I cleaned out my purse the other day. A ton of garbage came out of it. I filled up a whole shopping bag full of papers, candy wrappers and other junk.
And the bad personal finance blogger in me: I also found information that is not safe to have in my purse. I found a car loan application that I filled out from the other week. Why oh why did I still have it in my purse?
I filled the application all the way out, and then I asked the dealership if they could beat my credit union’s rate. They said they most likely couldn’t since it was really low. I then asked for the loan application back so that it wasn’t just floating around at the dealership.
While I thought I was doing the smart thing by asking for it back, all I did was throw it in my purse. And I forgot about it until just the other day. So that means for around a whole week, I had my whole life written on a piece of paper: my income, address, social security number and so on.
I’m glad I found it before I lost it or just tossed it into the trash like any other garbage! I shredded the application and now have no worries.
What you should not have in your purse or wallet:
1. Something with your social security number on it.
This could be your actual social security card, a loan application that you filled out, etc. Maybe you have a little note in your wallet so that you can remember what your SSN is? Yeah, probably not a good idea.
I have a friend (I have mentioned this before) who puts her Social Security card right where her license should go. So when she opens up her wallet, what do you see? Not her license, you get to see her SSN! What a great idea. She doesn’t think this is a bad idea.
I’m not sure if all states used to do this (or if any still do), but up until a couple of years ago the state that I live in used to use your social security number as your license number. I always thought this was the most ridiculous thing ever! So if you lost your wallet, someone automatically has your SSN, address, your picture, etc.
2. List of all of your account numbers.
This can be with or without the routing numbers. Surprisingly, a lot of people do this. This should be a given that it is not a good idea.
All someone would have to do is link this to your name (which is probably in your wallet also) and BAM they have an all access pass to everything in your life.
3. List of your passwords.
I have probably 5 different passwords that I use for all of my main accounts. Yes while it does get annoying that sometimes I have to enter multiple passwords in order to log in, it is much better than carrying around a list that says all of your usernames and the passwords that correspond with it.
4. Carrying too much cash or credit cards.
I usually don’t carry any cash. I’m always afraid of losing it or it getting stolen. I do however carry all of my credit cards. I don’t have too many, but I’m sure if I had 10 credit cards, I would not risk carrying them all and having them all stolen.