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Trevorum

Cash? Who carries cash?

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Earlier today, I sat at a redlight and noticed a young panhandler with his iconic cardbard sign. I realized that I couldn't give him a handout because I didn't have any cash, and in fact, I never carry cash at all anymore. Since our family now uses debit cards for all transactions, my wallet has been 100% cashless for over a year.

 

It was a mild shock to me, realizing I had entered a new status quo (sorta like when we realized we all had cell phones and so we cancelled our land line), but I can't really see needing to carry greenbacks any more.

 

The times, they are a' changin'...

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Yeah, I was fine with that too, until the day I parked in a pay lot, got in my car to leave late at night, and discovered that I needed old fashioned cash in order to get out. And there I was, with a variety of plastics and no nearby ATMs in a neighborhood where you don't want to be wandering around in the dark looking for a place to get cash.

 

So now I always have 5 or 10 dollars with me, though I rarely carry greater quantities.

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Trev,

Do you know who Dave Ramsey is? There are thousands and thousands of Dave Ramsey followers who use his cash in envelopes method of budgeting (and many are debt free). We use his plan, and it works great for us. On the first and fifteenth of the month, I take out cash and fill the envelopes (groceries, Scouts, entertainment, clothing, books, etc.). A great system our grandparents used to use. This is only one small piece of his Financial Peace University program.

 

If you stumble on any greenbacks that you don't need, especially in large bundles, send them my way and I will dispose of them properly for you - at no charge!

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"Earlier today, I sat at a redlight and noticed a young panhandler with his iconic cardbard sign."

 

See this kid doesn't get it. If he had been wearing a suit and had previously squandered billions of dollars of other people's money the government would wire tranfer to him billions of dollars and he wouldn't need to ask for cash.

 

SA

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HWMBO is the one who balances the checkbook and she gets irratated with me bringing her all the debit card receipts from my purchases. She encourages me to carry more cash. I typically get $60 out of the ATM near work and use it for lunch, sodas and odds and ends. When I run out in a week or so, I get more. If it costs more than $10, I usually use my debit card. I couldn't tell you the last time I wrote a check for anything.

 

I would find it impossible to go without any cash at all. Too many of the lunch counters downtown that are only open for lunch only accept cash. Then you have those pesky vending machines.

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This very issue came up today at my daughter's ballet class. An informal poll of parents indicated that only one or two carried actual cash, or even had cash in the house aside from what's in the kids' piggy banks.

 

I do try to carry some cash as an emergency backup - $50 or $100 or so - in case there's a massive power outage and the ATMs go down. But my daughter (age 4) brought it home to me recently when she was playing store, and asked me: "Debit or credit?"

 

Despite my debit-card ways, BrentAllen, I've been thinking about such a cash-budgeting system for a while. There was an interesting article on the subject a while back in Backwoods Home Magazine. Have to dig it out again and look up Dave Ramsey to boot. Thanks for the food for thought.

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My husband carries a debit card and uses that. As long as he keeps giving me the receipts, all is well. He may have a couple of dollars on him, but thats it. I on the other hand, give myself an "allowance" of $25 per week. If by some chance I exceed that, then I use the debit card.

 

ccjj

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I always carry cash, and not just because I am old fashioned. I have frequently encountered situations where electronic payment or payment by check was not feasible. Be prepared!!

 

There are some bills I still pay by check. I also want a paper check in the file for medical expenses and charitable donations.

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I typically carry between $20 and $40 in my wallet for little things at the gas station, fast food, vending machines, concession stands at games, etc. For gas, shopping, etc it's all debit card.

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I carry cash but I don't give it to panhandlers!

 

I was at a news stand that sells lottery tickets buying s newspaper & there was a lady who panhandles every day there buying lottery tickets!

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I'm married...what's this "cash" and "checkbook" stuff y'all are talking about?

 

As to panhandlers...just give them a card with the White House phone number on it.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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I guess I must be old fashioned as I don't have a debit card, I use mainly cash except for buying gas or groceries. On the average I have $300 to 500 in cash in my pocket all the time.

 

Also, in my court we don't take personnel checks, or credit/debit cards. Cash or Money orders/bank check is all we take when you pay your fines.

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I carry cash. I think of it as my emergency stash. It's more than $100 and it corresponds to whatever amount I think it would take to pay for some emergency if I was stuck somewhere that wouldn't take a card. My wife (who gives me MY allowance, scoutldr) has come to depend on my 'stash' and it has saved a vacation or two over the years (and at least one really tense class field trip overseas). The risk is that it might become a portion of the normal day-to-day flow and resisting that temptation takes discipline.

I'm comfortable with it. Years ago I carried over $20,000 cash into China when I was assisting with an adoption. Toured all over Shanghai with all of it in my pocket. No problem. I routinely transfer money between banks in $manyK in cash. The reason? Bank A and Bank B both insist on their own internal delays of my access to my money if I use their counter or cashier checks. When I withdraw cash and then deposit cash, they have no choice but to give me immediate access. They can shove their delays.

 

That said, I pay the routine bills and I do the taxes. I pay almostly exclusively by credit (not debit) card and occasionally online. Then I write the checks to pay the credit cards in full every month. No debt. Ever again.

The only time I run into panhandlers is when I venture into Atlanta (what a wretched example of gratuitous sprawl!) or perhaps Houston or Chattanooga or Knoxville. I keep a bag of canned goods in my car to hand guys standing on the street corners. The guys who get aggressive around downtown get nothing. I do give money to the ones in the Caribbean. I consider it kind of like the toll that must be paid to walk freely through the towns.

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I use my credit card for every transaction I can. I get bonus miles for each dollar spent. Pay off the balance every month. I do try to keep $100 cash in the wallet for non-CC purchases. But that seems to disappear periodically when the family needs walking around cash.

I do have a check book to pay for stuff that requires more than I have in cash, but can't accept a card.

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