Personal Finance 

Photocopy The Cards In Your Wallet

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The next time you get the itch to photocopy your ass on the company printer, try this instead: photocopy the contents of your wallet. Now, you might ask why would you want to photocopy all of your sensitive information onto one sheet of paper so that an identity thief could easily steal your very soul? The reason is because if you ever lose your wallet, having a quick photographic inventory will be a life saver. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You will have all of your account numbers and all of your credit card phone numbers in one place.
  2. You will have a copy of your driver’s license that you can use, unofficially, until you get yours replaced.
  3. You will have a record of all the items you will have to replace.
  4. If you had any “important” business cards (from other people), at least you’ll now have a record of their information.
  5. If you have a Constanza-type wallet, now is an excellent excuse to recycle those useless receipts or other slips of paper you’ve acquired. Seinfeld is in syndication, you don’t need to keep all those receipts to feel cool.

So, how should your wallet inventory be taken? Photocopy the front and back of every card (the front for the account numbers and the back for the service numbers) and keep those sheets in a safe place. Remember to date the photocopies so you know how stale that information is and be sure to update it every so often so you have a fresh copy to work with. And be absolutely sure to shred the old copies.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Photocopy The Cards In Your Wallet”

  1. Allen says:

    One of my friends lost her wallet Saturday night and I told myself I was going to do the same thing you recommend here. What a coincidence that you would be thinking the same thing! Jim, you didn’t find a wallet Saturday night by any chance did you?

  2. jim says:

    Hahah no, I was cleaning out my papers when I saw an old set of photocopies of my cards and I realized I hadn’t done it in a while. That and someone emailed me a set of tips again with that one listed.

  3. Jeff says:

    Another good idea is to scan them in, pdf them, and keep them on a encrypted partition of a usb drive. That way, if you carry your usb drive with you all the time, you have all your info, and it’s a lot more secure than having it all on a piece of paper.

  4. henryteo says:

    That is an excellent idea. I used to manually record all the details. Adding emergency numbers or credit card customer support numbers in the photocopy will definitely help.

  5. Star Money Articles for the Week of Nov. 13

    Here are interesting posts and news this week from the MoneyBlogNetwork members and beyond: Blueprint for Financial Prosperity suggests you photocopy the cards in your wallet. Consumerism Commentary decides to participate in his company’s stock purcha…

  6. Ellen says:

    Don’t photocopy your wallet on a public copier. It’s just a scanner plus a printer. One paper jam and your info’s just there for the guy behind the desk to pick up whenever he gets around to unjamming the printer. I’ve seen it happen. And while I’ve never heard of someone hacking a copier to save the information rather than clear it once it prints, it’s certainly feasible.

    (I wrote more about this at the address above, but for some reason my trackback didn’t work.)

  7. David says:

    Great Idea!!! – you could also carry around with you – say in your wallet so you have quick access to it if you DO lose… D’OH!

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