A Lighter Wallet


Do you have a full wallet? Let’s clean it out. Since it’s something we carry and use so frequently, let’s get rid of the clutter and make it easy to look through.

(And on a related topic, is your handbag too prepared?)

Here are a few things that threaten to clutter up my wallet:

1. Store and Membership Cards

wallet-card-folderThese things drive me a little crazy. It seems like every store I go to wants me to carry a card. Most of the time I decline, especially for stores I rarely frequent. The couple that I use often go in my wallet, but the rest are in a folder with sheets designed to hold business cards. It’s also helpful for holding gift cards until we decide what we want to buy.

Another idea for all of the cards would be to wrap a rubber band around them and keep them in the car.

2. Receipts

Are you holding on to receipts? Every week when I balance my checking account, I toss the ones from restaurants, gas, and grocery stores. I do keep receipts for things I might want to return to the store, but they don’t need to be in my wallet. Receipts for expensive items get scanned and saved on my computer.

3. Too Much Cash

Just kidding. But wouldn’t that be awesome?

Slim, stuffed, or in-between? How does your wallet look these days?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Keeping extra cards and gift cards in business card holder sheets has been so helpful to me as well! It makes it so easy to see what you have in an instant. I like how you have them in a folder. We keep them at the back of our home binder, but a folder might make them more accessible for my husband. Good thinking!

  2. When I have to return something, I put the receipt back in the bag with the merchandise. That way, it’s not in my wallet, which is a very tiny wool pouch, and I know that when I get to the store, it will be right where I need it.
    As far as the cards, I like that idea of keeping the membership cards in the glove box. I get tired of searching through zoo cards and museum cards to find my driver’s license.

  3. HA! Love #3 – wouldn’t that be a terrific problem for all of us to have?!

  4. You know how to make number 3 happen? Always withdraw your cash in ones. Believe me, you’ll feel like you have way too much cash when you have a wad of 50 ones in your wallet …

    Can I post this, related post? ( http://www.domesticcents.com/managing-time/mommy-bag-makeover/ )

    Thanks! :)

  5. I used to hold on to way too many receipts, but now I enjoy going through them weekly and purging the ones I know I won’t need again. I like having a tidy wallet, too!


    steadymom´s last post…Four Favorite Parenting Books

  6. I keep a very small wallet with my driver’s license, military ID, debit card, and 1 credit card only. It also has cash and coin. Then I bought a lightweight cloth wallet (fair trade!) to keep store cards, phone card, bandaids, and an extra credit card for those oops moments when I leave my wallet at home. This one goes in a different compartment of my purse and isn’t heavy.

    Lee´s last post…Photo of the Day

  7. I bought a small wallet that is just for credit cards. I keep all my store cards in that and it stays in my car. I, too, keep my receipts until I see them post online at the bank.

    I’m new to your website and have enjoyed reading your helpful articles. Thanks for sharing!

    Elaine´s last post…Respectable Sins

  8. Maybe I’m paranoid, but it seems like keeping store credit cards in the car could potentially be a quick way to allow a thief access to your credit, should they gain access to your car.

    I use one of those zippered mesh compartments that they sell for back-to-school for all of my credit cards, coupons, and ill-fitting miscellaneous shopping items. I tried using a flat business card holder, but so many stores give oddly shaped coupons, etc. that the mesh bag is much better. It’s zippered, nearly see-through, and nothing gets lost.

    I also keep my receipts for things I’m returning there. I found that when I put them in the flimsy plastic bags, they could fall out or get lost.

    • Oh I wasn’t talking about leaving store credit cards in the car. I mean the grocery store discount cards and the ones for “buy 5 sandwiches and get the next one free.”

  9. I found a little card holder at Target. It was in with the Real Simple products. I keep all my grocery and frequent shopper cards in it in my purse. Each card is in a plastic sleeve, and at most of the stores, they can just scan it still in the sleeve. It has freed up lots of space in my wallet. But now it seems that wallet-sized photos of my kids over the years has taken over the space that was freed up! Time to purge the pictures, I guess.

    Meg Evans´s last post…Some pictures and a few words

  10. I’ve been asking for the smaller store cards (i.e. the Bloom or Harris Teeter cards for store discounts) to put on a separate key chain…..

    But this was a timely post; my wallet is bulging & not with cash!!

  11. My purse is so small that I don’t have room for clutter. I just hate lugging around a big bag. I think it was all those years with a diaper bag…. Anyway, like a couple other folks here, I keep my club cards and membership cards in a little credit card wallet in the glove box and my receipts in the shopping bags until I get home.

    Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last post…Start Overcoming Busy Right Now – new series

  12. Oh I wish I had a routine for emptying out cash receipts they accumulate so fast!!! And I never get round to getting it done – and then when I do I toss everything including laundry receipts, post package slips – I guess you just pin pointed my area of chaos – everyone must have one!!!

    se7en´s last post…Simple Spinning Pinwheels in Se7en Steps…

    • I absolutely don’t believe that you let receipts collect. You go on trips with just a change of clothes and a toothbrush!

