For most of my life, my approach to owning a wallet is thus – get the biggest one you can find, that can fit the most number of cards. You never know when it will come in useful.
In fact, when I bought my last wallet, I walked into the store and literally said this – “I’d like to see your biggest wallet that can fit the most number of cards!”
I was shown their largest model, that fit a whopping 16 cards, with multiple compartments for bills and notes and receipts, and I picked it up on the spot. It was a whopper, but it served me very well for well on 5 years.
Now, I use one that barely fits 6 credit cards, has just 1 compartment for bills and a little coin pouch. What changed? 😀
Smaller wallet = Simpler Life
Well, what changed was my lifestyle.
When my lifestyle took a turn for something more relaxed and more casual, my needs similarly scaled down.
I wasn’t out and about for long hours, that necessitated my carrying everything I needed, and thought I needed. I could pop in and out to run my errands, and I could bring just what I needed each time, instead of trying to anticipate what I might need.
I also removed most of my loyalty cards or gift cards that I kept in my wallet “just in case” I needed them. I removed all the bits of paper that I did not need, and pared everything down to the bare minimum – ID, Driving License, Credit Card and ATM card.
I am not a member of many loyalty programmes anymore, and in any case, most of them can be accessed using your phone number or NRIC number. Some programmes even have phone apps, which makes it much more convenient.
If I have cash vouchers or a gift card that needs spending, I TRY to remember to bring them out with me. Sometimes I remember, often I don’t LOL! 😛 Using a separate pouch to hold your lesser-used cards is helpful too, if you’d like to stay a little more organized.
I struggled a little at the beginning, trying to go from a behemoth of a wallet with 16 card slots, to one that barely fit 6 cards. But eventually, I got used to it.
Suddenly, it felt as it a weight had lifted off my shoulders. Figuratively and literally! 😀 I wondered why I’d waited so long to make this switch!
The larger the wallet, the bigger the bag you need to carry
There’s a euphamism in there LOL! 😀
Carrying a large wallet necessitates you carrying a larger bag. While it did not use to be a problem for me when I was working full time, it became more of an issue when I stopped.
I found that I had to carry larger bags simply to tote my wallet about. It felt ridiculous and heavy. I could go out with just my wallet, but a clutch isn’t a hands-free option.
Scaling down my wallet allowed me to swap my bags out for smaller, lighter bags, and in many instances, to go out without carrying a bag at all!
I felt liberated! 😀
My bags however, are beginning to gather dust LOL! 😛
I felt that this too is a euphamism for life. Using a large wallet is convenient, but it may also result in you carrying around a lot of additional nonsense, like receipts or scraps of paper and cards that you may not otherwise need.
A smaller, more simple wallet forces you think of only carrying what you need, which translates into you thinking only of owning what you need. We want a lot, and we may buy a lot “just in case” but how much of it is necessary?
Only carry the necessities
My new wallet was one I bought a few years ago but did not use till recently. While it isn’t as tiny as a cardholder, it is fairly small and only barely fits my necessities.
It forced me to think about what I need with me, day-to-day. It took a little bit of trial and error before I got it right, but when I did, it’s been smooth-sailing since.
I’ve almost forgotten what it was like carrying a wallet that was stuffed full of bits of paper. I do keep receipts, but I could go for months before I cleared everything out of my wallet.
Now, I have to ensure that I clear it out regularly, or my wallet would not button shut 😛 It also forces me to be more organized with my receipts and paper scraps.
Eventually, I realised that I did not need very much. Life and our needs, just like what I carry in my wallet, is often very simple. It is us who complicate it by stuffing in more than we need, and in carrying around baggage that we should clear out often.
I was thinking about this, when I cleared out my small wallet recently, and felt oddly contented.
And that was a life lesson all on its own.
Do you carry a large wallet or a small one?
One day, I might even downsize further to a cardholder! But I find it hard to depend too much on credit cards. I’m old-fashioned, I still need to carry cash around! 😛