Cash register
Finances,  Frugality

It Pays to Use Cash

How do you handle your money? Do you deposit your check every payday and then swipe your card when you want to buy something?

Every time you swipe your card in public you place yourself in danger. Not only do you put yourself at risk of having your card information stolen by skimmers, you also run the risk of spending more money. Studies have shown that people who prefer cash over cards spend less money. Even worse, some banks charge you a fee every time you swipe your card. My personal bank charges me a dollar every time I use my bank card as a debit card at stores.

Carrying cash can eliminate this issue. If you withdraw the amount of cash you have budgeted for gas, groceries, lunch, and other extras during that pay period, you eliminate the danger of overspending. You know you have so much money for the week, so you need to be careful with your money.

Paying cash also eliminates any chance that you will fall prey to a skimmer. They can’t steal your card information if you don’t give them access to your card in the first place.

If you’re worried about being robbed of your cash, place your money in a place where thieves won’t look for it. My father kept his stash in his sock; I keep mine in an assortment of places aside from my wallet (no, I’m not going to tell you where). It also helps if you don’t attract attention by driving fancy vehicles or dressing in clothing that indicates you’ve got money. It makes little sense to rob someone who appears to be broke just to get a few pennies. Dressing simpler also comes in handy when haggling for a lower price. Some sellers tend to charge more if they think you can afford it.

While you can’t pay cash when shopping online, you can do this for the everyday purchases you make locally. Food, fuel, and other everyday purchases can be made just as easily with cash as with plastic.

If you are not paying cash for your everyday purchases, you need to start doing it now. Your budget will thank you.

 

5 Comments

  • Linda Sand

    When we were on a tight budget we had an envelope for each category of spending: utilities, groceries, rent, etc. At that time we lived in a small town where you could actually walk from one utility building to another to pay in cash. You never go over budget if you stop spending when an envelope is empty.

  • camcoogan

    When it come to cash vs debit, I’m inconsistent but I definitely see that I spend less with cash. And I’ve noticed that more of the local merchants are charging me less/giving me a discount when I use cash as they are saving on the card fee. Since I want to support local business owners more and the big banks less, I’m going to be more consistent in using cash. I read something recently about the future of no cash-just using apps and plastic for purchases. I hope that never happens!

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