how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

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OakPhilliesFan
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how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by OakPhilliesFan »

I've noticed that people differ a fair amount in how much cash they carry around. I very rarely have more than $100 and often less. This is because I pay for most things with cards, plus carrying large amounts of cash makes me uncomfortable. One time someone who owed me about $300 offered to give me cash and I said I'd actually prefer if they used PayPal!

I can't really justify my reluctance to carry more than $100 in rational terms. But I am curious what other people do and why.
LateStarter1975
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by LateStarter1975 »

I carry anywhere between $40 and $160 cash at any time in my wallet. Like you, I mostly use debit card or rarely credit card
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livesoft
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by livesoft »

I stopped carrying a wallet. I carry only a drivers license and a credit card around nowadays.

How long can you go without spending any cash? For me, practically indefinitely.
Last edited by livesoft on Fri May 06, 2016 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kosmo
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Kosmo »

Right now I have $21. In a money clip, no bulky Costanza wallet for me. It's more often $0 than any other number. If I get cash from the ATM it's usually for a specific purpose and I get the amount I think I'll need plus maybe $20. At the end of that activity that requires cash, I'm back to nearly $0. I pay for the overwhelming majority of things with a credit card.
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nisiprius
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by nisiprius »

$50 to $100, but more when we are going on a trip. I struggle a lot not to have it all in twenties. I try to have at least five singles, and five or six fives. And it's harder and harder to find singles that are crisp enough to be accepted by a vending machine. And it's a struggle to have quarters, I seem to use more quarters than I receive in change, and I need quarters for gas station air pumps and coin-opered horsie-ride machines for the grandkids. And I need quarters for the souvenir mash-a-penny machines. And laundromats while traveling. Somehow I feel uncomfortable asking for change when I didn't pay with cash.

But we're clearly nearing some kind of tipping point--I just use a debit card most of the time and nowadays "most of the time" seems to mean "all of the time." These days even the sellers at farmer's markets carry an iPhone with a card swipe reader.

I am not yet comfortable with electronic cash in my smartphone (and my smartphone may be too old anyway--my Samsung phone does not support Samsung pay). So I still need cash to settle tiny personal debts with friends, buy girl scout cookies, etc. And I still prefer to tip in cash, because that way I'm absolutely sure the person I'm tipping gets it.


I hope we'll be using cash long enough to actually see Harriet Tubman on the $20.
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri May 06, 2016 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BW1985
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by BW1985 »

None. I never carry any cash unless I know I will need it for something specific like tolls or tips.
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Rainier
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Rainier »

livesoft wrote:I stopped carrying a wallet. I carry only a drivers license and a credit card around nowadays.

How long can you go without spending any cash? For me, practically indefinitely.
Average cash balance in my wallet is just about $0.

Going to Iceland in a few weeks with the intention of not taking out any local currency when we arrive.

On other vacations I tend to carry cash as I like to control my vacation spending with cash.
BahamaMan
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by BahamaMan »

I always have between $2 to $3 Hundred. Folding money in Front Pocket. Feel naked without it.

No wallet. Just a Credit Card and Drivers license in a card holder.
LadyIJ
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by LadyIJ »

$0 to $10 - I like to use credit and debit card so everything is recordable.
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saltycaper
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by saltycaper »

About $100. Any more invites murder, as well as robbery. (Actually saw that in an old bank advertisement.)
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SmileyFace
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by SmileyFace »

I usually carry around $200 but rarely use much of it - use credit cards for almost everything. Occasionally I'll land in a city and use cash for short cab fares.
I try to keep a couple of $5's and about $10 in ones for valet and maid tips when traveling.
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InvestorNewb
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by InvestorNewb »

Usually between $20 - $200. I used to carry between $800-$1000 when I was going to the casino. I needed a lot of cash to employ my "strategy" which meant doubling up on losses.
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Crimsontide
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Crimsontide »

Usually no more than $20.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Me? $20-100

My millennial kids? $0
Topic Author
OakPhilliesFan
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by OakPhilliesFan »

Rainier wrote:Going to Iceland in a few weeks with the intention of not taking out any local currency when we arrive.
I went to Iceland a couple years ago and one of my mistakes was taking cash out from the ATM. You can pay for everything with a credit card there, at least in Reykjavik.

One reason I asked this question is I saw a post on Reddit with people who follow Dave Ramsey and apparently he recommends paying cash for everything as a way to decrease your spending. He also recommends budgeting with actual envelopes. I think doing either thing would quickly drive me crazy.
furnace
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by furnace »

saltycaper wrote:About $100. Any more invites murder, as well as robbery. (Actually saw that in an old bank advertisement.)
All true, and the opposite is also true. If you get held up by someone demanding "money" they are not going to accept a piece of plastic from you. You need to hand over cold, hard cash quickly, even if it's only $20. You are safe because you carry cash, but others without cash on hand may want to think twice :moneybag
Atilla
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Atilla »

Around town - zero.
Business travel - $200 - $300.
Las Vegas - $2,000+

Around town in case of robbery, I also carry my little friend Leroy Brown in my pocket (.32 Seecamp - hat tip to Jim Croche).
Last edited by Atilla on Fri May 06, 2016 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Elsebet
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Elsebet »

I just checked and have $13 currently and I usually ranged between $0-40. The only things I use cash for is to contribute to things at work, pay for parking, or pay tips at restaurant meals and those events do not happen very often.
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tyrion
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by tyrion »

I like to carry anywhere from $20 to $200.

