There's Nothing Like An Organized Wallet. Here's How to Fix Yours.

Take advantage of technology and trim the fat in your billfold.

An old movie store card. A receipt for a donut you already ate. A gift card with a balance of 4 cents to a restaurant that’s out of business.

We can often turn into pack rats with our wallets, afraid to leave anything out, “just in case.” But a bulky wallet can lead to more complications than convenience. Here are a few tips to help you slim down your wallet and simplify your life.

Get rid of the obvious excess

Start with things that belong in the trash (or recycling, when possible): old receipts, movie ticket stubs and expired coupons. Next, pick out the things that are better left at home. Social Security cards should always be stored safely at home or in a safe deposit box and only carried with you when absolutely necessary. In the U.S., 1,000 wallets and purses are stolen every two minutes, and you don’t want identity thieves getting their hands on your Social Security number.

Stick to the essentials

After slimming down your wallet, make sure you keep it healthy with a solid budget.

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Think about what you really use every week. Choose one or two credit cards that offer the best rewards—or the lowest interest rates if you aren’t able to pay off your balance each month. Carry only as much cash as is necessary (with a small buffer) to help curb spending and avoid excessive heartbreak if your wallet is lost or stolen. Keep things like rewards cards and restaurant punch cards in your car or in an easy-to-grab spot at home and carry them only when you want to use them.

Make the most of your smartphone

Things that were once requirements in your wallet’s real estate can now call your smartphone home. Many rewards cards can be stored on your phone through apps like Stocard and Key Ring. Receipts can be stored by taking photos and saving them to the cloud. Some health insurance companies can keep your information in an app so you don’t have to carry around a card. And your AAA Membership and auto insurance cards can be stored in the AAA Mobile app—plus you can use the app to find nearby discounts, no coupons required.

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