22 May 2011

The agony of a lost purse

My mother called me on Friday morning, she'd lost her purse. Understandably she was distraught, more so because this is a woman who in her entire life has never lost anything.

It wasn't the money in it (although there was a lot, she'd just drawn her housekeeping for the fortnight), but the cards. So many cards, for all manner of things. And each and everyone of them had to be cancelled and re-issued.

We spent hours on the phone, calling the bank, Centrelink, Medicare, the Library and a dozen other places to get new cards issued.  Thank goodness she keeps good records, she had all the cards listed in a little notebook, with the oh-so-important details for each one. I shudder to think how long those calls would have taken without those details. She was even able to provide the security/identity answers for each card that required them!

I keep a list of our cards and the details, but this little incident really shook me up. When I finally made it home I counted just how many cards I have in my purse and then, after I'd picked myself up off the floor, found the list and updated it.  When Wayne came home I did the same thing with his cards and suggested the boys might like to update the list in their folders too, not that they have quite as many cards as we do but if they were to lose them it would be painful.

These are the cards I had in my purse:

3 x various bank cards
1 x Flybuys
1 x Ambulance
1 x healthfund
1 x Medicare
1 x Costco
1 x RACV
19 - yes 19! X store loyalty cards! - how I've come to have so many I have no idea - most of the stores I haven't been in for years.
1 x Diggers membership card
1 x drivers licence

That's 30 cards! No wonder my purse was so heavy!  I've culled most of the story loyalty cards, now the back of my purse clips shut easily.

On my list now are:
  • My driver's license
  • Medicare details
  • RACV details
  • Bank details
  • Healthfund details
  • Ambulance details
  • Costco
  • Diggers
  • Myer
  • Spotlight
  • ABC Shop
  • SPC Shop
  • Koorong

Obviously not all of them are finance related, but they are the cards that are most important to me and that are used regularly, so the details for each one are listed. If I ever need to cancel or replace them it should be as easy as a quick phone call.

If you don't have a record of your  cards may I suggest that you take a few minutes this afternoon and make one? I've uploaded a Card Log into the Printables for you to download. All you need to do is copy the details off your cards into the relevant columns and then file it safely away.

Hopefully you'll never need to use it, but if you do have to, it will make a distressing time a little easier.


  1. I have photo copied all of my cards (both sides )just in case I lose my purse.This also gives photo ID which thr rta would ask for .Quickier than writing it all down.

  2. Photocopying is a good idea, unfortunately not everyone has access to a photocopier, and if they are able to get to the library or a photocopy shop they can be pricey.

    By the way, no one, not even the RTA, asked for photo id. Mum did have her expired photo license, which is valid as ID for 2 years after expiry, but no one asked to see it.

  3. Both of these are timely reminders. And something else to consider is a list left with your kids just in case there is an emergency where you are incapacitated (car accident etc) & they need this information to with access or cancel the cards.

  4. Trouble is if someone breaks in they've got your cards details and could use them for online purchases ... Perhaps I'm being too paranoid ... W

    1. They have them if they steal your purse or find it when you lose it too. I'm not too sure your average burglar would go looking for a list of financial information that is filed away either - they usually want to get in, grab stuff they can get rid of quickly and easily and get out, they don't want to hang around going through paperwork.

    2. We recently lost everything in a house fire - including the (neatly filed) details of all our cards, licenses, passports, etc. Talking to people about it there have been various suggestions for making the list safe. The best three in my opinion are; leaving a copy with trusted a friend or relative; emailing yourself a copy; keeping a copy securely at work (if possible).

  5. don't keep store loyalty cards! Download the free ap CardStar on your phone, and scan all the cards in. Shops can either scan the barcode through their register, or type it in if their register hasn't been upgraded to read from a phone.


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