A Seatbelt for Your Wallet

Have you ever been stolen from? I had my purse stolen about two years ago and it was just a nightmare to get all of my information changed, and dealing with that whole situation. Honestly, the best thing about it is that I knew exactly what was in my wallet. I had all of my information organized so that I could find it. When we went to the bank to cancel our bank account and inform them of the robbery (which was immediately), I knew every check that I had written, every account that automatically debited from my account, and what debits I was still waiting on to go through in my account. If I hadn’t had that information, I would have bounced a lot of checks and debits.

Now my bank would not have charged me because they knew what was going on, but many of those company’s would have charged me. In fact, there was one debit that ended up being very delayed, and when it finally did go through my bank rejected it (totally their error) but it resulted in all kinds of fees with the company. I finally got it all sorted out, but I wouldn’t wish this process on my worst enemy! But I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been without my budget with it’s list of monthly bills and their due dates. Also my filing system was a huge help (see my blog on finance binders).

I read a tip in a travel book when we were preparing for an adventure trip and it actually is just great advice. The book advised travelers to photocopy everything that you carry in your wallet (your credit cards, your driver’s license, passport, etc) so that if you ever had your wallet stolen you would have that information. For travel it suggested carrying the photocopies in a hidden place in your luggage and even an additional copy safe at home where a trusted friend could get to them if they need to. We did that for our trip and though we didn’t need them (thank you Lord!), it was a fantastic tip. I just want to suggest that you might consider doing this for your wallet at home. Just photocopy or even scan your credit cards, library card, driver’s license, or whatever so that you will know exactly what was in there if your wallet goes missing.

The reality of life is, sometimes your wallet gets eaten by a hungry couch only to re-emerge two years later, and sometimes it might be stolen. But wherever it may disappear to, the hassle of dealing with your finances won’t be nearly as bad if you just do a little bit of preparation in advance. Not in fear of the worst happening, but just in a “wearing your seatbelt because its good for you”, wisdom kind of way. People do stupid things, including me, and sometimes that results in things going missing or even getting stolen. The truth is, my purse wouldn’t have been stolen if I hadn’t left it in the shopping cart in front of a busy story! Yeah, I don’t tell that part very often 🙂 I had my three kids and my Mom was with me and we were talking and loading purchases into my car and blah, blah, blah… It was not my smartest moment. Anyway, so make a list of what is in your wallet and just be prepared. You may only be preparing for your own stupidity, but you won’t have to kick yourself nearly as hard later if you just take a little time to put a “seatbelt” on your financial world.

I’ll see you tomorrow.