10 Things You Should Stop Carrying Around in Your Wallet or Purse

by Justin Weinger on August 1, 2011

All too often we just jam things into our wallets and purses without really giving them much thought. While it hardly ever ends up being an issue, keeping the wrong things in your wallet or purse could end up leading to a financial nightmare.

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Identity theft is becoming more common - and more costly. Protect yourself!

In an interesting article on Fox Business entitled “10 Things You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Wallet or Purse,” Kathryn Toggle points out (as you probably guessed) the ten things you should avoid carrying with you and why they might be a problem:

We all make sure we’ve got our keys, wallet and phone before we head out the door, but more often than not, we are carrying around things that are better left at home. Some items we carry on a daily basis can be virtually impossible to replace, and others may leave us at risk for identity theft in the event of loss.

Obviously, I suggest you read Toggle’s article in its entirety, but in case you would prefer the Cliff’s Notes version, here is the list in its entirety:

  1. Social Security Card
  2. Your Passport
  3. Passwords/Pass Codes
  4. A Non-Password Protected Phone
  5. Your Checkbook
  6. Too Many Credit Cards
  7. Too Much Cash
  8. Gift Cards/Certificates
  9. Jewelry or USB Devices
  10. Receipts

The one I found most interesting was receipts:

Sometimes receipts can have your credit card information on them, as well as your signature, which thieves could do a lot of damage with. Additionally, if you’ve just purchased a big-ticket item like a new computer or jewelry, you may need that receipt for warranty purposes. “If you’re planning to use your receipts for expense purposes at work, those few hundred dollars of business receipts can just vanish and your employer might not be so understanding,” says Lin. “Get in the habit of taking out your receipts every night instead of carting them around with you.”

To be honest, even though the above explanation makes plenty of sense, I had never really given this one much thought until now. For me, the big thing would be having my signature floating around, but since I’m now trying to do a better job about keeping my recipts for warranty, rebate, and tax purposes, it makes even more sense to not cart these things around. But, considering I just recently stopped carrying around my social security card, it seems I may have a tough time making the adjustment.

Regardless, this is all great advice and, again, I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.

Are there any things you refuse to carry around in your wallet or purse? Leave your comment below and, as always, please share this post to help others by using the social bookmarking buttons below – especially Facebook and Twitter!



Benjamin August 1, 2011 at 7:38 am

It amazes me how many people still carry around their social security cards in their wallet. 34 years later, mine is still in the original Social Security Administration letter that was originally mailed to my parents back in 1977.

Another thing you shouldn’t carry in your wallet is a your own personal business card (if it has either your email address, personal phone, cell phone, or home address on it). This information can be used for verification purposes in some instances.

Brian, I haven’t been by your site in a while and I really like the facelift! Thesis rocks!!

Brian Carr August 1, 2011 at 7:47 am


Thanks for the comment and glad to hear that you’re smart enough (unlike me – until recently) to not carry around your social security card. Great point about the business cards. Seems like that would provide great information for identity thieves!

Glad you are enjoying the site. I’d definitely like the Thesis theme, but I need to be better about adding bells and whistles. Glad you made the trip back and hope you continue to do so because you enjoy the content!


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