Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted April 25, 2012

Published in Lifestyle

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Wallet minimisation and handbag sexism

Read More: declutter, feminism, healthy body healthy mind, image, minimalism, money, sexism

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My wallet and backpack featured last year on The Everyday Minimalist's Minimalist Wallet series.

That exercise showed me that I could downsize several items. But in the unstuffed wallet, the important cards get lonely and slip out of their pocket when not carefully handled.

More recently, my husband minimised his wallet from a traditional trifold to a simple bifold card wallet.  He's given that bifold to me now... so now I get to put my money where my minimalism is.

Handbag sexism

While we're on the topic of what we carry around, ponder this. Handbags are a hot feminist issue (along with women's pockets)  Women are burdened by bags full of makeup and stuff for everything that could happen to us or anyone around us. 

Men have always carried wallets, heedless of their clothing profiles.  Few take even a comb along with them because their morning's grooming is good enough.

These bags bind us as much as high heels - you can't run very fast with either.

And just like any space, you start with what you actually want, and the unplanned items sneak in until you're forced into maintenance. Bigger is not better. 

I don't need to carry nappies and clothes changes everywhere I go anymore.  When I do need to carry water bottles and a snack, I've downsized from the daypack featured earlier to this child-sized backpack (of course, one of my many Secondhand Smarts buys). 

So on to the shrinking wallet...


Old wallet

Trifold wallet with numerous pockets, contains:

  • Cash
  • NZ driver’s license
  • Credit card
  • Cashpoint card
  • Automobile Association card
  • Library card
  • Supermarket points card
  • Bulk store membership card
  • Explorers clubday concession card (card stock)
  • Health food store loyalty card (keychain size)
  • Airline points card
  • 2 store loyalty cards
  • Food preferences card designed by my sister for giving to restaurants not familiar with the McDougall Program. Never so far used.
  • Medical insurance membership card


New wallet

I kept everything I used on a weekly basis or more and the auto card for emergencies. The airline points card is new to me and still to prove itself.

I released

  • 2 store loyalty cards (not local)
  • Food preferences card 
  • Medical insurance membership card
  • Cashpoint card (credit card is dual purpose)

The rest fits pretty nicely.  I could add a little more.





As well as the obvious, it's much easier to carry in that rare creature: the women's clothing pocket!

Risks and downsides

There's no place to keep much cash or receipts I want to save.  I've already wasted a trip thinking I had a cheque in my wallet - and I didn't!  Then, I coudn't find the cheque for some hours afterward.

This is truly an experiment - wish me luck!

My ideal wallet would be a bifold that also has a long side pocket for bills - anyone know where I can get one? 





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