What's In Your Wallet?

Apr 27, 2017

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Credit MpegMan / Flickr

You've probably seen the Capital One TV commercials, where celebrities Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Garner ask, "What's in your wallet?" More and more people are keeping less and less cash in their wallets, but is what's left over in your wallet something that should be there?

Edgar Norton is Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis.  The TV spots are advertising a rewards card. Norton said they're ok to have in your wallet, as long as you plan to use it, probably that day. 

"If you're the kind of person who pays off that credit card bill every month, the rewards card is probably going to work in your favor. If you're the average person, and we've seen some stats where the average credit card balance is around $6,000 today, and you're paying interest on that every month, then the rewards card may not be in your best interest. In fact, you may be paying a higher interest rate just to get that reward and maybe when you actually look at the numbers, you're paying more than you're getting," Norton said.

What should you have in your wallet? Norton said a good rule to follow is if you use something everyday, such as your driver's license, one or two credit cards, cash, insurance cards, etc, it's ok to keep in your wallet. Multiple credit and debit card receipts are a no-no.

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