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Wallet in Back Pocket: 3 Reasons To Avoid it

Wallet in Back Pocket: 3 Reasons To Avoid it

If there’s one accessory that’s stayed with you since your teen years, it’s probably your wallet. You may not have given it any thought back then, but today, you might be hearing rumors that keeping a wallet in your back pocket can have some serious consequences. 

Well, we’re here to confirm that the rumor is true.

Here are three of our top reasons to switch to keeping your wallet in the front:

What’s In Your Wallet?

Let’s take a look at some of the things we carry around on a daily basis and consider if maybe we have more than we need. This can help you understand why we’re all about wallet minimalism these days.

Here are the top eight things you’ll find in (almost) everyone’s wallet. 

1. Cash

Even though contactless payments are becoming more prevalent, cash is king in many situations. For instance, when it comes to tipping—whether it’s the valet, the waiter, or the cashier, cash will always be preferred. And when it comes to valets, tipping on a credit card isn’t an option.

Then there are those not-so-uncommon businesses that only accept cash. Instead of having to search for an ATM, it’s comforting to know that you’re covered with what you’ve got in your wallet. So, if you glance in our wallets, you’ll notice that many of us like to carry around at least a few crisp bills in case we need cash. 

2. Credit Cards

Some of us like to carry around dozens of credit cards as if we’re displaying an art collection at a museum. But some say that thanks to the tons of places accepting contactless phone payments—which even includes ATMs—there’s no need to carry any credit cards around.

We say it depends on your location. However, even in major cities with digital payment options on every corner, credit cards are still needed in many situations. For example, if you plan to rent a car, a physical credit card (matching your ID) must be used to leave a deposit. 

For this reason, we recommend narrowing it down to just two: your debit card and one credit card of choice (stick with a Visa or MasterCard, as they’re the most widely accepted). This will minimize the number of things you carry with you while covering you on all fronts. 

3. All the Other Cards

Club membership, store loyalty, library, health insurance… There’s no shortage of reasons for carrying around extra plastic in our wallets. 

Thankfully, many of these can be done away with in favor of their digital alternatives. Many stores can give you online access to a barcode with your information for your membership and loyalty points.

And the same goes for your health insurance card: Online versions can be accessed through your health insurance website and used in pretty much the same way as a physical card. 

4. Identification

Hopefully, none of us are carrying around a passport card on a daily basis and sticking to a regular state ID that’s much easier to replace if lost or stolen. Regardless, an ID is something we never leave home without.

Whether you’re making a return at certain stores, ordering a drink at a restaurant, or even voting, an ID is required. And let’s not forget that driving without your license on you can lead to a pretty expensive ticket. 

5. Photos

Carrying around a photo of your loved ones can put a smile on your face every time you open it and remind you of why you do what you do. Keeping a picture of your partner and kids seems to be the most common, but photos of our family members, friends, and pets are definitely things you’ll also find in our wallets.

6. Receipts

Before the age of smartphones, keeping a pile of receipts in our wallets was customary. These days, many of us are choosing to scan our paper receipts and keep our everyday carry as light as possible. 

7. Contraception

While it might seem like a bit of a cliche, many of us feel safe carrying contraception in our wallets. It’s important to be protected, and a wallet is definitely the best way to make sure you never have a memory lapse on a night out. Make sure to replace spare ones regularly as some brands are known to expire. 

8. Coins

Although some wallets come with a coin compartment, carrying around coins just adds unnecessary weight. Besides, this is what your pants pockets are made for. If you don’t use coins to pay for things, then keep a jar in the car or at home for when you need to do laundry or pay for an old-fashioned parking meter. 

Reasons To Avoid Keeping Your Wallet in Your Back Pocket

Whether you keep your life’s belongings in your wallet or consider yourself to be a hardcore minimalist, it’s generally not a great idea to carry a wallet in your back pocket. We could go on forever about why this is so, but let’s start with just the top three reasons why you should avoid doing it. 

1. You Become a Target for Pickpockets

If pickpockets target you, they’ll usually go for the back pocket of your pants (in some other cases, they can also go for the front pocket of your jacket). These are by far the most convenient places for a pickpocket to reach into because of how loose they are. Plus, when it comes to the back pockets, they’re largely out of your sight and awareness.

You might not think you need to worry about being targeted for this crime, and in some cases, you may be right. But if you’re traveling, taking public transportation, or just generally finding yourself in a crowded public space, keep your wallet out of these easy-to-reach places. Just make sure your wallet has RFID blocking capabilities

2. It’s Terrible for Your Back

If you’re standing, your wallet has very little effect on your back—no matter where it’s located. But if you’re sitting like most of us do for eight hours per day, then a wallet in your back pocket can do some serious damage.

When you sit, the lump in your back pocket makes it so that one side of your body is raised. This forces your pelvis to rise towards the wallet side, leading your lower back to bend along with it.

Because your body craves stability, the middle back will compensate for this imbalance by bending to the opposite side. This leads to all sorts of muscle issues and can cause short and long-term pain.

What’s more, by sitting on your wallet, you’re placing pressure on your sciatic nerve—which is located right next to the spine. While a pinched sciatic nerve is not very common, it’s extremely painful and best avoided.

3. It’s Not a Good Look

Aesthetically, having your pockets filled with bulky items doesn’t look good. It breaks up the smooth proportions of your silhouette and your clothes. If you have a lot of stuff to carry, then your best bet is to wear a jacket with inside pockets or to just carry a bag with you. 

Of course, some of us really do love to stuff our life’s belongings into one wallet. We’re talking stacks of bills, dozens of credit cards, and a pile of receipts. What’s worse is that this bulky item is usually carried around in the back pocket without a long jacket to cover it. 

If you don’t wear a jacket to cover your backside, then a heavy wallet in your back pocket can make you look asymmetrical, regardless of the kind of pants you wear. Plus, a heavy wallet can do a number on your garments by stretching out the fabric. 

How To Clean Up Your Wallet

Switching to the side pocket of your pants is a great step in preserving your spine and keeping your belongings out of pickpockets’ hands. But what if your wallet is too big to fit in your side pockets?

Well, if that’s the case, then it’s time to clean out your wallet. Go through everything that you have and take out everything except for the few essentials that we listed above: your ID, a few credit cards, and some bills in case of an emergency.

Better yet, let the organizing come naturally by investing in a slim wallet. This will force you to focus on the essentials and your new wallet will fit into any pocket on your pants, shirt, or jacket.

Time To Say Good-Bye To the Back Pocket

Keeping your wallet in your back pocket can make you a target of theft, give you back problems, and make you look less put-together than you would otherwise. Switch to using your front pockets with one of the minimalist wallets from Andar


Our Sources:

Who's In Your Wallet? | The Guardian

Pickpockets: The Low-Tech Security Risk | The Wall Street Journal  

REALLY? | The New York Times