A wallet can be a helpful tool when you need to store things to take with you, but according to personal finance magazine SmartMoney it puts you at risk for overspending. Here's why and what you can do about it.Photo by Sixth Man.
There are several reasons that attribute higher spending to fatter wallets. For starters, the more (credit) cards you have the harder it is to remember to pay them all. You're also stuck with tons of discount cards, gift cards with tiny remaining balances you want to use up, coupons, and plenty of other things that encourage you to shop. On top of that, the fat wallet bulges in your pocket and you're simply more aware of it. All these things have the ability to encourage you to spend. So here's what you can do:
The best advice, financial experts agree, is to find a free moment one Saturday afternoon, empty the entire contents of your wallet onto the living room rug and do a gentle purge. Financial pros say the vast majority of consumers can get by with two or three credit cards, chosen in part according to their rewards programs (one card, for instance, that offers better mileage deals for airline tickets; another that pays more generous rebates for, say, gas, groceries or something else you purchase week to week). As for the loyalty cards, feel free to dump 'em: Most businesses have the ability to identify a customer with other information, such as their name and phone number. And if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and you've left your AAA card at home, don't worry: The company will still let you call in and request its roadside service.
You can find more ideas in our guide to replacing your phone with your wallet as well.
How a Fat Wallet Makes You Spend More [SmartMoney]