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The Mythical Thin Wallet
Posted By Jim On 12/16/2008 @ 12:05 pm In Personal Finance | 22 Comments
As a New Yorker and a product of television in the 90′s, I got a heavy dose of Seinfeld. If you watched any television in the 90′s, chances are you saw a fair amount of it too. Whether you were a fan or not, one of the show’s many topics leeched out of TV land and into normal society – the Costanza wallet. For those who don’t know what it was, it was the receipt-packed wallet that was so full, George Costanza had to even it out by sticking napkins in his other back pocket. If I didn’t clean out my wallet every once and a while, it would certainly grow to a size that rivaled Costanza’s. (by the way, if you need a rubber band to hold your wallet together, you have way too much stuff)
That being said, the holy grail of wallets now is that of a thin wallet. A wallet that doesn’t burst at the seams and carries only that which you absolutely need on a daily basis. Let’s be honest, you don’t really need to carry all those cards, receipts, and a fat stack of cash every day. Why not invest in a thin wallet?
By carrying less, you force yourself to plan. Thinking about going to lunch this Friday at your favorite restaurant? Better plan for it by putting that frequent diner card in your wallet. Need to buy a shower curtain at Bed Bath & Beyond? Snatch up one of those 20% off coupons. By thinking about what you’re carrying, you’re forcing yourself to plan your spending. By forcing yourself to plan, you reduce the number of impulse decisions. By not carrying everything, you give yourself an excuse to avoid making those impulse decisions. In the end, you save a little bit of money in the process.
Thin wallets might help your back. I’ve never had a wallet that was as wide as Costanza’s so I can’t claim that carrying a thin wallet will help it, but it’s certainly more comfortable. There are times when I feel like I’m sitting on a small book, so I take it out and stick it in my jacket. A thinner wallet really is more comfortable to sit on.
Thin wallets can fit in your front pocket, making them more secure. When we went to England, I pulled a lot of non-essentials out of my wallet. There’s no reason to bring extra credit cards (I brought the Capital One card I deemed the best international credit card  and an American Express) or any of those frequent dining cards either. With a thinner wallet, I could easily put it in the front pocket of my jeans, a harder pocket to pick.
Have I convinced you? If so, here are some tips on how to slim down your overweight wallet:
The mythical thin wallet has many strong suits and very few weak ones, give it a try for a week and see how much better your back feels!
(Photo: shareski )
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 best international credit card: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/best-international-credit-card.html
 shareski: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/2703624033/sizes/m/
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