Why use cash?

Folks can’t carry around money in their pocket. They’ve got to go to an ATM machine, and they’ve got to pay a few dollars to get their own dollars out of the machine. Who ever thought you’d pay cash to get cash? That’s where we’ve gotten to.
~Bill Janklow

I’m sure some people wonder why I prefer to use cash over the more convenient credit or debit card. You know, why I fumble around, pulling all sorts of crap out of my pocket and sorting through the assorted earbuds, magatama, loose change, receipts, and pocket lint to pay for something when I could simply swipe a card.

1. It’s the most universal payment type. I very rarely run into a place that won’t accept cash. Off the top of my head, only the transcript office at the university doesn’t accept cash. Checks aren’t as accepted anymore, and you always run the risk of finding out that this particular place doesn’t accept your credit card or even any credit or debit card at all.

2. It’s anonymous. This may not be a big thing for most people, but I can be crackpotty about stuff like this. I don’t want people collecting information about my purchases. That’s all too easy to do with credit, debit, and checks.

3. It’s more secure. Sure, someone can steal your money and there’s not a lot you can do about it if it happens. But the money is all they’re going to get away with. Someone steals your card, your checkbook, or your identity, and you’re in for a bit more trouble than “Fuck, I’m out twenty bucks.”

4. It’s easy to budget. I take out the money I intend on spending when I deposit my paycheck. I take that money, put what I will use this week in my pocket, and leave the rest at home for next week. When my pocket is empty, I’m done. Someone calls me up, says “Hey, Fox, let’s go catch a movie.” I say “Nope, no money.”

5. No overdrawing. You can’t overdraw if you stop when you run out of money. And thus, no overdraft fees.

6. Still no number six.

7. Similarly, you can’t get yourself in debt if you pay for everything in cash. Unless, of course, you’re pulling cash out of ATMs using your credit card.

8. No RFID. Fuck RFID. Although I’ve heard mention of putting RFID in cash bills, by the time they get around to it, everything will have a chip in it, anyway. Some credit and debit cards have RFID chips in them right now.

9. It’s cheaper for the retailer. Cash is almost free for retailers. Credit transactions cost them a pretty penny, and as it gets more popular, prices go up to cover the increased overhead.

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2 Responses to “Why use cash?”

  1. Dr. Curiosity Says:

    For me, it’s mostly #4. I can get out a fixed amount of cash in a week, and having it there in a physical representation helps me gauge how quickly I’m going through it. If a bank allowed me to do the same with a fixed-quota debit card for free I might use that, but they don’t.

    Visiting the United States I was dismayed at how much credit transactions seem to cost. But then, the U.S. does seem to like infrastructure that’s a balkanised mess of middle-men and competing proprietary formats…

  2. About the only things I use my card for anymore are gas and online purchases. Switching to cash has really helped me with my abhorrent consumption habits.

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