You go to the grocery store, pull out your wallet, and flip through your cards. Which one will you use to pay today? After figuring out just which account to put the bill on you swipe your card. And there’s a 50 cent surcharge, do you accept? You might bot even think about it at this point, but those little charges add up. 1 dollar a day is $365 dollars a year, and that’s for only two purchases a day. So you’ve got to wonder, does carrying cash save money?
And that depends. It certainly can, but you do have to be responsible about it. If you aren’t sure whether you should make the switch or on, then we’ll break it down for you.
Does Carrying Cash Save You Money?
Let’s go over the downsides first shall we?
The Downsides of Carrying Cash
You Can’t Cancel Stolen Cash
If you are unfortunate enough to have your wallet or purse stolen, then you’re out of luck if you are holding onto standard currency. There is no way to call the bank and tell them that your cash was stolen, so they need to cancel it and reissue you new bills (though that would be awesome). So you should be careful to not carry anymore than you are ok with losing at any given point.
If You Lack Self-Control It Can Be a Problem
Without a bit of discipline, that wad of bills is just going to burn a hole in your pocket. If you seriously can’t control yourself when you have a lot of cash on hand, then you have bigger issues than carrying cash is going to fix. Make sure that you are ready to only spend on things you have planned for, before you make this switch.
Cash is Cumbersome
You go to the store, it’s time to pay, and you are rifling through your wallet to try and find the correct bills, and it’s even worse when you are trying to get change.
If you’ve ever been stuck behind that person who wants to pay in change, it’s a nightmare. But, this can mostly be avoided by organizing yourself before you get to the front of the line. If you are ready, then cash can actually go faster than using a card anyway, because you’re not swiping it, waiting for it to go through. Then punching in you pin number… Do you want cash back? You get the idea.
Many Services Won’t Allow You to Use Cash
Good luck getting a plane ticket with cash! No seriously, they won’t allow you to buy a ticket with plain old cash anymore. Which isn’t illegal by the way.
But there are a growing number of companies which are just refusing cash all together now. And even if they aren’t, you may still find yourself in a position where you just can’t use good old dollar bills. For example, if you roll into a gas station past midnight, the pumps might still be open, but if the shop attached to it is closed, then the only way to pay is with credit or debit.
Cash Can’t Buy Online
There is no way to exchange physical dollar bills for online goods and services without having some way of transferring it electronically. So if you were to go with a solely cash existence, then you wouldn’t be able to buy anything off Amazon, iTunes, or any major online retailer.
It’s Harder to Keep a Record of Transactions
If you want to know exactly where every single penny went, then you are going to have to get used to holding onto receipts. That, I will say, is one of the nicest parts of using cards to do business. They automatically produce a record of all your purchases and can even be viewed directly on your bank’s app.
The Good Parts of Carrying Cash
That’s All Folks!
When you are out of cash, you are out of money, that’s the end of it. Unlike with credit cards, you can’t go over your budget, if you don’t have anymore budget in you pocket. And running out of money sounds like a curse, but let me assure you, there are few faster ways to become financially responsible than to empty your food budget a week before payday.
There is also a great convenience to being able to see just how much money is there. If you have things set up on automatic deposit, you don’t really know how much is in your account if you get to the point where they take it out. You’re card can get accepted, only for your phone bill to process, and overdraft your account. With cash on the other hand, it doesn’t leave your wallet without your permission.
You are Deterred from Spending
Oh it hurts to hand over cash, but that isn’t the case for plastic. I’m half sure that the whole reason they created these cards in the first place was alleviate us of the feeling that we get when we have to give something away.
Just looking at your money gives you inspiration to try and make it last longer. So you’ll be more inclined to shop around and find ways to save money every day.
You can get Special Deals
This isn’t always true, (auto dealers get special incentives when you finance) but at the same time cash is an effective bargaining chip. This is especially true when you are shopping person to person. When you are dealing with someone, they are way more likely to knock a chunk of the price off just because you are willing to give them cash in hand. Maybe, because there’s no way that you can cancel the payment.
Also gas stations will often offer a discount on prices if you are willing to give them cash instead of paying by credit.
Related article: How to Save Money on Gas
Cash is Easy to Transfer
There’s no need for an app or a check when you are dealing with cash. If you want to pay for something in person, then just hand them the money. There’s no need to bring banks into the process, and everyone will be happy to take it off your hands.
Plus there are still some organizations out there which will only accept cash. It would be pretty hard to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies with a credit card.
Cash Doesn’t Pile Up Interest
This is the best part of cash. Unlike credit, it costs you nothing to use, well let’s say it doesn’t cost you more. Credit cards have extremely high interest rates, and can easily cost you double the amount you would pay normally.
You Won’t Get Charged Fees
There are no fees for cash! All of those little charges for using your credit and debit cards can add up to a huge bill by the end of the year. But, you don’t have that issue when you are carrying cash. With no hidden costs to buying it can make your budget quite a bit fatter.
You might also like: How to Save Money Every Month
Is it worth carrying cash?
Absolutely, with a little discipline and a proper budget, carrying cash can save you a ton of money in the long run. And all you have to do to make the switch is to head on down and pick some up (preferably from your bank so you don’t incur any transaction fees).