We have a food truck rotation at work, and for some reason I feel more comfortable giving them cash rather than having my credit card go through each of their iPhone scanners. And by paying cash I don't have to go through the little SquareTrade tip prompt and can instead choose to give them $1, or whatever coins I get back from my purchase, or nothing.

I do like using credit cards for almost everything else - restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. So I understand why many people carry no cash at all.
alfaspider
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by alfaspider »

Usually zero unless I have a specific need. It almost feels weird to pay for something with bits of paper.
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nisiprius
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by nisiprius »

Dave81 wrote:...Dave Ramsey ... apparently he recommends paying cash for everything as a way to decrease your spending...
I actually think that would have been good advice twenty or thirty years ago. It would be an untenable nuisance nowadays, partly because inflation has resulted in currency whose denominations are unreasonably low compared to the things we need to buy with it.

We have the same or almost the same currency denominations today as we did in the 1920s and 1930s, when entrees in sit-down restaurants cost $0.20.

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ponyboy
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by ponyboy »

Not a single penny...none! Only debit and credit cards are used for purchases. If I go on vacation I will usually take around $80 in cash.
Wellfleet
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Wellfleet »

Almost never more than $40. There is one takeout place that adds a $1.00 charge for credit cards and we have a neighborhood produce store that is cash only.
Mingus
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Mingus »

Dave81 wrote:I've noticed that people differ a fair amount in how much cash they carry around. I very rarely have more than $100 and often less. This is because I pay for most things with cards, plus carrying large amounts of cash makes me uncomfortable. One time someone who owed me about $300 offered to give me cash and I said I'd actually prefer if they used PayPal!

I can't really justify my reluctance to carry more than $100 in rational terms. But I am curious what other people do and why.
Prefer to be paid by Paypal? Why?

Who says you gotta walk around with $300 in you wallet all the time. Just stash it away in the house and spend it down over a weekend. 300 dollars really is not that much..

[Deleted]

I just sold some stuff on Craigslist. I like having the cash. It means I can buy stuff without using my credit card. If someone tried to pay me using Paypal instead of cash, I'd tell them to take a hike. Conversely, if someone wanted me to pay them with Paypal, that I had borrowed money from, and I had cash I was trying to give them, I'd tell them to take a hike.
Last edited by Mingus on Fri May 06, 2016 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pennstater2005
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by pennstater2005 »

None. Unless I'm heading to a place I know is cash only. My wallet is not conducive to carrying cash.

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conroy
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by conroy »

I let it get down to around $20 and then top it up to $200 at the ATM

I could never get around without cash, looking at the times we go out to eat with friends, restaurants/stores that don't take cards, stores that have a minimum purchase to accept cards, sidewalk grocery vendors, etc..
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likegarden
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by likegarden »

$200 for emergency, $100 for spending.
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Gill »

I keep track of all my expenses on Quicken and just reviewed my cash disbursements. I was surprised to see nearly all of them over the past year were tips, primarily to the golf cart attendants at the country club and to the guys at the car wash. Still, I don't feel comfortable unless I'm carrying at least $200 to $300 in my pocket.
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Mingus »

conroy wrote:I let it get down to around $20 and then top it up to $200 at the ATM

I could never get around without cash, looking at the times we go out to eat with friends, restaurants/stores that don't take cards, stores that have a minimum purchase to accept cards, sidewalk grocery vendors, etc..
(NYC)
And who even really wants to use credit cards at a restaurant or bar when the waitstaff steals your #?
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packet
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by packet »

At the moment, $2, rarely over $100.

I find if I do need cash, there's an ATM nearby...

I've often been tempted to ditch my traditional wallet, but I have 4 cards I can't do with out (license, general cc, gas cc, atm card) and a few more I just might need (beer card (10th free!), lunch card (10th free!), AAA, insurance, Sam's club...).

