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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:27 PM
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Default Really, Really Cashless

It all began with a TV spot that's been running in this market for a bank that's offering free coin-counting for its customers. "How quaint," I thought. I mean sure, I've got a piggybank on my dresser where I've deposited loose change for years and years. Used to be I'd cash in the loot once or twice a year. I don't think I've done it in the last three years, and the bank's no more than a quarter full right now.

It got me thinking about how we just don't do cash any more. It's become a true buggy-whip. I said to Terry that I guessed we hadn't been to the ATM more than a dozen times in all of 2012.

Well, I'm doing the year-end bookkeeping, so it's easy to look in the computer and see. And it turns out I hit it right on the nose. . .12 withdrawals from the ATM for a total of about $2,100. . .maybe $175 a month. And that's for both of us. . .and a lot of it was withdrawn before our travels, because like most people we like to have a few extra bucks in our pockets when we go on the road--cruises and otherwise.

So that made me curious and I decided to check the frequency of other kinds of transactions for the year just passed. It only took a few minutes, and it makes for an interesting list.. .

ATM Cash withdrawals: 12
Paper deposits (ATM machine): 8
Visits to bank (other than ATM): 0
Paper checks written: 91 (mostly cleaning service and charity)
Credit card and Electronic Funds Transactions (EFT): 950

Amazing. I'd been on a years-long campaign to be as paperless and as electronic as possible, but I hadn't realized the degree of success until I did this little analysis.

Up until a couple years ago I was somewhat hesitant to use a credit card for small transactions, but when I saw people using them for a cup of coffee, I figured it was no longer looked down upon by merchants. Cash is disappearing from our lives.

Anybody else going seriously cashless?
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Old January 4th, 2013, 04:48 AM
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AR:

I am almost the same. I withdrew about twice the amount of cash as you did but almost $1,400 of that was in Europe and Asia.

My wife and I wrote only 14 checks in 2012 but had 23 paper deposits.

I didn't bother to look up the number of ETF's but my guess would be that it was close or a tad less than yours.

I agree about using credit cards. I still feel "weird" about buying groceries with a credit card. Back in the latter part of the twentieth century I always taught my kids to never pay for "essentials" with a credit card. It was one of the ways of getting into credit card debt. I now buy just about anything with the credit card; including a $2 Caribou Coffee. The "reward points" have paid for a few flights and probably a couple of cruises so it is worth it. I like to use the Amex card so I never get complacent and I must pay it off each month.

I was in the Information Systems side of banking for a number of years and as long ago as the late seventies banks were nudging the monetary system for a "cashless" society. To a bank it costs money to handle money and moving electronic numbers is far less expensive.

My prediction is that cash will become obsolete before the end of this century.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 4th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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*Cashless* thats me...also known as *broke*.

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Old January 4th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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My son, the bartender, still operates on a primarily cash basis. He may be the only cashie I know.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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*cashless* thats me...also known as *broke*.

donna
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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I am like Mike. I use a no annual fee credit card that gives cash back or stuff. The airfare for my last cruise was paid with this.

I have Google Wallet on my phone and will probably activate and use it sometime in the future, but I have not as yet.

I believe in the near future most credit transactions and loyalty card transactions will be on the phone.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rollerdonna View Post
*Cashless* thats me...also known as *broke*.

donna
Good one Donna!

I use the Amex Platinum card. It does have a high annual fee but with the benefits that are associated with it, including great rewards points, cruise OBC, airline lounge access, $200 annual airline credit and other benefits. These things outweigh the cost of the card.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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It is true, ever since the debt/credit card, only write a few checks a month and rarely have more than $20 cash in my wallet, just no need for it these days.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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AR:

I agree about using credit cards. I still feel "weird" about buying groceries with a credit card. Back in the latter part of the twentieth century I always taught my kids to never pay for "essentials" with a credit card. It was one of the ways of getting into credit card debt. I now buy just about anything with the credit card; including a $2 Caribou Coffee. The "reward points" have paid for a few flights and probably a couple of cruises so it is worth it. I like to use the Amex card so I never get complacent and I must pay it off each month.
Looks like we're birds of a feather here. I should have mentioned in the OP that there is a huge trap in using credit cards for everything if you can't or don't pay them off every month. I don't think we've paid a penny in credit card interest in 30 years, so that was not an issue for us as we went more and more cashless.

We use primarily AMEX too but we landed on their Hilton card, which gives us all the free rooms we can eat plus amazing additional perks at their hotels. As you know, air travel is generally "not an issue" for us.

Good to see that so many others here are going the same route.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Not me I worked on tip for years and I always use cash except for gas or grocery shopping and unless I'm making a large purchase then I use my credit card for the points.

I don't use a ATM or debit card and pay my bills online. It makes me crazy when people cant buy a coffee or small purchase without a debit or credit card.

The trick like AR said is to pay off your card every month and we do.
I'm old school cash is king.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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I very rarely pay with anything other than cash .
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Old January 4th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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There are many instances in life,where paying by cash, does not give you the protection that a CC will give you. Knowing when to use the card, can be the smartest decision you can make.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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I think I will add to Trip's post, also important when to use a debt card and not to. Any major purchases or cruise, use a regular credit card and get the extra protection that come with using it.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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I think I will add to Trip's post, also important when to use a debt card and not to. Any major purchases or cruise, use a regular credit card and get the extra protection that come with using it.
In case anybody's not familiar with what Donna and Trip are talking about, with a credit card you have protection against the vendor's failure to perform. With a debit card, not so much (because as a practical matter, you've paid cash). Just a couple months ago very good friends of ours were signed up for one of those trips to Europe that are commonly put on by college alumni groups and packaged through travel agents. Our friends paid with a credit card; some others who signed up paid with debit cards. The agent went out of business before the trip. Our friends were credited back no problem; the debit card people are still waiting.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Aerogirl View Post
Not me I worked on tip for years and I always use cash except for gas or grocery shopping and unless I'm making a large purchase then I use my credit card for the points.

