Do you ever use cash?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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tc101
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Do you ever use cash?

Post by tc101 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:27 pm

In the last year I have started using my credit card for everything. It is so much easier. For some reason I had the idea that using cash was quicker and easier but it is not. The only thing I have used cash for in the last year is to pay people working on my house, maid service and yard service. Also donations when a basket is passed at a few groups I meet with. Other than that everything is on credit card. Check an app on my phone once a day to see the purchases.

Do you use cash? When?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

jebmke
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by jebmke » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:33 pm

I mostly use credit cards also. I use cash to buy coffee at a nearby coffee shop because they have an honor system jar where you can toss in money and take a cup of coffee without waiting for all the latte drinkers to make up their mind what they want.

Every once in a while I'll use cash to split a check at a diner with someone.

We do have a couple of restaurants in the area that only take cash but one has an ATM on site and the other will let you go to the bank down the street and return to pay the check if you don't have enough cash on hand.
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lakpr
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by lakpr » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:34 pm

I work in the New York City, I use cash to buy lunch from street food vendors on a regular basis.
Other than that, the most recent cash purchase was buying Girl Scout cookies just last week, and really don't remember using cash for at least 3 months prior to that

medic
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by medic » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:34 pm

When getting work done at the house, I always ask if they're willing to offer a cash discount. Works about half the time and usually greater than the cash back my credit card will give me.

bob60014
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:36 pm

Rarely, especially when the credit card is contactless. It's so much easier and getting cash back is a bonus.

sailaway
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by sailaway » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:38 pm

Cash is for band tips and self serve coffee at the club.

We just cashed out Citi rewards at Costco. I gave DH a $20 to keep at work because he had to turn down a lunch last week because he had left his wallet at home and deposited the rest in our checking account.

Godot
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Last gasp for cash!

Post by Godot » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:45 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:36 pm
Rarely, especially when the credit card is contactless. It's so much easier and getting cash back is a bonus.
If the corona virus spreads globally, quickly, and deeply this might be the last gasp for cash. China has destroyed some banknotes already, and is disinfecting others. Not hard to imagine this response spreading to other countries.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-econ ... -banknotes
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knightrider
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by knightrider » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm

Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards

Texanbybirth
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:01 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
I can't decide, call me old-fashioned? Our kids put their cash in the collection basked at Church on Sunday.

:beer (We're Catholic, so beer is okay.)
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Uniballer
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Uniballer » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:09 pm

I try to carry enough cash to buy a meal and a tank of gas, but I rarely use any.

During the Northeast Blackout of 2003 my local gas station was on backup power, but they had no way to process credit card transactions. The guy at the next pump asked me, "How did you get the pump to turn on?" I said, "I went inside and paid cash." He looked stunned, and shook his head to indicate that wasn't an option for him.

Every now and then I pay cash because I don't feel comfortable handing over a credit card. That is getting rarer and rarer.
Last edited by Uniballer on Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

seity
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by seity » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:10 pm

I only use cash if someplace doesn't take credit. Very rarely.

Godot
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Godot » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:12 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
You left out poker players.
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Alaric
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Alaric » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:14 pm

My barbershop charges a $1.00 add-on fee to use a credit card, so instead I pay with cash (and tip my barber in cash).
Tip jar at restaurants / coffee shops that can't add tips to the charge.
Tips for hotel chambermaids whom I can't otherwise tip.

That's pretty much it, and like sailaway I get all the cash I need from cashing in my Costco Citi Visa reward check. I never have to take cash out from a bank.

Puretaxableindexer
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Puretaxableindexer » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:15 pm

tc101 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:27 pm
In the last year I have started using my credit card for everything. It is so much easier. For some reason I had the idea that using cash was quicker and easier but it is not. The only thing I have used cash for in the last year is to pay people working on my house, maid service and yard service. Also donations when a basket is passed at a few groups I meet with. Other than that everything is on credit card. Check an app on my phone once a day to see the purchases.

Do you use cash? When?
I've done that too and it makes sense. You can follow everything that you spend monthly. However, I find I have to be disciplined enough to say no on some purchases vs cash. Whereas I wouldn't buy it with cash but I will buy it on my CC.

