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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): What's In Your Wallet?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What's In Your Wallet?

Never again rummage around in your wallet looking for something! If you lost your wallet right now, would you know what was in it and what you needed to do? Follow these handy tips to keep it organized! Get out your wallet now and take a look. I recommend a rectangular sized wallet, made out of leather, that snaps shut. Why leather? Because it lasts longer, and you won't have to run out every year to replace it. A leather wallet should last you at least five years or more!

You should have a compartment for your debit, credit and ID cards. Put your driver's license in the first slot (with the window), then stagger your credit, debit and military ID cards. Put nothing else in these slots. If you do go to the library or have a Sam's/Costco membership, you can park it here too but nothing else!


Most wallets have a compartment that contains plastic sleeves...you know, the ones that everyone likes to stick family photos in. Here you want to have:

  • Your insurance cards
  • Your Tricare/United Concordia Dental Cards
  • A current photo of each of your children (if they get lost, you will have an immediate on-hand CURRENT photo to use)
  • maybe a family photo or two
Your wallet should have a separate compartment for coins and then a compartment for your bills. Always arrange your bills facing the same direction and group them together by denomination.

Put all your frequent shopper cards, savings cards, discount cards and giftcards together, in one stack, in the back of your wallet...a place where you can put them out of sight. If you go to a store where you happen to need one of these, you can just get out the stack and find the right card to use. I personally like to use the store discount cards that attach to your keyring.

Make sure your wallet has a compartment behind the compartment for your bills. This is where you will stick every receipt you get for things that you buy. Always get a receipt! If for some reason, you don't get one, write a note to yourself on the date, what it was and the amount on one of your other receipts. This will come in handy later when it comes time to track your spending (the subject of another blog entry).

My wallet also has a zippered compartment between the bill and money compartment. The only thing that goes in there is my ATM card.

Last thing you do, write up a list of everything you have in your wallet. For safety's sake, do not write your account numbers down, just what kind of card it is and the phone number for the card or bank's customer service. Keep a copy of this list somewhere else in your purse, in the glovebox of your car, at home in a file cabinet, on your computer and also in your online email account or elsewhere online. I have created a Yahoo account and used the notepad feature to keep track of this info. You can also create a draft email in your online account and save it in your "Draft Folder". This way, if your wallet is stolen and lost, you can get immediate access to the phone numbers you need to call to close and change your accounts! Don't worry too much about keeping track of your account numbers, because your banks and credit card companies can identify you through other information such as your name, address and SSN when you call. The point is, you need to be quick before a thief can use your information!

The last bit of advice I can offer is to keep your checkbook separate from your wallet. In fact, I don't take my checkbook out of the house unless I think I need to use it. Why keep it separate? You want to reduce the risk of theft. If someone takes your wallet and your checkbook is in there, then you lose both...you get the idea. If you've found these ideas helpful, or want to comment, please write below!

Photo by (c) FreeFoto.com

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