What A Man Should Carry In His Wallet | How To Keep Your Wallet Slim (2024)

What A Man Should Carry In His Wallet | How To Keep Your Wallet Slim (1)

Less is More.

Remember these three words when deciding what to carry in your wallet.

Because whatever you're carrying in your wallet, chances are it's probably too much.

Unless you've already taken the time to weed out all the junk recently, odds are that you've got some useless cards or old receipts floating around in there.

You need to ruthlessly clean house!

In the world of wallets, less is more.

What's the big deal about keeping the wallet slim?

Like a lot of good grooming/menswear habits, it's all about the neatness of your overall presentation.

A bulging George Costanza-style wallet is hurting your image every time you stick it in your pocket:

  • A thick wallet makes an asymmetrical bulge under your clothes. It looks like some sort of tumor. Not stylish.
  • A heavy wallet in one jacket pocket makes the whole thing sit slightly lopsided. Your shoulders will look uneven and a little hunched.
  • Using the same thick wallet day in and day out will eventually create faded creases in whatever pocket you use, in the shape of the wallet, shortening your clothes' lifespans.
  • If it's really overfilled, you look bad when you pull it out, too. There should never be fringes of tattered paper or badly-bent plastic cards sticking out when you produce your wallet in public.

So before we get into what a man should be carrying in his wallet, let's be clear: he shouldn't be carrying anything that isn't regularly needed and vital to have on the person at all times.

If you can't think of a situation where going back to the house to grab it later would be a big deal, you probably don't need it in your wallet.

The Gentleman's Wallet Essentials

So what all should go in the wallet?

At all times, we feel comfortable saying that everyone's going to have use for these often enough to warrant carrying them daily:


Yes, you have credit cards, and yes, you may even be able to buy things with a click of your smartphone now.

But not everyone can process those payments, so have some cash on hand to tip your taxi driver with, slip to the busboy (who doesn't always get a share of the actual waiters' tips), or just to pay for something in a way that's fast, convenient, and doesn't cost an establishment that you like the extra credit card fees.


A state-issued driver's license or state I.D. card is your gold standard of I.D. No one's going to hassle you about those. If you need a second I.D. specific to your profession — a security card or student I.D., say — have that as well.

But leave behind all the tertiary I.D. cards like your country club membership or Wines of the World discount card unless you know you're going somewhere that requires them. Nine days out of ten, that's wasted space.

Credit Cards

Two is the maximum here. Anything else just makes you look like an irritating coupon-clipper as you rummage for just the right one to get your maximum mileage points or whatever. A debit card and a credit card is a nice combination.

If you're really dedicated to saving space try and find one of the newer cards that have perfectly flat numbers — just be aware that there are still a few places (especially temporary stands like farmers' market stalls) where you'll have to wait for them to copy the information off the card rather than using a hand-held machine to stamp a carbon copy from the texture.

Business Cards

Doesn't matter if you own a business or not. Have a few cards with a very simple design that just gives your name, phone number, and e-mail address.

You can get these made very cheaply at most copy shops or print shops, and if you're part of (or own) a business with its own logo and information you can grab a few cards for it as well.

Three or four of your personal cards and three or four more from your employer/business is usually plenty, unless you're heading to some sort of meet-and-greet where you know you'll be giving them out.

Your Contact Information

It sounds simple, but you'd be amazed how many men don't think to have their name, address, and phone number somewhere visible when the wallet flips open.

A business card works for this, obviously, as do some forms of I.D., but the point is to give anyone who finds your misplaced wallet a quick and easy way to get in contact with you. It's no guarantee that they will, of course… but not having it there is a guarantee that they won't!

Your Most Commonly-Used Discount Cards

If you're someone who likes “Frequent Buyer” or rewards types of cards, more power to you. There's nothing wrong with getting a good deal. But exercise some restraint. Carry the one or two that you use all the time and leave the rest at home.

If you only go to the mall once or twice a month (or less, in my case), it's a significant enough errand that you're going to think “oh, better grab my mall discount cards.” Leave them in a drawer the rest of the time.

If you're carrying a lot more than this you've probably got room to trim a few things.

Final Thoughts

I know I'm not going to sell everyone on getting rid of their photos (although more and more people are keeping those on the phone instead, these days), and there are arguments for some membership cards (I know a couple of guys who swear by their Eagle Scout cards as great speeding-ticket outs), but try to think long and hard about the benefit you're getting versus the size you're adding to wherever you keep your wallet.