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gasman
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by gasman » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm

purchases at small local businesses.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
This is wrong. There are a lot of reasons to stick with cash:

- Illegal drug trade
- buying/selling on craigslist
- Getting your stash at the marijuana store
- Illegal gun running
- flea markets
- buying/selling stolen goods

Besides Craigslist, I use no cash. It's too slow and yucky. I do pick up coins off the parking lot and when I have enough, dump them in the coin machine at my credit union.
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BV3273
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by BV3273 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm

I keep a few hundred in 20s in the house.

Other than that I put $20 a day in my wallet. I either use it for lunch or a cup of coffee. The change from that $20 goes into a jar at the end of the day. I either invest it quarterly or put it towards our vacation fund. Funny how much it adds up to after a few months.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:17 pm

Restaurant establishments in my town will knock a few percentage off the cost if you pay in cash. Paying with a credit card increases their costs which they pass onto you in the form of a higher bill. Paying cash is guaranteed money in my pocket that no bank, bond or stock market can match for a few hours of my time.

Donations
Tips
Barber
Small repairs
Quick service food establishments - hot dog cart, local pizzeria, coffee establishments
Small gifts - kids don't take cards except maybe gift cards but I know of know gift card that is denominated in cents, do you?
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by AerialWombat » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:19 pm

gasman wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm
purchases at small local businesses.
+1

The local tavern in the small town I just moved to is cash only. Of course, there is an ATM on the premises, so that Fidelity ATM card is finding getting some use and I'm enjoying the ATM fee rebates.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:21 pm

tc101 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:27 pm
In the last year I have started using my credit card for everything. It is so much easier. For some reason I had the idea that using cash was quicker and easier but it is not. The only thing I have used cash for in the last year is to pay people working on my house, maid service and yard service. Also donations when a basket is passed at a few groups I meet with. Other than that everything is on credit card. Check an app on my phone once a day to see the purchases.

Do you use cash? When?
I think I've had eight 100 $ bills in my wallet for nearly a year.
There's just not that much need for cash beyond maybe the car wash or something requiring a tip, nowadays.
I think it depends on one's lifestyle and spending patterns.

And, yes, paying cash to various tradesman and small contractors often reduces the price and is worthwhile.

j :happy
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bluebolt
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by bluebolt » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:22 pm

Does Venmo count as cash? :happy
Seriously, a lot of situations where I would have used cash, I now use Venmo.

quantAndHold
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:24 pm

I don’t carry a wallet anymore. My cellphone case has a card slot that has my drivers license and a couple of cards. That is all I carry.

We still write checks to the gardener. Everyone else either has a square reader or Venmo.

I do bring cash for Craigslist transactions, but even the last couple of those took Venmo. And I have cash stashed in with our emergency supplies. When the zombie apocalypse comes, Venmo will be the first thing to go.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

RetiredAL
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by RetiredAL » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:27 pm

I mostly use a credit card for anything $3 or more, cash if less than that. $60 cash from the ATM lasts me a month or more.

student
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by student » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:36 pm

Almost always use credit card.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:37 pm

I went to a high school basketball game last Friday night.

They didn't take credit cards.

Always good to have some cash on your person. Put a $100 bill behind your drivers license.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:43 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm
knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
This is wrong. There are a lot of reasons to stick with cash:

- Illegal drug trade
- buying/selling on craigslist
- Getting your stash at the marijuana store
- Illegal gun running
- flea markets
- buying/selling stolen goods

Besides Craigslist, I use no cash. It's too slow and yucky. I do pick up coins off the parking lot and when I have enough, dump them in the coin machine at my credit union.
LOL - I was thinking the same thing about the "Marijuana Store". In some states (such as Massachusetts) you need cash for legal drug trade - the dispensaries don't take credit cards :) (Neither will the MA State Lottery for lottery tickets for similar reasons). Or so I've heard.

Personally - I got hooked on getting credit-card points 20 years ago and have rarely used cash in many years. Why spend cash when you can get ~2% back. Plus its faster and easier. I always have a few 20's, a 5 and some 1's in my wallet just in case - need for maid-tips (as someone mentioned) and some Car Parking Valet's only take cash (Funny story - met several people at a nice restaurant that had a cash-only Valet - I was the only one in the group that even had cash in my wallet - had to bail everyone's car out :) ).

scrabbler1
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:48 pm

I use cash for small purchases, most anything under $30, and sometimes for purchases up to $40. I pay cash for tips most of the time, even if I use CC to pay the rest of the check. I use cash to buy gas because there is a big price differential when using CC. Some local business have minimum purchase amounts to use CC, and given that I live alone, I often fail to meet that minimum.

