As I am sure you’ve read across the blogosphere, a lot of people who are working their way out of debt or have worked their way out of debt have chosen to not use credit cards at all. Some still use debit cards, others have gone to a cash-only plan (though I assume there are still checks written for bills – I can’t imagine mailing an envelope of cash to the cable company).
Is it possible, however, to do exactly the opposite and use a no-cash plan? A plastic only plan (meaning no checks)? I’m sure there are people out there doing it without realizing it. And it seems that every movie and book about the future seems to think that we will be a cashless society at some point.
When I first sat down to write this post, I thought that a no-cash, plastic only plan would be difficult, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s doable.
Personally, I could do it, but it wouldn’t be worth it. First off, while I can pay my rent electronically, there’s an additional charge. I also believe there is a fee associated with doing bill pay direct from the bank to my particular apartment complex. Until that fee is waived, I will be writing a rent check.
I don’t use much cash, though I don’t like to be without it. I try to always have $20 in my wallet, just in case. In case of what, I’m not sure. What do I spend my cash on? I’ll use it if I’m making a very small purchase where it seems ridiculous to pull out the credit card, but mostly it goes to the Farmer’s Market or for splitting bills when I go out for drinks with coworkers.
Without cash, I could still go out for drinks and split the bill, it would just be more complicated. I would likely end up with the cash from everyone else and then have to deposit it. The Farmer’s Market is a different story. While a few of the vendors do take credit cards, that’s mostly those selling higher priced things. The vendors I buy from, the ones selling fresh fruits and vegetables, don’t take anything but cash. Do I need to shop at the Farmer’s Market? No. But it’s something I like.
Eventually, I think we will go to a cashless society. I have no idea when that will be, but it seems likely. Of course, that just adds to the risk of people being able to overspend and rack up extreme credit card debt.
Do you think you could go cashless? Would you want to?
For benefits of using credit cards check out these great articles.
Abundant Life Spending Spree – $400
I bet you thought I was going to go for a Kindle after yesterday’s post. Nope, today’s random purchase, if I had $400 to spend would be a new iPod and an Aerogarden. Yes, I realize the Aerogarden isn’t all it’s made out to be, but hey, this is $400 that I’m supposed to be throwing around!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.