Monday, February 6, 2023

The "difficulties" of cash

As many of you know, we adopted an all-cash lifestyle about ten years ago. It's helped us stay within our budget and not overspend. We've never regretted the decision, and frankly don't give it much thought anymore. It's just second nature.

But many consider an all-cash lifestyle to be backwards and primitive, akin to navigating a city with a paper map (which, since we don't have smart phones, we still do). "Gosh, you use cash? Why? Isn't that inconvenient when compared to a credit card?"

That's why I chuckled when I came across an article entitled "Is it Possible to Live Without Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and Cash Apps?"

Possible, this article asks? Oh please.

The article starts out listing the benefits of using cash, up to and including times when the regional power grid is knocked out (such as the aftermath of hurricanes or other natural disasters). But then it delves into the difficulties of paying for housing (rent or mortgage), utilities, transportation, hotels, and airline tickets with cash. "The world has become increasingly organized around cards, chips, and payment apps," the article states. "Can you actually live cash-only in today’s world?"

To an extent, this article is correct. When I say we live an "all-cash" lifestyle, that isn't entirely accurate. We pay certain bills through the mail with checks (local utilities are paid in cash). We seldom fly or stay in hotels, but on the rare occasions we do, we use our credit card.

But for everyday transactions, it's cash all the way. Cash is anonymous. It doesn't leave little cyber-trails everywhere we go, like a credit or debit card or a "cash app" (whatever that is).

Why is cash considered controversial? It's not that hard. Yet over and over again, an all-cash lifestyle is looked upon as shocking and difficult. Most money-management articles downright discourage it.

In fact, the "discouragement" part is interesting. It's almost like a digital lifestyle is not just actively encouraged, but many times transactions using cash are made difficult or impossible. Why?

The answer, I believe, is we're being groomed to adopt a digital currency at some point. Cyber-money, we are told, is the currency of the future, a solution to problems we never knew we had. Digital currency is being touted as far more efficient, easy, environmentally beneficial, and even more sanitary than fiat currency. What's not to love? (/sarc/)

Of course, digital currency would be vulnerable to hacking, technological glitches, and power outages. Any hiccup in the system would mean your funds are not available "at this time." But hey, what's a little inconvenience when compared to all the benefits?

As for that primitive all-cash lifestyle, the article concludes: "Final verdict: You sure can live a cash-only life. But it comes with some serious downsides you’ll have to take into consideration."

Yeah, no. After ten years of a (mostly) all-cash lifestyle, I can testify the benefits far outweigh any potential detriments.

So until digital currency becomes mandatory, it's all cash for us.


  1. Oh Patrice, I just ran into a funny situation with paying cash at Home Depot. I killed a palm sander, and am working on a bookshelf project (from free 2x8 lumber pieces)...they just need a touch up before staining. So off I go to find a replacement, gulp $89 plus taxes for a Milwaukee. Also picked up a light fixture. Up to the counter I go to pay for it, with two $100 bills. The cashier sees I have cash and asks "No credit or debit?" with hope in her voice. She had to ask her supervisor to come and do the transaction. How to punch in the amount of cash and how to count back the change. I smiled at the supervisor, she smiled back and nothing was said.

    1. That is funny. And these geniuses are being paid big bucks for their stupidity.

    2. Several times I've tried to pay cash at Walmart and found out the machine was closed for cash...after ringing everything in. A lot of times only one or two checkout stations accept cash now. It's what's called a " soft nudge" by the planners and there are all sorts of scenarios, not just cash.
      Our protein sources are being maneuvered over to plant based. Have you ever stopped to think about how much starch you have to eat at once to get adequate complete protein to maintain health and strength?
      You lose muscle mass and strength if you don't get enough. Protein is the #1 nutrient seniors don't get enough of. And bugs carry disease. From mosquitoes to ticks to sweet little earthworms who are carriers of tapeworms, and more. Not to mention toxins and poisons. No bug protein for me thank you.
      Back at the beginning of covid, stores frequently didn't have change for cash purchases, including $1 bills. Conditioning.

    3. And, during the pandemic, did you not see the number of signs at cash stands claiming a shortage of coins and small bills? Conditioning. We’re now finding a number of self-service checkout machines proclaiming themselves card-only (lookin’ at you, Publix and Aldi). We’re giving up the self-checkout convenience to stand in line, even with just a couple of items, to maintain our cash-only lifestyle. Gotta take a stand somewhere.

  2. These are the same cashiers who are confused when I give them $5.02 in cash when the amount owed is $5.52. Poor things.
    Until the 2020, I had never used a debit card, just cash or check. Since I use the debit card, I ever write checks. However, I do carry a $100 bill. It may be too large to be useful, but I am never without cash.

  3. Digital currencies are being pushed under the guise of being convenient, but it will allow others to control your money. If you don't do what you're supposed to do (whatever that may be), you will not have access to your money. There will also be digital passports and IDs that reflect the same. There are efforts to reduce the number of smaller businesses so people have fewer alternatives. We are being herded.

  4. Cash user here. I have a cc and use when mail or online order or car rental but that's rare. Still get paid a paper check at work and go to the bank to cash it. I guess that's a thing of the past also. Everyone uses direct deposit...? Yea, no thanks!

  5. This past summer, I was in Cleveland for a conference (insert joke, and the Hilton was totally cashless. If you wanted to tip or pay for stuff in the little store you had to convert your cash to a "cash card"..... I was told by one one of the employees that taking cash was a fire-able offense. NOPE...not me.

  6. Your points will be moot soon. By the end of this year, the government will be forcing all of us to go digital. Cash will have no value. Good luck!

    1. Actually, good luck "forcing" us to do any such thing. Don't be weak, it makes the predators notice you.

  7. Our big city airport stopped accepting cash for their parking fees, and on their website they make it sound like having a card is absolutely required. However, buried in the FAQ they say you can go to a cash-to-card machine in the terminal and put cash on a card. I ended up not needing to do that, so I can't say how that works.

    They never do get around to mentioning that when you enter the parking area, instead of using a card to make the gate go up, you can press a button and get a printed ticket.

    The other option is to pay double for valet parking, which still accepts cash.

  8. We keep Gold and Silver, along with collectable coins.. and up for barters !

  9. Yes, there IS a push towards all digital.
    I laugh when I see a business say they don't accept cash for speed, especially when their credit system has multiple buttons and screens to jump through!
    Most times I tell them that if my money isn't good, I'll take my business elsewhere.
    I don't see how businesses see it reasonable to take cards for small charges - the card fees take a big chunk!
    I accept cards at my business; last year they were 1/4 of my income - but I prefer cash for many reasons!
    If they ban cash, something else will take its place, the same way it always has. Prisons are a prime example, where there is no cash but SOMETHING is a currency - it used to be cigarettes, but now it is often whatever is available at the prisoner store; I've read that in many prisons tuna pouches are popular.

  10. We're getting cash back from small businesses when using cash.