A Week Wallet-Free

A discussion was raised at dinner last week, about why women have much bigger purses than men. Do we really have needs so different that I need to carry around a massive wallet and my friends get to carry a few cards in their phone case? So I decided to do an experiment, can I go a week without my wallet?

It made me wonder, I have an app on my phone that keeps all my loyalty cards, my bank has Android pay and I don’t really ever have cash anymore so what difference does it make? Now I’m not talking about my bag (that I would definitely be lost without, I have too much stuff in there), but there isn’t much in my wallet that I really need to have with me.

To prepare for this, I went through my wallet and made sure that I had all my cards stored on my phone (I use Stocard) and added my emergency card to Android Pay. At the end of this, I’m left with just my business card holder containing my license (sadly I can’t use a digital copy of this), my SmartRider, $15 in notes and several of my business cards (I never go anywhere without them. Needless to say I think this’ll be an interesting week.

Day One: Wednesday

For the most part, day one had no hiccups as I was home sick so spent the day on the couch (not much need for a wallet), but in the evening I was off for girls movie night so got to give my new setup a go. My first hitch was heading out the door when I did my “phone, wallet, keys” check; it felt very weird not having my wallet with me. A quick stop at Kmart gave me my first chance to use my phone as both a card and a loyalty card. It also made me realise that I was limited by how much I could spend before I was no longer able to use PayPass and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get any cash out.

I’d already booked the tickets online so just had them on my phone (part of my paper-free change last year) so didn’t get the chance to try using a virtual loyalty card (pretty sure they don’t support it though, so maybe it was a good thing). As you would expect, they had eftpos so there weren’t any issues there.

Day Two: Thursday

The second day was much more active, and I was very thankful for the extra room in my bag because I hadn’t had to bring my wallet. Catching the train in to work was the same as I normally keep my SmartRider in my business card holder, but I got my first hitch when getting a morning coffee. The cafe down the road from work has eftpos but there’s a surcharge on purchases under $10 so I was left with a decision, pay the 20c or use my cash and then be left dealing with coins (in hindsight, the easier and better option would have been to not buy a coffee and just make one at work) and I decided to fork out the extra.

Not too many issues throughout the rest of the day, and dinner was pretty easy as everything had been prepaid in advance. Although the drinks bill was split, thankfully my share was $10 so I used some of my cash. All-in-all it was a pretty good day considering how many different times I’d had to use my card.

Day Three to Eighteen

So turns out it’s actually really hard to keep up with blogging about something on a regular basis, on the bright side I’ve kept up with the experiment though.

It’s probably not such a bad thing that I’m summarising most of the experiment as who really wants to read all about everything I do each day and where I spent money.

Majority of this period has been spent the same, with very few hiccups in paying with my phone. I’ve still continued to carry a little cash around (useful for when I get coffee) but have found the coins really annoying to carry them around (I usually carry them back to work and put them in my handbag where they disappear into the unknown). I’ve also struggled a little as we run a weekly yoga class and a lot of people have just been bringing cash with them that I then have to look after (quite difficult without a wallet and usually lacking pockets as well).

The main snag I hit was during the end of the first week when I had a doctors appointment. I didn’t think anything of it until right beforehand when I realised that I didn’t have my Medicare card on me. Fortunately I managed to track down a document that had an old card number on it and was able to work out what the current card number was (luckily they just increase by 1 each time) but I realised that it would be useful to at least have a photo of cards like that so you can check details.

I also went to a friends birthday last weekend and in lieu of presents she’d asked if everyone could contribute to a new computer. I haven’t had much cash on me so I just planned to stop and get some out on the way. It wasn’t until I was on my way that I realised you can’t get cash out when using PayWave and unfortunately my bank doesn’t offer Cardless Cash. So although I haven’t found too many issues with not having cash on me, this does present a problem for when you need to get some out. Thankfully I’ve found that these days (possibly aided by the smart phone) it’s a lot more common for people to simply transfer money to people when splitting bills or paying people back. While I once only ever transferred money between my accounts I now have most of my friends saved and send money through on a regular occasion for food, movie tickets or whatever else we’ve been up to.

Conclusion

When I originally started this experiment, the plan had been to continue it for a week and see how I went without carrying a wallet. Although there are a couple of occasions that I’ve found myself wishing I had my wallet, it’s been nice not having to worry about carrying it around and have definitely enjoyed having less issues fitting everything into my bag. All-in-all, I think this has been a success and I’m planning on continuing this on a more permanent basis.

Back to Article Feed