Five things best left OUT of your wallet or purse
As someone who's new to the U.S., it's always a good idea to keep certain things on your person. For instance, because it often contains some of the things you may need to send money or identify yourself, having your wallet handy is always smart. But there are various identifying piece of information within your wallet that may be best left at home.
To detail what some of these things are, financial advice website Wise Bread offers some examples of things that you may be better off leaving some place more discreet than in your wallet, fanny pack or purse.
Social Security card
Perhaps the most important thing not to carry around anywhere is your Social Security card. If you just recently immigrated to the U.S., this is something you may have received from the Social Security Administration. It's a key piece of identification that you'll need to do lots of different things, but you generally don't need to show the card to positively identify yourself.
Because there is a huge database in which these numbers can be cross-referenced in order to positively identify someone, all you need to do is remember your number. This allows you to keep your Social Security card in a place that's discreet, such as in a safe or safety deposit box.
Debit card information or PIN number
Another number to try to remember is your PIN number. Writing the PIN on a sheet of paper and sticking it in your wallet will be just the thing an identity thief needs to hack into your account and take what savings there are.
Also, people who get their hands on a Social Security card or PIN number may to try to pass it off as their own. While there are heightened safety mechanisms that account for this, it's best to err on the side of caution so that there's no chance it can be stolen by a would-be identity thief.
When wanting to return an item because it's broken or you're not fully satisfied with the product, retailers generally ask for the receipt, indicating you bought the item in question. It's best not to keep these receipts in a wallet or purse, though, as they can pile up quickly. Plus, they can fall into the wrong hands if you're not careful.
Wise Bread recommends keeping receipts in a folder at home, where they can be easily obtained when and if they're needed. It may be wise to label the folder holding the receipts with the year or month in which the item was purchased, as this will make it easier to know where the receipt is located should it be needed. For unwanted proofs of purchase, shred them rather than simply crumpling them up and tossing them in the garbage can.
Multiple credit cards
Several years ago, a credit card company used to produce a television commercial, where the actor on screen would say the name of the company, followed by the slogan, "Never leave home without it." In other words, people who had this kind of credit card should keep it in their wallet whenever they left their homes if they needed to make a purchase.
This may be a good idea, but it shouldn't be taken to the extreme.
Wise Bread recommends having one credit card on your person but no more than that. Should you misplace your wallet or if it is stolen, you'll only have to call one credit card company to freeze the account rather than several different ones.
Extra house key
Something else you should keep in a safe place rather than carry around is a spare house key, Wise Bread advises. This may be a good thing to have if you lock your keys in your car, but house key can easily be misplaced or dropped if it's kept in a pocket, purse or wallet. Far better to keep it with a trusted friend or an undisclosed area so that you'll know where to find it when you need it.
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