Nov 27, 2011 Comments

The Costanza Wallet

It’s time for you to start dressing like an adult, a man, and that very process begins by having the proper wallet. Many men tend to carry around what we call a Costanza wallet. These are the wallets that are stuffed with receipts, money, excess cards, condoms and anything else you really haven’t looked at or used in the last 5 years.

From a fashion standpoint an oversized wallet can cause a refined outfit to look unkempt. It will cause a bulge in your pants or jackets and uneven wearing of the cloth in that particular area (just look at old jeans for proof). Also note that if you tend to keep it in your jacket it could way it down to a single side and make you look lopsided.

It’s time to clean house and remember this simple rule: Less is more.

What A Man Should Carry In His Wallet
The quick answer to the question is that a man should only carry the bare essentials. If you do not know what this is, which I suspect you don’t or you wouldn’t be reading this article, then allow me to explain.

Tipping Cash: It is imperative that you carry around at least enough money for simple tipping. To cut the number of small bills you carry in your wallet you can go to the bank and pick up some $2 bills. These unique bills will also make you memorable to whomever you distribute them to.

Spending Cash: $60. There isn’t a general situation you can’t get out of with $60 and 3 crisp bills will not add any bulk to your pocket.

I.D.: You must always carry your identification for driving, bar drinking (open tabs), and well – to function in this thing we like to call “real life”. Along with a standard I.D. do not forget anything extra you may have been issued such as a concealed weapons license.

Credit Card(s): You don’t need all 15 credit cards in your wallet. Only carry your primary bank card (ATM), credit card, and perhaps a secondary credit card in case of emergencies (or one of them gets demagnetized).

Business Cards: If you aren’t carrying a bag or briefcase then you need to have just a few business cards on hand. You never know who you’ll meet or when you’ll need them. Have a general idea of how many cards you really give out in a single day and have that many on you. This may mean that you have to refill everyday, but that’s okay.

Health Insurance: You might as well have the Grim Reaper as your best friend if anything ever happens to you in the USA and you don’t have proof of medical insurance. Always, under every circumstance, carry your health insurance card.

What To Ditch From Your Wallet
Shopping Cards: I know you’re excited about showing off the CVS, grocery chain and whatever other membership / lame discount you are currently part of. Every single one of these chains that uses the frequent shopping cards can also give you the same discount and points by simply entering in your phone number into the keypad. So just ensure that all of them have your, or a unique made-up phone number, on file.

Condoms: You should have learned this in 8th grade. Never carry around a condom in your wallet. The constant moving and friction that is caused by your wallet will make it more likely to tear and less effective against sexually transmitted infections. So plan ahead and put some condoms in your pocket before you go out for a night of partying.

Receipts: I know the importance of keeping a receipt for record-keeping and warranty purposes. However once you get home you should remove it from your wallet and store it in a safe cool place. Most receipts are printed on thermal paper so keeping them in your wallet will cause them to degrade and become worthless anyhow. As a safety precaution you can also take a picture of the receipt on your handy smartphone and sync that to the various cloud-based receipt applications that all operating systems have. Now you will always have secure and permanent records.

Other Credit Cards: To have access to the other credit cards that you left at home you can also store the information on your smartphone with the many applications that are on the market. Just make sure you password protect your phone and the application will usually make you do this as well.

And There You Have It
You’re on the way to getting rid of that bulky wallet. You can also force yourself to ditch the Costanza theme by changing the type of wallet you carry around. Instead of a traditional trifold wallet you should consider purchasing a simple bifold (if you’re really having trouble cutting down). A more proactive approach would be to go with a card holder style wallet. These types of wallets are thin, will allow you to carry the important cards and even a few dollars for tipping. The extremist should just go with a money clip and avoid any temptation of keeping the unnecessary.

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