I stopped carrying cash! I stopped for one very simple reason, I would spend it. Nine (9) percent of people do not carry any cash at all! Have we finally become a cashless society? Most people prefer credit or debit cards to actually using cash. It may the reason Apple has developed their Apple Pay payment system. Although there are still cash only retailers, will mobile payments replace cash?
There are countries considering changing their currency replacing low denomination notes with coin and dropping or changing other coins. There is a long standing debate about the cent in the United States whether it should be dropped or changed. Coin is a problem to count in bulk and lost a lot of its value. The nickel candy bar is extinct! Candy bars are smaller or more expensive than it used to be. This is true regarding our purchasing power too!
I did not stop carrying cash because of decreased purchasing power. I stopped because I spend cash because there is no accountability. I know I could use my debit card, but I prefer to just not spend money. I avoid shopping at the mall or online unless I need something. Besides, I have to go to the ATM (automated teller machine) to get cash which is very inconvenient. I live a cashless existence and it actually saves me money. I use the inconvenience to maintain fiscal discipline.
Does my cash avoidance mean my spending is out of control? I know many people like cash as a method to keep from overspending, but it never worked for me. I never spend more than I earn, but I did waste cash on drinks, candy, cookies and gum. I stopped those habits many years ago. By not spending cash, I am a better planner. I think much more about my purchases. I do not impulse buy! If I go to a cash only store, I have to plan my cash by stopping by an ATM on the way.
In certain societies, carrying a lot of cash indicates wealth or is it more indicative of an underground economy. When I owned a cash business, I carried more cash. Although I used an armored transport service for my deposits three (3) times a week, I needed counter change every day. I no longer have this cash business and no longer require cash on a daily basis. Credit or debit card access probably would have increased my sales. Things have changed!
Some people who do not carry cash are living from paycheck to paycheck. They are broke! No savings, no retirement savings or emergency fund and they often borrow money from friends. They may be the same people who dress or live very well, but never have cash for the little things in life. They go out with their friends and mooch money! I had to plan cash when I needed it, but it wasn’t because I did not have the funds.
When I bought my lunch, I used to save my change in a jar. At the end of a month, I had an additional $40-50 dollars. I stopped doing that in the early 1970’s so it was worth considerably more too! I was spending close to $200 a month on lunches which was a waste of money. I stopped doing that by taking my lunch to work. My savings suddenly jumped from $40-50 to $200 and was on my way to financial independence. It is much easier to spend cash (for me) and I was less accountable for it.
I had more of my money working and less wasted on frivolous expenses. It is probably the reason; I do not buy coffees every morning or pick up breakfast on the way to work. Which came first, discipline or giving up cash? I think discipline was always there, but I was a little lax when it came to cash. I started saving when I was about seven (7) years old and never stopped. At times, I wonder if I can switch to spending when I retire. I think it will take time, but I will find a way.
Do you carry cash? Is it just for the necessities or do you waste a lot of cash? If you do not carry cash, do you use credit and debit cards for all your purchases? Does it help you control your spending? I think more about how I spend my money because I only use credit cards. Do you? We are finally moving to a cashless society thanks to technology. Is it a good or bad thing? Will the Apple Pay system change society like iTunes or not? I stopped carrying cash and I manage my money much better.
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