The Only 4 Things That Should Be in Your Wallet

The festival-ready wallet is a thing of beauty. Nothing but your ID, bank card and a slick wad of cash.

Getting around with just the bare essentials makes you feel liberated, like the topless girl on that random guy’s shoulders in the mosh pit. But for some reason, come Monday morning that girl’s got her shirt back on and you’re wandering around with a small brick in your hip pocket or handbag.

It doesn’t have to be that way (for your wallet, that is).

You can take a bit of that fantastic festival feeling away with you by shedding the dead weight in your wallet, because really, there are only four things that belong in there. The rest of the stuff ranges from nice-to-have to not-at-all-necessary.


Guy or girl, it doesn’t matter; cash is an essential tool to carry around. It makes transactions easy, allows you to pay your own way and forces you to rationalise every purchase.

Plus, it’s lighter than a card and has an inbuilt credit limit.

Fee-free transaction card

Paying a bank for the privilege of holding on to your money is like letting someone eat your lunch for you. Foolish.

There are plenty of free transaction accounts available that provide a card, online banking and direct debit facilities for free, so hop on to one of these and totally redeem yourself.

Some require you to have your regular pay deposited in there, while others are especially for students or welfare recipients, but there are also a range for adults in any situation, so if you’re still paying bank fees sort it out.

The Australian Bankers Association has a list of free transaction accounts. Canstar is another a good place to look, and also offer an unbiased assessment of just about every other financial product, for that matter.


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Healthcare cards

Carrying your Medicare card around is a must. You never know when you’ll be popping into the doctors or hospital, and having your glowing green plastic can save you big bucks when you do.

On that note, if you’re not loyal to a doctor or just need a quick check-up, there a plenty of bulk billing practices around where Medicare will foot the bill for you. A quick internet search ought to expose the secret spots in your local area.

If you have private health insurance, carry this card around too. Apart from swiping at the dentist or doctors, these cards can be a gold mine of good deals. Cheap movie tickets, discount bowling and subsidised gym memberships are some of those on offer to BUPA members, for example.

Travel card

These gems are available in most cities under different guises – Opal, Myki, GoCard, SmartRider – and can save you a bunch of time and money.

Deals like getting your weekend transport free if you use the card through the week and caps on weekend spends are a couple of benefits floating around. Convenience is the other side of the equation, as a topped up travel card means no more digging around for coins or running to the newsagent to get your ticket in time for the bus.

Carrying your travel card also reduces the likelihood of blowing cash on a cab, as public transport becomes a much easier experience when you’ve always got a ticket to ride.

So stop lugging around that leather sack of redundant receipts and loyalty cards, because there’s very little you can’t do with this all-star line-up in your wallet.

Image: Guy Sie, via Flickr