I don't use a ATM or debit card and pay my bills online. It makes me crazy when people cant buy a coffee or small purchase without a debit or credit card.

The trick like AR said is to pay off your card every month and we do.
I'm old school cash is king.
The reason that people use debit or cc for even small purchase is because you have a record of everything you purchase. This makes it really easy to do budgeting, or in helping to cut down expenditures to save, say for a cruise.

In addition, as others have posted, you have purchase and fraud protection.

I don't mind someone using cash when I am waiting in line but check writers DO take a long time.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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I learned to pay on line several years ago, when a former co-worker saw me paying the bills. I can't believe I spent all that time over the years doing something that works much better on line.

WE also use a credit card, as cash. One has points for hotels, and the other has cash back, so both come in handy. With the cash back, I was able to get some of our Christmas presents with points alone.

I also agree with others that it's a great way to keep up with expensives.

We go to the bank about once a month, and until recently, I almost never wrote checks.

I pay off my credit cards once a week, on the same day, so that I have a habit of doing so.

Going back to AR's post, I have started turning in our change about once a month, and it also gives us some extra cash, which we do carry, because sometimes it is preferred.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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I pay off my credit cards once a week, on the same day, so that I have a habit of doing so.
Just curious, because I've never heard of anybody else doing this. Do you do it because you don't trust yourself to manage your cash flow such that you'll have the cash readily available to pay monthly?

If so here's a hint. . .assuming you use software that allows you to post-date electronic transactions, when the credit card bill comes, set it up for payment in full two or three days before the due date. Then use the balance shown at the end of your register--including the items that are post-dated, as your cash flow projection.

This way you're making fewer transactions (meaning you're doing less work), and you're taking full advantage of the interest-free grace period that the card gives you.

If you pay weekly for some other reason, I'd be curious to know what it is.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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AR, I pay once a week, because we have so little money, this allows me to see what we have left for the month, and to know when to say wooo

At first I couldn't do this because one of my credit cards only allowed 3 a month, but they have since changed.

Right now we are able to buy what we want within reason, but I have not seen the paycheck since the taxes went higher. I might have to change things again, depending on how much is lost.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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AR, I pay once a week, because we have so little money, this allows me to see what we have left for the month, and to know when to say wooo
OK, well that's the reason I suspected. Setting up your transactions on a post-dated basis would help you get a handle on that and would be less of a bother.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Marsdude View Post
The reason that people use debit or cc for even small purchase is because you have a record of everything you purchase. This makes it really easy to do budgeting, or in helping to cut down expenditures to save, say for a cruise.

In addition, as others have posted, you have purchase and fraud protection.

I don't mind someone using cash when I am waiting in line but check writers DO take a long time.
I agree about having the protection when using a credit card and do so when it benefits me as well as enjoying the benefits of point earned. My thing is more of the debit card holders who can't make a $2.00 purchase in cash. Also being married to a cop who worked with debit card fraud I have heard the stories, yes you my be protected it's still a real pain to take care of. What happens when there's a electronic glitch and systems are down and have no cash. I think at some point we will all be forced to use a debit card, something I'm not looking forward to, up until then I will not have a debit card.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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I agree about having the protection when using a credit card and do so when it benefits me as well as enjoying the benefits of point earned. My thing is more of the debit card holders who can't make a $2.00 purchase in cash. Also being married to a cop who worked with debit card fraud I have heard the stories, yes you my be protected it's still a real pain to take care of. What happens when there's a electronic glitch and systems are down and have no cash. I think at some point we will all be forced to use a debit card, something I'm not looking forward to, up until then I will not have a debit card.
Well I have to admit I often use my debit card for small purchases. Honestly, that is because I usually do not have any cash on me. There are only a few things I would use cash for and for those I will hit an ATM before hand.

I actually have become somewhat cashless because of running the business. Cash is WAY harder to track than electronic transactions. I pay all my bills online now, buy most of my stuff on-line, etc.

I have been hit by fraud twice now. Once was two bogus checks that someone cashed in Nebraska for a total of $9,000 and the other was bogus credit card charges on my wife's business card. The bogus credit card charges were WAY easier to deal with.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Hmmm. The only reason I consider using cash is for gas. Might sound backwards, but there's a couple of gas stations in the area where the cash price is substantially lower than any other stations in the area. I won't go out of my way to tank up there, since $0.10 cheaper on a 13 gallon tank isn't worth a special trip. But if I know I will be going that way, I will hit up an ATM and get cash to tank up. Any ATM, since USAA will reimburse me up to $15 a month in ATM fees, and they don't charge them. Even the vending machine at work now has a card swiper for those days I forget to bring in something to drink at work. Only other thing I need cash for? Laundry. My apartment doesn't have washer/dryer connections, so I do have to goto the community laundry room.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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I all honestly it's whatever works for people.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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I all honestly it's whatever works for people.

I agree completely.
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