41 Comments

  1. For me, wallet. But I have a really cheap pay-as-you-go phone without anything important on it. I’m just not a phone person.

  2. All I’ve got in my wallet is my ID, three dollars in singles and a Cracker Barrel gift card with $.78 on it. My phone, on the other hand, is worth at least $300 (and would likely cost at least $500 to replace). All of the data on the phone is encrypted and backed up on three different computers.

    So, replacing the phone would be the biggest hassle and most inconvenient.

  3. It depends on what “losing it” means. If I’m on a boat and the wind takes my wallet into the lake, then I can replace everything in it fairly cheaply. If I’m in big city and my phone falls out of my pocket, no one will be able to get into it as opposed to using cards in my wallet.

  4. I have a smart phone which I use as a dumb phone. No data on it, and maybe as many as a half-dozen contacts. No big loss.

    Considering the number of geezers who hang out here, we’re probably outliers in *any* poll.

  5. My wallet, because it would be troublesome to apply for the ID, bank cards, etc. again. And I have everything on my phone clouded.

  6. I think everything on my phone is backed up or duplicated elsewhere. I’ll have to check. Thanks for the reminder.

    Wallet is broken down. Lots of cards, including some loyalty and gift cards and multiple. McDonald’s coffee punchcards. No more than $200 (its in the other room). There is a photo taken at an arcade machine with Mrs. SingaporeBill when we were dating. It is so badly faded you can’t tell its people, let alone us.

    Previously, replacing the phone (2 generations old) would be a hardship because of the cost ($800). Thankfully, that would now not be a hardship.

    Replacing ID would be a nuisance, but now that I work from home, having to go to a government office wouldn’t require losing a full day of work.

    I guess I would rather lose the phone. It is easier to replace. 10 minutes online to order. That said, I did put up a fight last winter when some kid tried to do a snatch-and-dash theft of said phone.

  7. Cell, phone. No question. It’s not impossible to replace a wallet and cancel the debit card and what else is there in my wallet … park pass and library card. Easy to replace. But cellphone, what a hassle not to mention $600 dollars of hardware. And reestablish passwords. Now *that* is *difficult* to impossible.

  8. As I don’t have a phone, the question is rather moot. Losing my iPad would be annoying for the reason that I wouldn’t have my reading device, but the wallet would be much more inconvenient with all the credit cards and such to deal with.

  9. Woozy, there are password managers you can use that encrypt and save your passwords across multiple devices. As long as you remember the password for the PM, you can recover them from anywhere. Some also have the ability to set an emergency mode. You can give a certain e-mail address (spouse, parent, trusted friend, etc) emergency contact status. They can send a request to access whatever passwords/files you’ve authorized them to access (in advance of losing your phone). Access can be immediate or require a waiting period of hours or days (during which time you are sent an e-email and can cancel their request for access). But you don’t have to tell them in advance anyway.

  10. Neither, natch, but if I had to choose one to give to some swarthy goon with a knife pressed against my gut, I’d hand over the phone. It has no financial information. It doesn’t even have my primary email account; I have a special one just for the phone. About the only thing I’d miss would be the calendar, and I have a backup of that somewhere, though it would be somewhat out of date.

    On the other hand, or in the other pocket, my wallet is probably like yours. It hasmy credit cards, driving license, and insurance cards. It also holds my vintage Social Security card from 1968, which says “For Social Security and tax purposes – not for identification.” Remember that? Joining these are a few grimy old slips of paper with phone numbers the significance of which I can’t recall, but which I’m afraid to discard.

    Here’s a wallet story you might find entertaining In the spring of 2004 I was in Seoul, Korea. I walked by a motorbike parked on the sidewalk (they do that there) and was surprised to see a wallet on the seat! I figured it would be gone in minutes.

    I ran my errand and walked back about 45 minutes later. The bike was still there. So was the wallet, in exactly the same position.

    That’s the kind of place Seoul was in 2004. I’m not so sure about today, though. Inequality keeps getting worse in Korea, and the crime rate has risen since then.

