Don’t Freak Out if You Lose Your Wallet

Credit: Money Crashers

At least not until after you’ve gotten the important stuff taken care of.

In the age of digital payment methods, the idea of losing your wallet somewhere seems kind of antiquated. But antiquated or not, it still happens to the best of us, and as anyone who has lost their wallet will tell you, it’s quite a heart-pounding experience. A wallet holds all sorts of important stuff, including IDs, credit cards, and of course, cash. But the first thing you should do isn’t freak out. Freaking out is like, the ninth thing you should do, so before then, take these measures.


Assuming you’ve already tried to look for the wallet, spoken to whoever’s in charge of wherever you think you left it, and/or informed the police, you’ll need to immediately get to work invalidating and replacing any important stuff inside it. First and foremost, call your bank and tell them you’ve lost your credit card, debit card, or whatever else. You’ll need to do this more than once if you have cards with more than one institution. You’ll need to tell them to freeze the card so no purchases can be made with it, and you’ll want to do it quick; assuming a bad seed picks up your wallet and doesn’t return it, they could use your debit card to withdraw money from your account, or your credit card to make purchases. You don’t need that in your life, so have the bank turn the cards off, and replace them immediately.

Credit: Elise Amendola/Associated Press

After that, you’ll need to get your ID cards replaced. Call up your health insurance and your state’s DMV to replace your health insurance card and driver’s license. Luckily, these aren’t as sensitive, since your driver’s license has your picture on it. Unless a thief is willing to get extensive plastic surgery, they probably won’t be able to use your license to pass themselves off as you, and without a license, they probably won’t be able to do anything with your health insurance card either.

Depending on what else you keep in your wallet, you may have to take additional steps. If you had a bunch of cash in there, then you’re probably not getting that back, unfortunately. Once everything has been properly squared away, then you can feel free to go shut yourself in a closet and have that freak out. You’ve earned it.

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