Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Almost cashless society?
Old 07-30-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Almost cashless society?

DW went shopping at the outlet mall and bought an inexpensive clothing item with cash, a bit less than $20. The cashier remarked that it was the first cash transaction of the day, this at 3:00 PM.

Does that strike anyone as unusual?

DW also noticed a lot of the stores are shuttered.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-30-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,183
I wonder how many debit/cc transactions had been processed? Some retail shops are only doing a few a day except on weekends.
__________________

__________________
crazy connie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
DW went shopping at the outlet mall and bought an inexpensive clothing item with cash, a bit less than $20. The cashier remarked that it was the first cash transaction of the day, this at 3:00 PM.

Does that strike anyone as unusual?
No. I hardly ever transact retail purchases in cash. Nor do many of my peers. In fact, I would bet 80% of my peers had less than $20 on them at the moment. Peers being well educated professionals in their 20's and early 30's. I don't know how many times I have heard "I don't care where we go as long as they take cards since I have no cash".

Credit cards are easy. Change is annoying. Credit cards are more accurate - less risk for incorrect change. Many times CC's are faster than counting out proper quantity of cash, then the cashier making change and counting it out to you. They also pay me 2-4% for buying stuff that I would have bought anyway. And at the end of the year, my purchases are virtually all recorded on 12 convenient monthly statements that can be sucked into excel if I want to do any analysis on my spending patterns.

It does feel a little weird sometimes paying for stuff that costs $2-4 dollars with a CC (fast food, rx at walmart, photos, etc).
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,034
I almost never use cash. I don't even carry cash in my wallet. And yep, I am an educated professional in my 30's.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 03:45 PM   #5
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,925
I have some cash on me. I charged stuff for the group and they paid me back in cash. Otherwise I charge everything.
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,971
I use cash for everything that isn't directly taken from my checking account. Almost everyone I know uses cash for almost everything. Those that use a credit card are the ones that are living above their means. I know that's not always the case but in my experience, it is.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,880
I tap the ATM about once a quarter for $40 or so. 99.9% of what we spend $ on is with a CC.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:11 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Anything over $5 I charge. I get a couple of hundred of cash from the ATM and it normally lasts weeks.
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:18 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
I almost never use cash. I don't even carry cash in my wallet. And yep, I am an educated professional in my 30's.
Although a person has be educated in general or in a particular field they may not know the true cost of cc transactions.

The True Cost of Credit - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com
The True Cost of Credit | What does your card cost?

We all are paying a cost for the use of cc.

If merchants were allowed to charge less for paying cash we would be better off (some/most states prohibit this.)
The True Cost of Credit | Your Credit Card Costs (400927)
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
No. I hardly ever transact retail purchases in cash. Nor do many of my peers. In fact, I would bet 80% of my peers had less than $20 on them at the moment. Peers being well educated professionals in their 20's and early 30's. I don't know how many times I have heard "I don't care where we go as long as they take cards since I have no cash".
I'm in the same age bracket and I find this annoying. I too charge most of my purchases, but I always keep at least $100 in cash on me.

I hate going out with people who can't even buy a beer unless they can charge it.
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:21 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Those that use a credit card are the ones that are living above their means. I know that's not always the case but in my experience, it is.
Could be a difference in the demographics of your peers? I know of some of my in laws that don't don't have high income jobs and pay cash for everything because they kept getting into credit card debt. Paying with plastic is obviously something that should not be done if one can't control spending and can't internalize the fact that they will eventually have to pay off the charges (preferably monthly to avoid interest).

I do worry just a little about the perception of charging stuff for a few bucks. Maybe people will think I'm destitute and can't afford what I'm buying so I pay with plastic? But then I get over that apprehension and swipe the card.

Maybe the recent economic crisis and frugality coming into style have changed things since I see a lot less plastic usage at the checkouts now.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:21 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hardscrabble Texas
Posts: 372
The title to your post got my attention. I had an E-mail from my son hardly an hour ago......something about a transaction between VG and his bank. In it he said "Money is just numbers in computers now."
__________________
.....#.....
Poundkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
I'm in the same age bracket and I find this annoying. I too charge most of my purchases, but I always keep at least $100 in cash on me.

I hate going out with people who can't even buy a beer unless they can charge it.
I find it annoying, too. I also try to carry a minimum of $100 and feel broke without at least $40 in my pocket "just in case". You never know when the credit card reader will be broken after a restaurant meal or something.

The friends' usual defense is, "well if I kept money in my wallet I would just spend it". Doh! Instead they spend my money. Friends...
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
Although a person has be educated in general or in a particular field they may not know the true cost of cc transactions.

We all are paying a cost for the use of cc.
But I get a subsidy out of everyone else not using CC's.

