The Simple Wallet: Four Cards and Four Bills

Remember the Seinfeld episode when George complains of back pain only to learn it’s his brick-size wallet in his back pocket causing the problem? Someday, I hope to have the ultimate simple wallet. What would be in there?

My dream wallet has just one credit card, one debit card, my ID, my health insurance card, and a bit over $100 cash for emergencies. That’s it!

For the ultimate in financial simplicity, I would also pick the right credit and debit cards.

The Blue Cash Everyday Card® from American Express® would be my credit card (not for carrying a balance but for earning cash rewards on everyday purchases.)

Then I’d have my ING Electric Orange debit MasterCard linked to my interest-bearing ING checking account. The only times I’d use this would be to get cash or in the event a merchant didn’t take Amex. (This is becoming less and less common, at least where I shop).

Of course, I’d also need my license, and for emergencies, my health insurance card.

I’m not to this degree of simplicity yet, as I still have two credit cards, one for work and one for personal expenses, as well as my local credit union debit card, because I haven’t switched over completely to my ING account. But I still keep my wallet pretty slim.

Do you have a simple or cluttered wallet?

This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


  1. Thanks so much for this article. It really inspired me to pare down my wallet. I’m also looking into the Amex Blue too!

    Crystal D.
    Sparkleizer and Home Organization Expert

  2. My problem is always figuring out where to store all my other cards when paring down my wallet. Unfortunately, it’s tough to be frugal these days without carrying around an affinity card for sales at every grocery and convenience store around. Any suggestions?

  3. I carry American Express Blue and a USAA debit card. The AMEX rarely has a balance on it, but it’s there.

  4. Currently in my wallet I have $72 in cash, a credit card, my library card, my drivers license…and that’s it.

    I’ve just got a bifold…money pocket, clear id pocket, hidden pocket, and 3 stacked slots for cards.

    Looks like I’ve gotten to this point =)

  5. I HIGHLY recommend a slim wallet. After watching that episode again and again, I decided to renovate my back pocket. My wallet has 3 card slots on each side with an interior slot for receipts and cash. Right now, the outer slots house a debit card, two credit cards, and my employee card; the inner: my ID, insurance card, and cash.

    I’m almost there! I’m uncomfortable with the thought of leaving my debit card at home, though. I also carry very little, if any, cash.

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