  11. I lost my phone in a Montreal taxi a few years ago and pretty much wrote it off as gone forever. My son came up with some way to remotely change my phone’s screen to a message containing his phone number and a request to contact him.

    And two days later he did indeed hear from le cabby.

    (Interesting side note: I was able to use the phone’s history to follow everywhere the taxi had been during those two days)

  12. CIDU Bill, I’d love to know how your son did that remote change of the screen. Not that I need it now, but the time could come.

  13. I’ll ask him, Ed. At the time, I was more concerned with the fact that he could do magic than with how the magic worked.

    I’m pretty sure it was a Google-specific trick, since he needed my Google password (which fortunately I remembered).

  14. My wallet. My (work) smartphone has nothing on it: I mostly use it for the camera and transfer/erase everything immediately. My personal phone is a 2004 Nokia.

  15. I think I have effectively lost my wallet – I think I know what drawer it’s in, but certainly I have felt no need to carry it for many, many months, My phone does everything my wallet ever did, and much more.

  16. I’ve lost both, and the wallet was worse. The phone, I could brick in 2 minutes (and did). The thief finally gave up and returned it, since they couldn’t use or sell it. Replacing my cards and licenses and whatnot was a big inconvenience, though no more than an inconvenience.

  17. Worse financially? Possibly the cellphone, but it would depend on how much cash happens to be in the wallet that day (I tend to carry a fair amount).

    Worse in terms of hassle and frustration? Definitely the wallet.

  18. Like, for how long? If I leave my wallet on my nightstand, the only thing in it I *regularly* use is my credit card, and I can just pay with my phone. But replacing the stuff that is in the wallet that is important but I use infrequently would be harder. The phone, I can just brick from my laptop, and everything is backed up to my Google account. Expensive, though.

    If we get to a point where you can put your driver’s license and stuff like that on your phone, I won’t need the wallet. Nobody takes cash any more anyway.

  19. No problem for me, since my only phone is a landline. But if I did have a cellphone, it would be a simple and cheap flip phone, so still no problem for me.

    My wife recently lost her wallet, and it’s been a long stressful process to replace what she needs (still lacking a Medicare card and a photo id of any sort).

    I’m not sure what world ianosmond lives in where “nobody takes cash anymore,” but it’s not my world — I’ve heard rumors of places not taking cash (there was a new food court here in the Twin Cities a year or so ago with that policy, and it quickly failed), but I’ve not personally experienced such. (Almost all businesses I patronize take checks too.)

  20. ‘what world ianosmond lives in where “nobody takes cash anymore,” ‘: Sweden? I spent a week there a few years ago and never saw any cash.

  21. I don’t use cash much anymore, but place take it. However, I don’t carry it in my wallet, the bills and coins are in my right front pocket.

  22. I noticed a couple years ago that a friend of mine was not carrying a wallet at all, but tucked her driver license and a credit card into an available corner of her phone case.

    Now I see ads all the time for phone cases made to also serve as mini-wallet, with slots for cards, and a transparent window for ID, etc.

    As Brian’s comment brings back for me, even long ago I knew people trying to keep a simple or slim wallet, and one step was not to carry currency there. Instead, it would go directly in your trouser pocket, in a clip, a “money clip”. (Also note: this is another way the remaining wallet would not count as a synonym “billfold”.)

  23. @Powers – In the next state over it does, but not in mine yet.

    I don’t need ID to catch the bus though, and if I do decide to drive somewhere I just take my licence.

  24. Bill, a similar thing happened to my sweetie and me when we visited Las Palmas de Gran Canaria quite a few years ago. We took a cab from the airport to the hotel, and she got her wallet out to pay the cabbie before I could fetch mine. The cab drove off, we walked into the hotel, and she said, “Oh, shoot.” (Direct quotation.) She’d left her wallet on the cab’s back seat!