When I was square dancing every week (until mid-2018, when it ended), I had to use cash to pay the admission fee. Half the cash I used per month went toward that, so my cash use is much lower in the last few years than it was before that.

petulant
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by petulant » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:54 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:17 pm
Restaurant establishments in my town will knock a few percentage off the cost if you pay in cash. Paying with a credit card increases their costs which they pass onto you in the form of a higher bill. Paying cash is guaranteed money in my pocket that no bank, bond or stock market can match for a few hours of my time.

Donations
Tips
Barber
Small repairs
Quick service food establishments - hot dog cart, local pizzeria, coffee establishments
Small gifts - kids don't take cards except maybe gift cards but I know of know gift card that is denominated in cents, do you?
See, I always think I'm subsidizing the cash people since I pay the same price but the small business has to maintain cash registers, requiring more/trustworthier service people, more working capital and equipment, and additional labor time to count and transfer with bank.

mptfan
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by mptfan » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:57 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
That's a pretty myopic list. There are other situations where cash is preferred, like when my daughter needs spending money to go out with her friends, or when the merchant only takes cash, and there are others.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:00 pm

Casinos
Haircuts
Some house repair work--depends on who and cost
Tips--pizza delivery, sometimes bartenders, valet parking, coffee shops, sometimes servers in restaurants

Practically everything else is via credit cards.

Currently have 6k in my nightstand.

Tribonian
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Tribonian » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:02 pm

+1 for small businesses; I also always try to tip waitstaff, chambermaids & anyone else in the service industry with cash.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by whunter3333 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:11 pm

BV3273 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:16 pm
I keep a few hundred in 20s in the house.

Other than that I put $20 a day in my wallet. I either use it for lunch or a cup of coffee. The change from that $20 goes into a jar at the end of the day. I either invest it quarterly or put it towards our vacation fund. Funny how much it adds up to after a few months.
change $15/day x $365 days/yr = $5475 / year

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:12 pm

farmers' market.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:15 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:01 pm
knightrider wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Only three kinds of people use cash:
  • Old fashioned people who can't change their habits
  • Paranoid people who think cash is more secure
  • People who fear their spending would go wild with credit cards
I can't decide, call me old-fashioned? Our kids put their cash in the collection basked at Church on Sunday.

:beer (We're Catholic, so beer is okay.)
We have envelopes so checks can be enclosed, and the envelopes are id numbered so people get a total receipt for tax purposes at the end of the year.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:16 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:37 pm
I went to a high school basketball game last Friday night.

They didn't take credit cards.

Always good to have some cash on your person. Put a $100 bill behind your drivers license.
How many places/people have change for a $100.

Jcraz13
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Jcraz13 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:20 pm

It is interesting how soft we have all become. If the power grid ever went down a few days or we had a major terror attack on the grid you will wish you had cash . We just assume all the ATMs and grocery stores will have power.

I am no prepper or doomsday nut, but I was a Boy Scout . Be prepared.

runner3081
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by runner3081 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:27 pm

tc101 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:27 pm
Do you use cash? When?
Garage sales.

SocalLiving
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by SocalLiving » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:33 pm

Jcraz13 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:20 pm
It is interesting how soft we have all become. If the power grid ever went down a few days or we had a major terror attack on the grid you will wish you had cash . We just assume all the ATMs and grocery stores will have power.

I am no prepper or doomsday nut, but I was a Boy Scout . Be prepared.
Like a lot of the posters we use cash only for tips, kids birthdays etc. and mostly use credit cards.
But we keep 1k cash at home. We live in earthquake country and extended loss of power could definitely be an issue. It just sits there and if we never have any use for it I will be very happy. I remember a similar thread a while back where quite a few people said they did the same.

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Quirkz
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by Quirkz » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:36 pm

Scenario: I bought gas outside at the pump using a credit card. Then I went inside and bought a snack using the same card. My credit card company decided I'd had my card stolen/hacked, and deactivated it while I was traveling and depended on it.

Solution: I always carry some cash, especially on road trips, just in case. Also, if I'm going to make two purchases at a business, I tend to not put them both on the same card, and thus use cash.

Also handy for places that have a $5 or $10 minimum, plus the local restaurant that only does cash. Plus kids' allowance. And vending machines and parking meters (I know some of them are going electronic).

