How Wallet Size Can Influence Your Bottom Line

August 17, 2011  |  

(Smart Money) — At a time when people seem increasingly reliant on their smartphones for all manner of interactions with the world, that oldest of handheld devices — the wallet — has remained a surprisingly enduring accessory. Indeed, for some people, the wallet is not only not disappearing, it’s getting fatter — with many Americans now hauling around so much stuff in their pockets that their billfolds have become, in the apt phrasing of one longtime lugger, “roving file cabinets.” Even wallet makers, who have been pushing slimmer models for years, seem flummoxed by the trend: That plump bifold behemoth “is still our best seller,” says a spokesperson for Wilsons Leather, one of the nation’s oldest wallet specialists.  It’s a tale that can be told in numbers. According to an analysis by Experian, the credit-rating agency, a remarkable 11 percent of Americans have eight or more credit cards. And even the average credit card holder has 3.5 cards, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. On top of the more traditional plastic has come an explosion in gift, prepaid, debit and customer loyalty cards from various merchants — categories that hardly existed a generation ago.
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