In my post yesterday I discussed how the principles of spending money are an important pillar to have a strong financial foundation. One way to reduce your spending is by changing your wallet. Below are eight tips to make your wallet a better tool for saving money than spending it.
1. Don’t Carry Much Cash
If you primarily use cash to purchase things, keeping less in your wallet can be the key to curving your spending. With less money in your wallet you have to take the time to go to an ATM to pull out some more cash before you can buy an expensive pair of shoes or the latest gadget. This additional step creates a barrier to spending that can make a world of difference.
2. Don’t Carry All of Your Credit Cards
If you’re like me you use credit cards for the majority of your purchases due to ease of use, limit the number that you carry in your wallet. Carry just the main card that gives you the best rewards. If you have credit cards that you are holding a balance on, leave it behind. Some people that are aggressively paying off credit card debt even go as far as freezing their credit card in ice.
3. Keep Coupons in Your Wallet
Taking time to cut out coupons is only part of the battle; you must keep the coupon with you so that you can use it when you have the opportunity. I’m not advocating that you always have a massive coupon book with you at all times, but make sure you don’t leave those coupons at home if you are headed to the store that week.
4. Leave Your Wallet at Home or in the Car
Instead of carrying around your wallet in your pocket or purse all the time, why not leave it at home or in the car when you head to the store? I do this when I go into places that tempt my spending habits the most (e.g. Best Buy). This step removes the ability to buy something on impulse. To purchase an item I have to go all the way back out to my car or home. This allows me to spend more time thinking about whether or not I need it.
5. Buy a Quality Wallet
Having a wallet that functions exactly how you need it to saves time and frustration. A quality wallet that has sufficient space for cards, cash, and other items in your wallet allows you to quickly clean it out and keep it organized. Cheap wallets will also fray and fall apart easily, disrupting your system.
6. Put Inspiration in Your Wallet
Are you saving towards a specific goal or paying down your credit card debt? Put some sort of inspiration in your wallet to remind you why are trying not to spend your hard earned money. Whether it is a photo of your family or a house you are saving for this little reminder every time you open your wallet can help you save money by closing it back up.
7. Wrap Your Credit Card with a Phrase
A tactic I have used to curve spending is to attach a note to my credit card with a phrase on it. I have used “Think Again”, “Can this wait?” or “Do you really need this?” as phrases on my card. It is just a quick reminder that you don’t have to spend the money if you don’t want to.
8. Clean Out Your Wallet Regularly
The last step to reducing your spending by changing your wallet is to maintain it on a regular basis. Whether it is once a week or once a month, you should go through your wallet and remove anything that has found its way in there that you don’t need on a regular basis. Membership cards to places you don’t visit, old receipts from small purchases and business cards you’ve been handed can all be kept elsewhere. Keep your wallet as small and efficient as possible.
Do you have any tips for making your wallet a positive financial tool? Feel free to leave a comment below.