Cash Is Still King-ish

In this new digital world we live in, you’d think that electronic payments would be be more prevalent, and that we’d get to a point where we could get rid of the penny, yet a new survey by the Boston Fed shows that most of us pay using our debit cards, and then by paying with cash. Credit cards take third place, followed by checks, and then finally, electronic payments. Via Quoctrung Bui’s great graphic from Planet Money, the percentages of the total share of payments:

• Debit: 31%
• Cash: 29%
• Credit: 18%
• Check: 11%
• Electronic: 9%
• Money Order: 1%
• Other: 1%

Are there people who prefer to pay for things in cash? Yes, my mother is one. She says she prefers to spend money she knows she has, and she’s more aware of what she’s spending every time a dollar leaves her purse.

Photo: CasparGirl


10 Comments / Post A Comment

beet hummus (#946)

I prefer my debit card so I can track purchases. If I take out cash it disappears very quickly or I still end up using my debit card, effectively multiplying my expenses.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

Personally i find that i’m more thrifty if I only have a debit card. I tend to think of cash in hand as already spent because it’s already been deducted from my account balance and therefore it’s something of a lost cause.

ATF (#4,229)

@EvanDeSimone Yup. This is how my brain operates.

E$ (#1,636)

I would love to switch to the cashless life, but it’s so much easier to pay with cash when going out. Credit-card minimums at bars always make me spend more, and splitting the check can get messy with cards in the mix. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

jennknee (#3,899)

I am finding I do indeed spend less when I pay with cash.

I don’t like using debit cards (security, etc.). I’m a fan of credit card rewards but I’m paying off the last of my debt and using cash is making me stay on target. I might even keep going after this.

sea ermine (#122)

I normally hate carrying cash but I will when I go out drinking so I have a limit on how much I spend. I’ll bring an emergency credit card but keep it buried inside a wallet inside a pocket somewhere in my coat or purse just in case but I’m not supposed to use it. The shame of knowing that I had to dig around for my last resort card is enough to keep me in check usually.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@sea ermine I usually only carry cash if i’m out for food or drinks because I like to tip in cash since I’ve been told it’s generally easier and more convenient for the servers.

sea ermine (#122)

@EvanDeSimone I’ve hear that too, so I usually carry like $20 of dollar bills in my purse for that, and also for vending machines.

I’ll be paying in cash or charge card from now on. Don’t think I’ll be using debit again since this Target thing turned into a hassle with my bank limiting withdrawals/daily spend and automatically sending out a replacement card to the wrong address since I moved recently.

Amex charge card makes sure I don’t overspend or start going down the credit rabbit hole.

kellyography (#250)

I pretty much only use cash when going out to dinner with friends so that it’s easier to split the bill. Using a card (usually credit, sometimes debit) is a lot quicker and easier when I’m out and about running errands, and I don’t have to worry about dropping bills. It also always makes me nervous to have cash out in the open, like it makes me a bigger target or something.

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