I carry around a super slim wallet and I owe that in part to my smartphone, to a trip I made to Europe, and to my good friends Elliot & Joanne.

There are many good things I learned from my dad. But, the fact that my dad’s wallet has always been one of those busting-at-the-seams types, inspired me to avoid that kind of thing and I’ve always tried to avoid carrying around too much in my wallet.

A bunch of years ago, I decided to take smartphone photos of my health insurance ID card and my AAA card, both of which I had been carrying around in my wallet. Years earlier, I had also stopped carrying around my library card by entering its info into the Key Ring app. I also have supermarket and drug store loyalty cards in Key Ring, but those aren’t usually needed anyway, with a phone number doing the trick at checkout.

Doctors’ offices have often looked at me funny when I hand them my phone to show them my medical insurance ID card, but it’s never been a problem in the end.

The trip to Europe led to the final step in slimming down my wallet. For over 30 years, I had carried my wallet in my back pocket. If you read a lot before you travel, you are advised to be wary of pickpockets, so I decided to carry my wallet in my front pocket. In order to do that, I knew it would be better to make my wallet slimmer. I didn’t want to bring too many wallet items on the trip anyway, so it was easy to make that happen.

I took a credit card, an ATM card, and my driver’s license from my wallet, wrapped a rubber band around the three of them, and that became my wallet for my trip.

When I returned home, I realized that even in the U.S., all I had to add to my new rubber-band wallet was my MetroCard (for the NYC subway).

One night, soon after that, my friends Elliot & Joanne saw my new “wallet”. Elliot, too, carried around a slim wallet, but his was a real wallet, not a rubber band. The next time we went to dinner with them, they gave me a present: the same wallet he uses. I’ve been happily using it for the nearly three years since.

I’m going to steal from that commercial where they ask, “What’s in your wallet?” and suggest you ask yourself that question, to simplify your life.

What are you carrying around every day that you don’t need to? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,