What A Man Should Carry In His Wallet | How To Keep Your Wallet Slim (2024)


What A Man Should Carry In His Wallet | How To Keep Your Wallet Slim? ›

Quick answer: For most men, it's best to carry your wallet in your front pocket. The main exception fo this is if you're wearing a suit, in which case a blazer pocket works best (but choose a slim wallet if you have one).

How do I keep my wallet slim? ›

5 Tips to Slim Your Wallet
  1. Five cards or less. Obviously, there are some non-negotiable essentials — for instance, an ID and credit card (get those points!) are must-haves. ...
  2. Go digital. ...
  3. Snap or skip receipts. ...
  4. Carry less cash. ...
  5. Get a slim wallet.

How should a man carry his wallet? ›

Quick answer: For most men, it's best to carry your wallet in your front pocket. The main exception fo this is if you're wearing a suit, in which case a blazer pocket works best (but choose a slim wallet if you have one).

How much cash should a man carry in his wallet? ›

“We would recommend between $100 to $300 of cash in your wallet, but also having a reserve of $1,000 or so in a safe at home,” Anderson says. Depending on your spending habits, a couple hundred dollars may be more than enough for your daily expenses or not enough.

What type of wallet should a man carry? ›

Consider a bifold or trifold wallet if: You like to keep things simple. The simple design of the billfold has endured for hundreds of years, and it's still the most popular wallet style for men today. You only want to use your wallet for the essentials.

How to keep your wallet from falling out? ›

Moving your wallet from the back pocket to the front pocket can enhance security and reduce the risk of pickpocketing. Front pockets are typically tighter and more secure, making it easier to notice if your wallet is not where it should be.

How many cards should you carry in your wallet? ›

Carry one credit card and one debit card.

Multiple credit cards are not only a pain to cancel if stolen, but a boon to thieves who could quickly rack up online orders or send runners into multiple stores. Set up fraud alerts on your debit card and set a daily spending limit to reduce your risk.

Where do most guys put their wallet? ›

You want someplace easy to access but where your wallet won't fall out and hopefully hidden enough to deter pickpockets. Most people carry wallets in their back pocket, coat pocket or bag, but the best place to store your wallet is actually the front pocket, and there are a couple reasons why.

Should a man always carry cash? ›

The Bottom Line on Cash

There are many reasons why you should always carry cash. In a time of increasing data breaches and identity theft, cash can ensure privacy and peace of mind.

How much cash can you keep at home legally in the US? ›

The government has no regulations on the amount of money you can legally keep in your house or even the amount of money you can legally own overall. Just, the problem with keeping so much money in one place (likely in the form of cash) — it's very vulnerable to being lost.

What is the best color for a man's wallet? ›

There is no specific color that is considered "correct" or "appropriate" for men's wallets. Some popular colors for men's wallets include black, brown, tan, navy blue, and gray. Ultimately, the choice of color should depend on the individual's personal style and the context in which the wallet will be used.

Which wallet is best for male? ›

List of the Best Wallets for men
Wallets for menAmazon RatingsAmazon Prices
URBAN FOREST Oliver Leather Wallet for Men4.3/5Explore
AL FASCINO Wallets for men4.2/5Explore
MAI SOLI Dark Vintage Leather Wallets for Men4.2/5Explore
NAPA HIDE Leather Wallet for Men3.9/5Explore
6 more rows
Mar 10, 2024

What you should and shouldn't carry in your wallet? ›

You should only keep items you need in your wallet, like your driver's license, credit and debit cards, and your health insurance card. On the other hand, you should avoid carrying items like your Social Security card and your birth certificate with you unless you need other forms of ID.

How can I make my wallet tight again? ›

How to Shrink a Leather Wallet
  1. Step 1: Empty Your Wallet. Before you begin the shrinking process, it's essential to remove every item from your wallet. ...
  2. Step 2: Soak Your Wallet In Lukewarm Water. Once your wallet is empty, prepare a lukewarm water bath. ...
  3. Step 3: Dry Your Wallet. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply Leather Conditioner.

How do you fix a loose wallet? ›

The wallet should first be fully soaked by soaking it in water that is warm for a few minutes. After that, carefully resize and shape it according to your preferences. Allow it to naturally dry by air, but keep it away from heat sources and the sun. Leather will naturally contract as it dries, taking on the new shape.

Why am I always losing my wallet? ›

The science of why you lose your wallet

If you get distracted while you put down your wallet, keys or phone, your eyes, and more importantly, your brain, doesn't register the action and cannot make a spatial memory that you can use later on to find your lost wallet.

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