An organized wallet…

There are so many types of cards we need to keep track of… there are credit cards, insurance cards, gift cards, business cards and then there’s the plethora of loyalty cards and coupons that can weigh us down.

A good friend asked my advice on how to manage all these types of cards in and/or out of the wallet. Great question! I have had a system for quite some time that works pretty well for me…

 

My solution simply involves a functional wallet, a “shopper”, and a healthy dose of consistency.

 

#1 Functional Wallet:  I have a Hobo wallet that has had stood the test of time. It is sturdy, versatile for using in a purse or as a clutch, and it has several pockets for organization. I can highly recommend Hobo wallets. They aren’t cheap, but I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s still in great shape.

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In my wallet, I carry the likely suspects: cash and coins, all of my credit cards (less frequently used credit cards in side compartments), insurance cards, library cards, and receipts of possible returns. Typically, I don’t keep business cards but instead enter all the necessary business info into my iPhone contacts and recycle the card. The key to my wallet being organized is that each of these items have a specific home so I don’t have to go searching when I need something.

 

#2 Shopper: I keep my coupons, my loyalty cards and my gift cards all in a Wellspring coupon holder. I saw this coupon holder in the window of my local Paper Place and immediately knew I wanted it to update the look of my previous coupon holder, which I had bought years before on Etsy. Pretty organization is not a necessity, but for those things that we keep visible and use often, it sure does help! It turned out that the holder was not only cute but more functional… it morphed into a much needed “shopper”, as I like to call it.

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Coupons:  The coupon holder has 5 sections, 4 of which can be labeled. Over time, I have revised my sections to better fit my needs. Think about how you use coupons, or how you would like to, and tailor your coupon holder to you.

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For example, I don’t find myself using grocery coupons very often as more often than not they are for processed food; therefore, I’m able to combine all my home product and food coupons into one “Grocery & Target” section. Avid couponers, however, would need a much more robust system with more specific categories to make planning and shopping efficient.

Loyalty Cards:  So, where are the loyalty cards I was talking about? Wait for it, wait for it…  on a key chain that gets neatly tucked away in the last section of the coupon holder! I simply (carefully) punched a hole in my loyalty cards and organized them on the included key chain.

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Over time I have realized what a pain it is to carry loyalty cards in my wallet. They just weigh my wallet and purse down further and are a pain to unload when I go on vacation. I have also taken note that most loyalty cards can be just scanned with a handheld scanner, thus easily afiixed on the key chain. And those that are not scannable are typically coffee or restaurant punch cards. As such, I have a select few cards that I store in one section of my wallet (which isn’t all bad because I tend to use them more often anyway). I imagine it’s only a matter of time until Apple will launch a successful loyalty card system in which all of our loyalty card info can be stored in our smart phones… so until then!

Gift Cards: Last, but definitely not least, are those gift cards… the moolah! How many times have you lost or let a gift card/certificate expire? If you said a lot, then you are not alone. So many of my clients have kept their gift cards in their home office and have never got around to using them because they aren’t stored where they would actually use them.

Instead of keeping my gift cards mingled in with my credit cards I now keep them in this convenient back pocket of the Wellspring coupon holder. I have enjoyed having a separate “home” for gift cards because they really should be used distinctly from credit cards or coupons. We don’t need to use our credit cards (ha!) or coupons, but the gift cards are money to be spent or they are wasted.

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There are plenty of alternatives to the Wellspring coupon holder… For example, you could purchase a simple accordion coupon holder in the dollar section of Target and store all your coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards in separate labeled sections. Another option, in particular men might favor, is to simply use an old wallet or small box stored in their glovebox for loyalty and gift cards.

 

#3 Dose of Consistency: Similar to getting into the habit of keeping your reusable bags in the car and bringing them into the store, keeping a wallet and cards/coupons organized takes some forethought and consistency. Here are a few tips…

1.  Keep your “shopper” in the car {the same spot} and then simply slip it in your purse or reusable bag when you go into a store.

2.  Use convenient times, i.e. when you have to wait in your car or in a doctor’s office, to clean your wallet of receipts you no longer need and your shopper for expired coupons.

3.  Create a simple system for ensuring coupons and cards get put into your holder as you receive them. How frustrating it is to have a pretty, organized coupon holder in your car while the coupon you need is sitting on your kitchen counter.

For example, since I typically leave my purse and shopper in the car when it’s parked in the garage I have a place on my garage fridge (right outside my back door) to drop receipts and coupons I need to put in my wallet or shopper. I gather them while I’m heading to the car rather than putting them in their place immediately. You may not need this step, but get into a groove of putting things in their place… whatever that may look like!

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Keeping an organized wallet with coupons, gift cards and loyalty cards at hand when you need them really does ease the shopping experience and has saved our family quite a bit of money over the years. The Wellspring coupon holder would also make a great gift to girlfriends or for holiday gifts!

I would love to hear which of the organized wallet tips you liked the best. Leave me a comment below! {note: comments are individually approved by yours truly so will not appear immediately}.

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