:beerCheers,
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Abe
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Abe »

$400 to $500 but not in my wallet. I keep it in my right front pocket with a rubber band around it. :happy
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queso
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by queso »

$140 right now. My barber is the only cash-only business I patronize so I need $20 every time I see him. Everything else I use a CC to get rewards points. The $100 is from last August when I was in Las Vegas for work. I cashed out after playing craps and they gave me a $100 bill. The fact that it is still in my wallet 9 months later shows how little use I have for cash. Although, in another couple of months I'll get to unload it on my barber and then I'll have $80 and be set for haircuts for the next couple months.
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blueblock
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by blueblock »

I take out a hundred and carry that around as long as it lasts, which is generally 2-3 months.
harikaried
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by harikaried »

Usually two $20 bills. If we need to use the cash, I give the change to my wife (sometimes in exchange for a $20 bill).
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lthenderson
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by lthenderson »

Anywhere from $40 to $300. I withdraw $300 at a time and when I get down to $40, I hit the bank ATM again. I however mostly use credit were possible so $300 lasts me a couple months. I usually use the cash for dining or shopping at places that seem less than reliably staffed and where credit card theft seems more probably to occur. Another post on here had numerous people referencing wait staff helping themselves to larger than authorized tips with credit cards and I have never had that problem. Paying cash when in doubt of trustworthiness also saves on the number of times of getting a new credit card number and having to switch over all my accounts. I've only had two hacks in 30 years.
island
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by island »

At the moment, just some change and probably been the same for weeks. Usually no more than $20 unless planning to go somewhere that only takes cash or need some tip money.
Also typically have an emergency 20 and a roll of quarters for parking meters in my car.
Use credit cards for just about everything.

Don't keep much in the house either, do you Bogleheads?
tim1999
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by tim1999 »

Usually between $20 and $80 unless I specifically need it for something.
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celia
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by celia »

Up to $40. need cash for kids selling stuff, gas (price is lower), overdue books, garage sales, and to avoid getting shot.
island wrote:Don't keep much in the house either, do you Bogleheads?
We have a reasonable amount that we can use in case of earthquake or week-long power outage. Smaller bills, of course, as we wouldn't expect someone to give us change.
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mhc
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by mhc »

$60-$500

I try to use a credit card when I can, but there are plenty of places in my part of the country that only take cash (some restaurants, state forest, remote stores). It is also useful to pay in a hurry at a restaurant. I only pay my kids' allowances in cash. If I catch someone aerating a neighbor's yard, I'll get them to come over and do mine. I pay in cash. I've been to places where the credit card machine is down. It's nice to have cash. I don't know any homeless people who take credit cards yet. I tend to spend about $500 in cash a month.
jnet2000
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by jnet2000 »

Sadly, zero. I should stash a few 20s in my car for emergencies. However, I have a slim wallet and only carry credit cards and debit cards.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

No less than $30 to $100. The cash business is alive and well in NYC.
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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

Generally $50-100 but I rarely use it. Credit cards for almost everything. My biggest usage of cash is garage sales.
theDON2050
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by theDON2050 »

Between $0 and $60- Currently one dollar. Never a problem with mulitple options including Venmo, Paypal, and my Ally account reimbursing ATM fees.

I use credit cards for everything. The way I look at it, it's a 2% discount of life.
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John151
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by John151 »

In a typical month, I spend about $30 in cash, and that’s roughly what I keep in my wallet.
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Ron »

Probably more than I should.

Being raised in a somewhat poor family, and struggling as a young military guy with a family (wife/son) to support, and onto low paying jobs in the first decade of our marriage I was used to going out of the house with just a few coins in my pocket.

Today (at age 68 - retired since age 59), I (along with my wife) am/are lucky to be financially independent.

I guess I just carry a lot of cash just to make up for those early years of monetary scarcity regardless of the need to carry much "real" money.

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obgyn65
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by obgyn65 »

Average $40 in cash.
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hicabob
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by hicabob »

A couple hundred usually. Cash comes in handy sometimes. A couple days ago the local power companies contracted tree trimmers came up my long driveway with a huge bucket truck. They parked it right next to a dead 90 foot oak I have been planning to get cut down since it could hit the house if it fell. It was leaning towards the house and on a 40 degree slope so was beyond my DIY comfort zone. I offered the gentlemen a quick $200 if they cut it down - one of them went to check the power lines and the other went up in the bucket and he did a beautiful and safe job cutting the tree down. I don't think a credit card would have worked and getting the job done with a large bucket truck thru more official channels would have been $1000 or so.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

saltycaper wrote:About $100. Any more invites murder, as well as robbery. (Actually saw that in an old bank advertisement.)
Clear plastic wallet?

Carrying more cash may result in losing more if lost or stolen, but how would anyone know how much you have in your wallet? Except for your friendly TSA employee, of course.

I typically carry <$100 in my wallet as I prefer to use CCs whenever possible. I am more concerned about having a handful of singles in my front pocket if needed for tips. Not long ago I regularly carried much larger sums in my wallet but never issued an invitation for robbery or murder by doing so :beer
hoops777
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by hoops777 »

It sounds like a bad time to invest in the wallet business :happy
I keep a few hundred in different demoninations in a pouch in my car.Yes if someone broke into my car they would steal it,but I would somehow manage to survive.
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Toons
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Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Post by Toons »

Couple Hundred :happy
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