If you’re like a lot of us out there, you probably feel like your entire life is tied up inside of your purse. On some days, it may feel like you are carrying Mary Poppins carpet bag of nanny goodies, able to open up your purse and pull out a wallet, checkbook, umbrella, diapers, and wipes along with the unimaginable and unrealistic like a case of water, an emergency kit, and a the ark of the covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
But, if you’ve ever had your purse lost or stolen, then you know that it can be a nightmare of epic proportions. So, here are some of the things I am definitely not carrying in my purse anymore:
Extra credit cards
There was a time when I used to have every major department store and credit card on me at all times, just in case I needed to fly into action and do some emergency shopping at the local Macy’s. This isn’t necessary.
Instead, keep just one credit card and your debit card on hand and leave the rest at home.
Think about if you do lose multiple cards to a thief, then you have to cancel all those accounts which can be a major pain. Many people are getting the “phone wallets” that give them a cardholder on their cell phone. This can be a great idea since most of us keep our phones on us at all times and usually in our hip pockets, which make them much harder to steal than the average purse snatching.
This absolutely has to stay at home from now on. If you think about it, most of us only use checks now when we are mailing in bills. (And some of us not even then.) Everywhere you go now takes plastic, so leave the checkbook at home.
My former self-defense instructor (a retired cop) pointed out that your checkbook has your home address on it which not only makes you easier to track down, but it can also be used to order more checks and destroy your credit rating and bank account.
Again, why take the risk when you carry your debit card? If your card is stolen, you can shut it down before it is used. But if your cash is stolen, that’s it; it’s gone.
It’s also a good idea not to carry cash or limit the amount you have with you because (as many people will point out) if you carry cash, then you are more likely to spend it. When you pass by a soda machine or snack machine, you may think to yourself, “Oh yeah, I’ve got some money” and then you spend it. But if you don’t have it, then you can’t spend it on things you don’t need.
Quick tip to help in case your purse is lost or stolen.
Before you leave the house next time, take a picture of the front and back of your credit cards. This will give you the information you need to call the right number quickly to report the card stolen and to have the credit card number handy. You can write this information as well, if you prefer.
Can you afford to lose your purse?
The important thing to decide when you are packing your purse is this: “If someone were to steal my purse or if I should lose it, how dangerous or problematic would it be for me to no longer have these items?” And for many of us, our purses have become such a “catch-all” for junk that we might not even know what was in there if it did go missing. It’s better to play it safe and keep it simple.