Living Without Cash
Have you ever wondered if the day will come when nobody will carry cash and purchases are made using only credit cards? While that might be a little unrealistic in the near future, it is possible to limit your use of cash by a considerable amount.
Think about the situations where you may already function without cash. Almost every gas station has the option to pay at the pump. Add in the perk of using a rewards credit card and there is even more incentive to leave the cash in your pocket. How about at the grocery store? It is very easy to pay for your groceries with the use of a debit or credit card and it eliminates the need to carry a considerable amount of cash to the store. Like the gas station, many credit cards offer increased rewards when used at grocery stores.
Today it is even possible to use a debit or credit card at fast food restaurants. While that might be going too far for some people, it is a possibility. So why would you decide to go stop using cash?
One clear advantage to not using cash is convenience. Using cash requires you to complete the transaction in person, which may be inconvenient or impossible. When shopping on the Internet, cash is not an option. Likewise, cash should never be sent through the mail as a payment, as it can easily be stolen or lost. In addition, not using cash eliminates the need to visit the ATM and any associated fees.
While it might sound nice to not worry about using cash, there are also disadvantages to going without cash. Using a credit card for all of your transactions presents the potential problem of over-spending. It is quite easy to spend more than your budget allows when the cash is not actually leaving your accounts until the bill arrives. One of the keys to not using cash is to pay your bills in full, as otherwise you will be paying interest on those purchases.
Personally, I prefer to use cash for small purchases of a few dollars but tend to use my debit or credit card for anything more than $20 or thereabouts. In addition, purchases such as gasoline and groceries are made using a rewards credit card to take advantage of the cash back bonuses.
The day may come where cash is no longer an option. Until that time, you have the choice so educate yourself on the advantages and disadvantages of each option.