Your purse or wallet can be more than just a place to pull your money out of so you can spend it. It can also store a few things to remind you to use less money, or at least use it well.
Here are five things to keep in your wallet that can help you use your money well:
If you follow the rule of only spending the amount of cash you have on you, then you’ll never have to pay credit card late fees or interest rates on charges, or pay to withdraw your money from an ATM not connected to your bank.
Studies have shown that people spend less money when using cash instead of a credit card. Cash is tangible with value attached to it, while a plastic credit card may not seem like actual money.
That said, using only cash should be a reminder to keep within your budget and not to return to the ATM to withdraw money again and again.
Reward credit cards
Credit cards can get you to focus less on the cost of what you’re buying, which isn’t a good thing. But if you can control your spending and pay off your credit card balance off every month, then a card that offers rewards or discounts can be worthwhile.
Some credit cards reward more points for certain purchases, so using one card at a grocery store and another at a gas station can pay off with more rewards at the end of the month.
Carrying around an envelope full of coupons can be cumbersome. If you can’t remember to take specific coupons with you on a shopping trip, then always carry coupons for your favorite department store or restaurant so that you’ll have them whenever you need them.
Smartphones are making store loyalty cards easier to carry by opening an app. They can lead to cash discounts or free items by swiping your loyalty card at checkout.
If you go to some stores regularly that only have the physical loyalty cards, be sure to keep those in your wallet. Some stores tie your card number to your phone number, so all you have to do is recite your phone number to collect reward points.
At the very least, seeing a loyalty card is a reminder that you should shop around for the best deal, regardless of if you have a loyalty card at the store offering the best price.
Health Savings Account card
A card for a Health Savings Account, or HSA, is a reminder to use the card’s pre-tax dollars that you’ve saved for medical services and prescriptions. Without the card you may forget to use the money, which can save you 35 percent by not taxing income put into an HSA.