Overall I find it useful on occasion, but 80-90% goes on the card.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by seity » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:38 pm

Jcraz13 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:20 pm
It is interesting how soft we have all become. If the power grid ever went down a few days or we had a major terror attack on the grid you will wish you had cash . We just assume all the ATMs and grocery stores will have power.

I am no prepper or doomsday nut, but I was a Boy Scout . Be prepared.
Not using cash on a daily basis and not having access to cash for an emergency are two separate things.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by jharkin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:39 pm

medic wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:34 pm
When getting work done at the house, I always ask if they're willing to offer a cash discount. Works about half the time and usually greater than the cash back my credit card will give me.
Don't you worry about not having recourse in the event you have some dispute with your contractor? Im also thinking about the logistics of walking around with, say, 10 grand actual bills to pay the roofer.

With a check or credit card there is a record of the payment and possibly even some protections.

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by jharkin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:40 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:16 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:37 pm
I went to a high school basketball game last Friday night.

They didn't take credit cards.

Always good to have some cash on your person. Put a $100 bill behind your drivers license.
How many places/people have change for a $100.
And sometimes even if they do they wont take hundreds (over counterfitting fears, etc)

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:50 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:37 pm

Always good to have some cash on your person. Put a $100 bill behind your drivers license.
Clipped to the D.L. used to be the way to get out of traffic tickets!

AlwaysaQ
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by AlwaysaQ » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:56 pm

I use cash for drive thru shopping, local Chinese take-out because I often don't meet the minimum tab to use credit, pizza delivery, my niece when she goes shopping for me and my neighbor when she shopped for me because I was very sick.

My smartphone is so old I don't use it for anything involving money (except the calculator).

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mhc
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by mhc » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:00 pm

children's allowances
Girl Scout cookies
businesses that only accept cash
homeless people (I prefer to buy the items myself, but sometimes I give cash)
tipping
self pay stations at national/state/county/city parks/forests/wilderness areas
buying lottery tickets with co-workers
wedding/birthday gifts

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by friar1610 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:01 pm

Jcraz13 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:20 pm
It is interesting how soft we have all become. If the power grid ever went down a few days or we had a major terror attack on the grid you will wish you had cash . We just assume all the ATMs and grocery stores will have power.

I am no prepper or doomsday nut, but I was a Boy Scout . Be prepared.
I have a cash stash with no bills larger than $20s in my safe just for such a purpose. Here in New England a monster snowstorm or a Nor'easter can easily screw things up for a few days.
Friar1610

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by BuckyBadger » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:04 pm

I already used very little cash, and now with venmo i use even less. Babysitter and Craigslist are venmo.

I charge 25 cent refills on my refillable mug at the gas station.

I've recently started carrying a few singles in the stroller and diaper bag to buy from the local lemonade kids and tip the people playing music in the mall when the baby and i stop to listen.

But the lemonade stand kids started taking venmo last summer!!☺️☺️☺️

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by furikake » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:10 pm

There's a local restaurant that takes cash only, I go there once a week. And sometimes I buy homemade stuff from a friend, she takes cash only. Other than that, I don't use cash. I don't like touching dollar bills or coins, makes me feel dirty. :D

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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:19 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).

Also, an off-topic post regarding the behavior of church officials was removed.
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Re: Do you ever use cash?

Post by lkar » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:21 pm

Small tips is pretty much it. And I hate always needing to check if I'm going to have small cash when one of those tipping moments comes up.

I accumulate cash though. For some reason some of my regular lunch crew often still want to pay for meals with cash and so I put it all my credit card.

In principle, this should be a good thing. I get the points or miles for everyone else's meal. Except . . . Then I need to figure out what to do with the cash and I hate going to the bank so it tends to just accumulate until I can't take it any more and so go to the bank drive through. One of these days I'm going to lose it or use it non-frugally just because it's in my wallet and I'm sick of it, wiping out a year of credit card benefits. Or I put it somewhere so we can use it to give tips at the holidays, which is the best option.

The second problem is that when I'm paying with the credit card but nobody else is, making change is a pain in the neck. So, I end up losing out in the deal more often than not because I don't want to overcharge and I usually end up undercharging my friends. This is my fault. But I figure the dollars here and dollars there that I give away when I say "just give me 10" instead of the dreaded "ok, who had a drink," probably outweigh the points I've earned.

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