Your wallet is one of the most important accessories you own. It holds your money, your cards, your identity, and sometimes even your secrets.
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I carry my wallet everywhere I go, to classes, to church, to meetings, to weddings, etc. Even if I want to buy ordinary sachet water across the street, I am used to taking my wallet along.
But do you know what you should never carry in your wallet? Some items can put you at risk of losing money, personal information, or even your life if they fall into the wrong hands. Here are nine things you should never carry in your wallet, and why.
- Your ATM Card Pin
- Your National Identity Number or Card
- Your passport
- Excess Cash
- Expired cards and coupons
- Receipts and bills
- Spare keys
- Personal Photos
#1. Your ATM card PIN
You may think that writing down your ATM card PIN and keeping it in your wallet is a smart way to remember it, but it’s actually a very bad idea. If someone steals your wallet, they can easily access your bank account and withdraw all your money. Even if you have a different PIN for each card, keeping them all in one place is risky. Memorize your PINs or store them in a secure app on your phone instead.
#2. Your National Identity Number (NIN)
Your NIN is a unique identifier that links you to various government services and benefits. It’s also a valuable piece of information for identity thieves who can use it to impersonate you and commit fraud.
You should never carry your NIN card or any document that has your NIN printed on it in your wallet. Keep it in a safe place at home and only bring it when you need it for official purposes.
#3. Your passport or international travel documents
Your passport or international travel documents are essential for crossing borders, but they are also attractive targets for thieves who can sell them on the black market or use them to travel under your name.
It’s understandable to carry your Driver’s License in your wallet – I keep mine there too.
You should not carry these documents in your wallet unless you are traveling abroad and need them handy. Even then, you should keep them in a separate pouch or pocket and be extra vigilant about your surroundings.
#4. Excess cash
Carrying too much cash in your wallet is not only bulky and inconvenient but also risky. You never know when you might lose your wallet or become a victim of a robbery.
If that happens, you could lose all your hard earned money instantly. To avoid this, only carry as much cash as you need for the day and leave the rest in a bank account or a mobile wallet. You can always withdraw more cash from an ATM or pay with a card or phone when needed.
#5. Expired cards and coupons
Do you have any expired cards or coupons in your wallet that you keep forgetting to throw away? If so, you are wasting precious space and adding unnecessary clutter to your wallet.
Expired cards and coupons are useless and can confuse you when you are looking for something useful. They can also make your wallet look unprofessional and disorganized. Go through your wallet regularly and eliminate anything that is no longer valid or useful.
#6. Receipts and bills
Receipts and bills are another source of clutter and mess in your wallet. They can pile up quickly and make your wallet bulky and heavy. They can also expose your personal and financial information to anyone who sees them or finds them in your wallet.
You don’t need to keep every receipt and bill you get unless you need them for tax purposes, warranties, or returns. In that case, you should scan them or take a photo of them and store them digitally in a secure app or cloud service.
#7. Spare keys
Spare keys may seem like a good thing to have in your wallet in case you lose or forget your main keys, but they are actually a bad idea.
If someone steals your wallet, they can easily find out where you live or work by looking at your ID or other documents in your wallet. Then they can use your spare keys to break into your home or office and steal more of your valuables or harm you or your family.
Instead of carrying spare keys in your wallet, leave them with a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. Or even keep them in your pockets directly – they can’t possibly steal your trousers while you’re wearing them!
Medications are another item that you should never carry in your wallet. They can get damaged by heat, moisture, or pressure and lose their effectiveness or become harmful.
They can also fall out of their containers and mix with other items in your wallet, creating confusion or danger. If you need to take medications regularly, keep them in their original packaging and store them in a separate bag or pouch that is clearly labeled.
#9. Personal photos
Personal photos may seem like a nice way to personalize your wallet and remind you of your loved ones, but they are also risky to carry around.
If you lose your wallet or someone steals it, they can see who you are close to and use that information to blackmail, harass or harm you or them. They can also damage or ruin your photos by bending, tearing, or staining them. If you
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