Yes, you may get that 20th latte free, or you may get %20 off your next purchase at that boutique you'll never set foot in again, but is it really worth it weighed against the risk of chronic back pain? 

5. Get Rid of Your Wallet

A radical move! But, now that you've digitized your receipts, merged your credit and debit cards, and said bye-bye to all of your loyalty cards that you never use, the cash and cards you absolutely must have on you will likely fit comfortably in your pocket, no wallet necessary. And if you're a real pro, you can gather your bills and cards together for free using a paper clip like this one here.


6. Get Rid of Currency: Make it So! 

Another radical move: Why not just do away with currency altogether, à la Star Trek? Seriously, though, sci-fi visionary and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry has predicted so many innovations that have come to pass - tablet computers, 3D printing, the medical tricorder, to name a few  - that I think it's safe to assume that it's only a matter of time before we do away with currency altogether... and with it global debt... so we can get on with more important things... like how to build a transporter. *sigh* But back to more pressing issues: the Dad bulge.


7. Get a Slimmer Wallet

Your best bet for trimming your wallet-size is to start with the slimmest design that satisfies your basic cash carrying needs. After trimming its contents down to the barest minimum, I was still fed up with my bulky leather bi-fold, so I decided to design something better myself. I discovered that the ideal wallet only needs two parts: a card sleeve for plastic cards, and a money clip at the back to hold bills folded once over. The Mini Wallet can hold up to 15 cards securely in a tight bundle. I added a scooped cutaway on the card sleeve allowing me easier access to my most frequently used card without even having to take my wallet out of my pocket.

Eventually my friends got interested, so I started making wallets for them too. The Mini Wallet has the advantage of offering some protection for your cards against wear from the inside and other contents of your pocket, which the money clip doesn't address, as well as the issue of what to do when only good ol' fashioned cash will do, which the move towards plastic purchasing also doesn't address.

So there you have it: the straight goods on how to slim your wallet, simplify your life, and save your back.


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