A New Handbag
Posted by Gail | Filed under Money Management
It’s funny watching the people I work with respond when I buy something new. Since I’m by no means a fashionista, if I show up in a new top or wearing a snappy pair of shoes the comments are plentiful. In real life I’m a slob: yoga pants or jeans. Plain tops. Hair up. No make-up. No shoes, if I can get away with it. Sometimes people are a little surprised at just what a peasant I am.
I bought a new purse a while back when I was heading off on a vacation and wanted lotsnlotsa room to store all my travelling stuff. I got it at a little shop in Brighton called The Dragonfly where the girls in the store say “So you have some money saved up in your Dragonfly jar Gail?” Ha! But I digress.
So I bought this new handbag and every time I’ve gone to work with it, I’ve had comments on it. I guess it’s the first time I’ve made a really fashion-forward choice. Usually I just use a small over-the-shoulder purse that holds my cell phone and my wallet. I like to travel light.
I watched our producer pull her wallet out of her handbag the other day and I was astounded at how much stuff she had in it. I know those loyalty and membership cards add up since I’ve got a few in my wallet too. And then there are all the receipts people are keeping now that they’ve been Gailed. But some stuff does not belong in your wallet. Carrying your SIN card around is dumb. Memorize the number and store the card somewhere safe. Ditto your passport and your birth certificate.
So what constitutes a well-groomed wallet?
Cash. How much depends on what makes you feel safe, and how much you could stand to lose if your wallet was lost or stolen. If you’d feel the pain of losing $100, carry less. I never have less than $100 because I spend so much time on the road, and have had the experience of buying gas ($60) only to discover their “credit card machine is down.” And I cringe when I see people walking around with $5 in their wallets. I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to make sure I have enough money to take care of myself if “the date” goes south!
Speaking of credit cards, don’t pack your wallet full of ‘em. I recommend everyone have two credit cards. Carry one and leave one at home so that if you do lose your wallet, you have your back-up card until the replacement arrives. You also won’t be tempted to buy that very expensive moose head because you can split the cost over two cards!
Ditto debit cards. Most people have one. Some people have two or three (really?) and some have even more. When my friend Danni empted her purse out the other day to change it over, I opened up her wallet and started going through it. “Get out of there,” she yelled at me (laughing). I was counting up her debit cards. Since Danni has an account in almost every bank (hey, not everyone listens to me) she had a pile of debit cards, way too many to be carrying around. “It’s how I avoid having to pay extra ATM fees,” she said coyly. Right!
Some things you use all the time so you have to have them on you: your driver’s license or bus pass, for example. But while you may need it at any time, you don’t have to carry your health card around. Have you ever had to replace one of those suckers! It’s like pulling teeth. So I’ve taken photocopies of all our health cards and carry those in my wallet.
I also carry a couple of coupons in my wallet. If I received grocery store coupons I know I’m going to use, I stick ‘em in my wallet so I’m not slapping my head at the check-out the next time I pop into the store and “pick up a few things”.
Okay, your turn. What’s in your wallet?