And besides, cash isn't free for businesses either. There is risk of loss (robbery, theft, embezzlement, etc). Cash fees for deposits at banks. Armored car fees for larger retailers. Labor to count cash, reconcile drawers at shift end, and stock cash drawers the next day.

Overall, I would guess cash vs. credit probably has similar costs. And retailers like credit because the average purchase is a little bit higher which usually offsets the added fees. See McDonalds, for example, for a case study on why they started allowing CC's for purchases.

Some mom and pop places locally don't allow CC transactions for less than a certain amount. Around here it is usually ethnic Mexican or Asian groceries, or chinese or mexican restaurants or sub shops or pizzerias. I usually respect the limits in the rare event that I don't exceed their minimum purchase requirement. I know most small businesses pay a flat charge per transaction plus a percentage, so buying a $1 or $2 item may end up losing them money.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
hankster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 645
We use debit cards for most purchases over $200, but part of our spending control strategy involves envelopes of cash for several different categories. When I head off to the grocery store with a list of items to buy, cash helps keep me from impulsing on extras. It also helps to make sure I'm not hungry when I go to the store
__________________
"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means." Calvin Coolidge
hankster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
But I get a subsidy out of everyone else not using CC's.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
If you want to ER use cash more.

Why We Spend More Using Credit Versus Cash : NPR

http://www.daveramsey.com/the_truth_..._3478.html.cfm

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...th_credit.html
Statistically they found that on average you will spend 12-18% more when making a purchase with a credit card as opposed to cash. They also discovered that the average McDonalds transaction increased from $4.50 to $7.00. When they looked at vending machines, the average transaction size nearly doubled.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #17
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
I'm skeptical of at least some of the anti-CC agenda behind these articles that talk about how people spend so much more on credit cards. My belief is that some of them (especially from Ramsey) are intentionally misleading.

How many times have many people paid the entire tab for the group having lunch, with the others paying you their share in cash? If I'm one of five at a lunch table who each owe $10, I skew the stats by charging $50 and getting $40 back in cash, though in reality I still spent $10. The study sees one $50 CC transaction instead of one $10 CC transactions and four $10 cash transactions. Think that can skew the numbers just slightly?

How many of these McDonalds transactions were two guys each spending $5, with one guy paying the entire $10 on the CC and his buddy giving him a fiver in cash?

This can show up as one large transaction as opposed to several smaller cash transactions. To the extent that these articles don't even account for very common situations like these which would understandably drive up the average CC transaction, they are very flawed.

Add to that the bias many people have against using CCs for small transactions and the argument is even weaker. I tend not to use mine at all under $10 as a courtesy to the merchant. There may be something to it, but failure to acknowledge these common realities makes me discard the entire study as useless (if not outright intentionally misleading).
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
We use credit card (just 1) for virtually everything.
We get 2% deposited into our brokerage account and get a much better system of tracking than I can do on my own.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I'm skeptical of at least some of the anti-CC agenda behind these articles that talk about how people spend so much more on credit cards. My belief is that some of them (especially from Ramsey) are intentionally misleading.

How many times have many people paid the entire tab for the group having lunch, with the others paying you their share in cash? If I'm one of five at a lunch table who each owe $10, I skew the stats by charging $50 and getting $40 back in cash, though in reality I still spent $10. The study sees one $50 CC transaction instead of one $10 CC transactions and four $10 cash transactions. Think that can skew the numbers just slightly?

How many of these McDonalds transactions were two guys each spending $5, with one guy paying the entire $10 on the CC and his buddy giving him a fiver in cash?

This can show up as one large transaction as opposed to several smaller cash transactions. To the extent that these articles don't even account for very common situations like these which would understandably drive up the average CC transaction, they are very flawed.

Add to that the bias many people have against using CCs for small transactions and the argument is even weaker. I tend not to use mine at all under $10 as a courtesy to the merchant. There may be something to it, but failure to acknowledge these common realities makes me discard the entire study as useless (if not outright intentionally misleading).
If you back up your suspicions with some studies that would be helpful.

As to the spending increase; neither of the examples you give would be included in the analysis. Even if they were; considering the number of cc transactions, it is very doubtful if they would skew the numbers in a way to cast doubt on the general assertion - people spend more with cc.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 05:49 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 170
I used to use my debit card for everything but use only cash now because its easier to put limits on the spending. I am in my 20's and most people my age used a credit card or debit card for purchases in the past. I do see a lot more cash now than I used to.
__________________

__________________
Caoineag is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
People in Todays Society take things for granted Trek Other topics 0 03-24-2009 03:55 PM
A calculator from the Society of Actuaries nfs FIRE and Money 8 08-31-2004 08:54 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:56 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.