    So we wrote off the cash in it, and I got on the mobile phone (our first, which we’d just gotten) and called the credit card hotline to cancel the card. The human had answered and I was just starting to explain what had happened when the hotel proprietor came over with the cabbie! His next passenger had spotted the wallet and handed it to him. He’d driven right back to the hotel to return it to us, and even kept his fare waiting. Naturally we pulled out a few bills for him as a reward.

    There’s more honesty in the world than the cynics would have you believe.

  25. Lost mobile phones a couple of time (left it in a bar once, fell out of my pocket on a bus). Got it back both times by calling it and arranging to pick it up. Left my wallet on an airplane. Got it back when they called me to the desk at the gate where I was waiting for a connecting flight. I don’t recall if I lost my wallet any other times. I also got back a hat I left in a cab (phone number written inside) and a notebook I’d left someone (business card taped inside the cover). Most people are pretty good about returning stuff if make it easy for them to find you.

    Funny lost wallet story. WARNING: Contains bad words:

  26. This brings back a sad memory: when I went to Nashville, I bought the Best Hat Ever and then left it on the plane coming home. I’d have gladly driven from western New Jersey to JFK to retrieve it if somebody had found it, but alas…

    (For those of you not familiar with the NYC area: that’s a hellish trip)

  27. Hmmm, would have to call and cancel all the cards, driver’s license, etc. Well, identity theft wise and work I would have to do make this the worser thing to lose.

    But – if I lost my cell phone it would be much worse for Robert. He would have to find me a phone I liked and fit in my pocket, which is impossible unless he gives in and lets me have flip phone. The one I have barely fit my pocket, but then we added a cover to protect it (and be pried off monthly when the phone renews to pry the back off the phone, remove the phone and reboot it per Verizon or it stops working) and it is a bit too large. (I want to use my Palm Centro as my phone again or even my Blackberry – but I can’t.)

  28. The way it’s going with long lines at the License Bureau, a lost driver’s license might be the worst. Unless you can get a replacement online.

  29. Brian in STL –

    Since the fall, I had been trying to find out from NYS Motor Vehicles about registering and whether or not a small trailer needs to be insured for our reenactment unit. We have one, but it was registered by a former unit commander (not Robert) to the name of the Township instead of the unit. We want the new one registered correctly. One of our unit’s members went out on his own and came back with a story that the trailer and the car that tows it have to be registered in the same name and it has to have insurance – and it would it be fine to register the trailer in his name (yeah, I don’t trust him even less than that much) and it would be fine with him.

    I went online and posted to them, they sent back an answer and I replied – but could not get into the original post and needed to start a new one (refer each time to the # of the former one) several times in sequence. Last reply received back before DMV shut down for virus was they needed to call me, I sent the info but then they closed down.

    So now I am starting all over again with them. In the interim the board voted to table the new trailer until next spring anyway so I have time to get it straitened out – perhaps a letter to the commissioner.

  30. Thank you Carl Fink – It would be great – even if about US$400 beyond my budget and bigger than mine – well, I can dream.

  31. @MerylA: yeah, it’s pricy. Of course, if you wait a year you can probably get it for half its current price. I think you and I might have the same policy on cell phone buying, of course: “When this one stops working.”

  32. Are there arrow keys for left-right movement of the cursor?
    That’s my sine qua non for keyboards, virtual or physical.
    (That said, it does look nice)

  33. Carl Fink – I try to use them beyond when they stop working. I am not using the Blackberry as it stopped working for telephone calls (while I standing in Walmart trying to reach our doctor about a prescription problem).

    Robert was telling me that I could not use the Blackberry by calling through the Internet only and ignoring that the phone feature was no longer working. As I pondered for a few days if I was going to do this or buy a new phone – the Internet connection in the phone died also and killed that idea.

    The Palm still worked. Robert decided he needed better cell phone service as he was doing online counseling and needed to have a good connection or the company would drip him, even if he did not counseling with the phone, as he needed to be able to sign in to his counseling account during the day and we had to split our service. He did find me a new of the same Palm which would work with the company I was switching to – it was only 2 or 3 years after they were discontinued – but that one died a few months in and I moved on to the Blackberry.

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