For most of us, our money doesn't take up much space. And yet our wallets are heavy, bulging monsters that consume huge chunks of our pocket and purse real estate.
I once set up a scale on a busy shopping street and weighed women's purses. Want to guess the chief contributor to those heavy loads we carry around? Yup, wallets — big as bricks and stuffed to overflowing with lots more than mere money.
Money, in fact, was the least of it. When women opened their wallets to my snoopy scrutiny I found dozens of things that could have, should have, been left at home.
There were receipts, phone bills, photos, coupons, old dry-cleaning tickets, checkbooks, to-do lists, clippings, recipes, pages torn from magazines, letters, printouts and, in many cases, a stack of credit cards as thick as a deck of cards.
The fact is that we'll jam our wallets with everything that fits and more. That's the problem, and it suggests a solution: a smaller wallet, one that will hold the necessities but simply isn't big enough to become a burden.
I know it isn't easy to ruthlessly pare down the contents of your wallet, but if I can do it, anyone can. I went from a wallet the size of a small paperback book to a two-pocket business card holder that I use for credit cards and currency. For change I've got a skinny coin purse with a small capacity so I don't get weighed down with pennies.
My system might not work for you, but to help you trim down I went shopping and rounded up a half-dozen options that can lighten your load. Check them out here.