  13. I hang on to receipts until they clear my checking account, and then I move them into an accordian file in my office. A year’s worth of debit receipts is quite a site to see. (You should see me digging through it at tax time trying to find a receipt we need!) I actually have one of those flat wallets–and it won’t hold much which makes me pare it down to essentials. It won’t hold much change either, so I am constantly digging through to find enough to cover the amount over the dollar. I’m sure it would hold a lot of bills, but I wouldn’t know about that!! : )

    mrs. e´s last post…Progress in Tiny Town

  14. Most grocery stores with discount cards let you enter your phone number instead of scanning the card, then you don’t have to carry or keep the card at all! Even LESS clutter. Love the plastic sleeve idea for organizing gift cards, “buy 5 get one free” cards, etc. Genius! Thanks Rachel!

    Anna´s last post…Summer is over! Transitioning my wardrobe to fall

  15. My wallet is nearly identical to the one pictured!!! However, it is starting to fall apart. Do you know where to find the one pictured?? I keep all our gift cards, loyalty cards, notes on printer ink refills, etc. in a small, wallet-sized, photo album with clear sleeves. That has worked really well, and I can keep it in my bag. Blessings!

    Terri´s last post…Help Needed… and A Giveaway!

  16. If you have a zippered section of your wallet – spare car key!

  17. I solved the problem by not using a wallet in my purse. All of my purses have a zippered pocket that I used for my bludging with store cards wallet anyway. I zip my ID, debit card, and money into the at pocket. I put the store cards in a separate, small zippered pouch in my purse.

    Condo Blues´s last post…How to Paint a Door

  18. HAHAHAHA! Love #3 Rachel! :)

    I use a long zippered wallet and it’s quite “slim”. I paired down on photos, store cards, and do not carry change with me. I love that it zips so everything stays put!

  19. Excellent post – my wallet is such a mess! Every time that I go to look for something it is almost impossible to find. Just as with excess household clutter I need to take the time to purge the useless stuff in my wallet. Probably should do it on a regular basis considering how quickly it builds up.

    Nancy´s last post…Would You Like to Have Your Home Always Spotlessly Clean and It Only Take a Couple of Minutes a Day?

  20. I love your blog and always find it helpful.

    I would love to streamline my wallet. Do you have any tips for those who are using cash envelopes for spending, like Dave Ramsey and others advocate? I know, for us, it does save us money in the long run, but all the envelopes do add bulk to the purse situation.

    Rachel´s last post…Ten

    • What if you tried to consolidate your shopping into one day, and then bring the envelopes on that day? The other days of the week you could just keep a twenty in your purse. I wouldn’t want to bring all of my cash spending money with me everywhere I went, because I’d be afraid of something happening to it. But I do try to group my grocery, gas, and other shopping into one day of the week, and I found that saves me money too because the planning helps me avoid quick trips to the store.

  21. Another solution for those loyalty cards, http://www.keyringthing.com/ will combine up to six of them on just one card! You can just print it out for free, or order a plastic card for a nominal fee.

  22. I actually like having one or two receipts in my wallet in case I have to write something down and need scrap paper. Once I have those one or two receipts though, the rest are trashed.

    Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth´s last post…I Know I’m Not That Bad of A Mom

  23. I tend to hang onto receipts when they should probably just be tossed out. I get in the habit of putting them in my wallet and then I can’t find important business cards or other info. Also, I have a hard time organizing coupons and need to get a better system for keeping them out of my wallet.

    Melody @ Party Cupcake Ideas´s last post…Easter Marshmallow Peep Cupcakes

  24. I found a website that allows you to put all the barcodes for all of your “store shopper/frequent shopper and discount cards” in one place eliminating the need to carry them around. Check it out – a real life-saver when it comes to making your wallet smaller!

    Catherine B´s last post…Emotional Day

  25. I go through phases for my wallet and purses. I am most teased for my purses that are the size of a gym bag. :-) Now, I am down to the front pocket on my book bag for work. I am revamping my budget system and considering Pear Budget. I purge restaurant and gas receipts right after I mark it off my expenditures. The rest I purge or file at the end of the week.

  26. I keep a small organizer at home (like a coupon organizer) for my receipts. I file them by category – clothing, household, services, healthcare, restaurants – so that I can find it quickly if I need to return something or dispute a charge.

    Juice´s last post…Food For Thought

  27. i do a receipt accordian file like juice and i also have one for coupons. stores that i frequent have their own files but mostly it’s a general category like “clothes”. i keep frequent shopper cards in there, too, and the file fits under the seat of my car. for those places that i go to regularly but impulsively and that don’t have a keychain card [like subway] i just keep the punch card in my wallet. there aren’t too many of them. and if i go to a place without my punch card, i just get a new one and combine it with the old the next time i go in.

  28. I have a separate card holder in my bag for storing all my other cards. The things that go inside my wallet are the cash, 2 credit cards, the credit card receipts (which I purge & tear after reconciling it with my bill), store receipts(which also go through the same process as above, after I write them down in my budget), my driver’s license, 2 photos, a band-aid for emergencies.