Have you ever watched your wallet fly off the roof of your car as you drive down the street? Or retraced countless errands to see where you left it? If the answer is yes, chances are you’re distracted. Being distracted can make you forgetful and prone to misplacing things. But there are some easy steps you can take to prevent losing your wallet or minimize the damage if you do.
It’s hard to believe that you could lose your wallet at home. But it happens. You’ve got a gazillion things on your mind when you walk through the door. When you put your wallet down, your brain simply doesn’t register the location. You find yourself wasting 10 or 15 minutes searching for it the next time you need it. It’s so frustrating.
To prevent losing your wallet at home, there are a few easy hacks you can try. But be patient with yourself. You’ll be creating a new habit which can take awhile.
Designate a Home
Designate a Home Your wallet needs a place where it lives when you’re at home. Designate a permanent spot for your wallet and put it in that same spot every single time you come home.
If you keep your wallet in a bag, then designate a spot for your bag and put it in its spot every time you come home. If you take your wallet out of your bag, put it back when you’re done.
Plan for Your Day
Before you go to bed, check to make sure your wallet is peacefully sleeping in it’s designated spot. If you discover it’s missing, you can search for it right away and save yourself precious time in the morning.
On The Go
When you’re out and about, it’s even easier to lose your wallet. Our brains are overstimulated and distractions are numerous. If you’re like most people, your thoughts are a million miles away and your actions are on auto-pilot. But there are habits you can build to keep track of your wallet on the go.
If your primary mode of transportation is your vehicle, follow the same rules you have at home. Have a designated spot where your wallet lives in your car. The same place every time. You leave the house, get in the car and that’s where your wallet goes until you get home.
Choose to be more mindful and you will be much less likely to lose your wallet. When it’s time to get out of the car or off the subway, slow down. Take a deep breath. Think wallet, keys and phone. Pay attention to how you’re going to carry these items and do it the same way every time.
Repeat this mindfulness practice when you make a purchase. Slow down. Don’t worry about the line of rushed, impatient people behind you. Pay for your items and return your wallet to where it lives when you carry it. Before you leave the store, repeat your wallet, keys and phone mantra.
So what about those occasions when carrying your wallet or your bag is inconvenient and may even hinder a good time? A night out dancing, a concert, or maybe a friend’s wedding? You may get distracted having fun and forget to think about it.
Minimize Your Wallet
For social events, you don’t need everything you normally carry in your wallet. Take out one credit card, some cash, your ID and a single car key if you drove. Then lock your wallet in the glovebox of the vehicle. If you took public transportation or a car service, leave your regular wallet at home.
Have a slender wallet that keeps these items all together and slips easily into a pocket. Or slip a lost wallet finder in with your stuff, just in case you do get a bit absentminded.
If there are other items you just have to have, purchase a small cross-body bag that fits your minimized wallet and other items you want to carry with you. Your hands and mind will be free to socialize.
Plan to Lose It
If you’re prone to losing your wallet, plan on it happening at some point just in case. And know what to do if it does happen. Take the stress out of the situation by being prepared. Purchasing a Cube Tracker will help ease your mind in the case of losing your wallet. Keep the cube in one of the folds of your wallet and it will sync to the app on your phone and locate your misplaced wallet!
Keep copies of your ID, credit cards, insurance cards and any other important items you carry. Take your social security card or other hard to replace government ID out of your wallet. That way, if your wallet gets lost you won’t have to replace everything. You also keep some of your identity safe.
Place a slip of paper with your name and phone number in case a good samaritan finds your wallet. They’re still out there. Keep an unused credit card at home so you’ll have one while you’re waiting for replacements.
Most credit card companies offer a lost wallet protector program. It’s a service that allows you to call them in the event you lose your wallet. They will then handle notifying related carriers of your items. Reviews on the programs are mixed, so do your research first.
What to Do
Even if you’ve prepared yourself for the eventuality of a lost wallet, there are some crucial steps you should take if it does happen. Call your debit and credit card issuer. Call your bank if you had bank checks in your wallet. And, of course, replace your driver’s license.
You may also want to place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus, file a police report and check your credit reports for any activity you don’t recognize.
Janet Ashforth is a certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist and meditation instructor. She has worked at several popular gyms and owned her own fitness company. Janet helped countless individuals maintain or regain their health and wellness. She also writes about food, nutrition, cooking and baking and is a “real food” advocate.