Yesterday I was given the “World’s Thinnest Wallet.” I decided that it was time to stop carrying around the massive wallet/wristlet purse that I’ve been using for the past nine months.

One of the great things about giving up shopping (or even just spontaneous shopping) is that there is no need to carry loyalty cards around all the time.


Here you can see my old wallet (left) and all the rewards/membership cards that didn’t make the cut.

The cards that I am keeping in my wallet are:

Driver’s License
Health Care Card
Extended Health Insurance Card
Debit Card
Visa Card
Access Card for my office
Shopper’s Optimum Card (because going to the drug store is usually spontaneous)
Two “free tea” cards that are expiring soon – I must use these!
A few business cards
2 “corporate discount cards” that I am going to leave in my office drawer on Monday
A bit of cash

Here are the three easy steps that I used to pare down my wallet (and that you can use too!):

1. Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate

Toss anything that is expired, or that you haven’t used in six months. If you have someone’s business card in your wallet, put their information in your phone or computer and toss the card (this is the 21st century for crying out loud!). I had an old health care card from a province that I left seven years ago – it is amazing the things that we mindlessly carry around with us. Receipts that you are hanging onto? Toss them or file them! Do you have loyalty cards from stores that you rarely shop at? Toss those – you will probably never use them and most stores can look up your account if you really want to earn your loyalty points.

2. Find an alternative location for cards that you rarely use

If you have loyalty cards that you really do use or unused gift cards, take them out of your wallet and leave them at home or in your office. You will know in advance if you need to use these cards, or else not having them will discourage impulse purchases. Double win! I am a member of a car sharing service, but there is no need for me to carry my membership card around with me. I’ll just bring it if I’ve booked a car.

3. Make a plan for coins

Everyone deals with coins, but Canadians truly take coins to the next level. I know that in order to maintain my minimalist wallet (which has no change pouch) I need a plan. My plan is to put change in a little pouch in my purse and empty it daily into a change bowl. I guess I’ll need to roll the change eventually, but I suppose that is an inevitability.

And voila – you’re done! Here is my new minimalist wallet: