Because sometimes I’m a loser, I have left my purse in random places. Most recently I was grocery shopping with my alpha and omega girls–my 18-year-old and my 3-year-old. We were in the pickle aisle, because I was pregnant, when we decided to split up. Hannah set off to snag what she needed, and, after drooling over pickles a while longer, little Ellie and I headed off to look at watermelons. Pickles and watermelon–yummy!
It wasn’t until Hannah showed up that I freaked out, because she no longer had the cart–you know, the cart with my purse in it–my purse which was open. (Don’t tell my husband.) I said, “Where’s the cart?!” and she said, “I left it with you!” which was, unfortunately, true, because when you do something totally and inexcusably lame, you always hope it’s someone else’s fault. We went running through the aisles to try to remember where we–we as in I–left the cart…and the purse…which was open. We found it by the pickles where I left it. No harm done…but still, don’t tell my husband.
So that brings us to the topic of this post–what you should do before you lose your wallet, in case you’re as totally and inexcusably lame as I am.
What to Do Before You Lose Your Wallet
This is a simple three-step process:
1–Purge your wallet. (I know, I know, I always say to purge, declutter, cut back. That’s because it’s good advice.) Keep only what you need on hand. For me, that means the following:
What I Need:
- Driver’s license/ID
- Debit card for household purchases like food
- Debit card for gifts and homeschool material
- Cash ( A ridiculously small amount)
- Insurance card
- Sam’s Club membership card (or they won’t let me in for their good deals on cheese)
- The Simple Homemaker business cards (because people ask for them)
- Library card (this can also stay in the glove compartment)
What I Don’t Need:
- Credit cards
- Gift cards (I keep them elsewhere and only bring them along if I will use them…and it’s Christmas)
- Shopping cards (I can enter my phone number or use a phone app instead of scanning my loyalty cards)
- Social security card (you’re not supposed to carry this around anyway)
- Receipts, papers, phone numbers, old lists, etc. (I’m fairly paperless, thanks to my phone; if you need some of these items, sort through them weekly so you don’t have too many)
- Chocolate (that’s a lie)
2–Document the information on all your cards, front and back. Replacement information is almost invariably on the back of the cards that you will lose if your wallet is missing. Don’t you love irony? Update your information as needed. There are four ways to record this info:
- Copy all the information by hand.
- Photocopy all the cards together, first the fronts, then the backs. Number the fronts and backs so you know which fronts go with which backs. It’s always embarrassing to call the library and tell them your debit card was stolen–they really don’t care.
- Record it digitally by typing it into a document and saving it somewhere, although you may not want to include your credit/debit card numbers if you’re launching it up to the cloud.
- Take photos of the fronts and backs of all your cards with your cellphone and save the information someplace safe, deleting the photos after they have been saved, in case you lose your phone…because you keep it in the purse you left in the pickle aisle.
3–Store this information someplace safe. I think we’ve already established that the wallet is not a safe place to store the information you will need if you lose your wallet, right? Of course right. Here are some storage options:
- Filing cabinet with other important documents
- Digital storage facility, like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, or a secondary hard drive; info on a universal storage locale like Google Docs can be accessed if you lose your wallet on vacation, where you likely won’t have your info along. (If you have other ideas or advice for digital storage, please share in the comments.)
- Someone reliable, like your mom–I laughed out loud, since this mom is the one who left her purse wide open and unattended in the pickle aisle. Your mom is probably more reliable than my kids’ mom.
- Post office box
Nobody plans to leave her purse in the pickle aisle, but it can happen to anybody, right? Right? Right? Right? Do you ever get the feeling that nobody really “gets” you?
Anyway, it’s better to be prepared. This will take you 10 minutes or so if you just buckle down and do it. Now would be a good time.
This is where you share your inexcusably lame moments…and your wallet advice.
Photo credit (without words)