Do you know what really burns my butt? It’s standing in line at a store or gas station attempting to pay for the goods I’ve purchased only to have someone in front of the line playing around with a machine to purchase their $0.79 coca-cola with a credit or debit card (or now days a phone). When in a hurry, I generally will walk to the head of the line, throw a buck on the counter, and tell the person to take their coke and move on so the rest of us can check out.
Why are people not carrying cash? I’ve tried to instill in my kids to always keep $20 to $25 on them at all times for “emergency” or “wants,” but it has done no good. Of the four, I know of at least 3 that had rather pull out that plastic or phone to pay for a coke or some other snack.
That is not to say that plastic is all bad. I use it too … at the pump at the gas station so that I don’t have to go stand in line and wait for some person to try to remember their pin number just to put it in three or four times wrong. Plus, it seems the credit/debit card machines in the gas station and stores are always slower than the card readers on the gas pumps for some reason.
You see, another thing that get’s under my skin is the people at the gas pump that feel they have to leave their car there while they go in to pick up those snacks for the drive ahead. Then, they use plastic once inside. C’mon folks … that’s why most gas stations come equipped with parking places … move the darn car – and by all means if you are going to use plastic … at least use it at the pump as well, so the next person can get their gas and get on down the road.
I’ve done some research and according to a New York Posts Article only one in four Americans rarely carries cash at all anymore — and millennials are driving the trend, according to new research. https://nypost.com/2018/03/22/americans-barely-carry-around-cash-anymore/.
This means to me that 75% of the people out there have no cash on them. Mark Mattern, Managing Vice President, US Card, at Capital One says, “The results indicate a shift in mentality when it comes to everyday spending. We know from conversations with our customers that they are hoping for a continued frictionless experience with their payment options. At the heart of what we’re doing, it’s really about empowering people to feel confident about their relationship with their money. We constantly work with our customers in mind to create payment solutions that fit their busy lives.”
Busy Lives? I can tell you from experience at Office Depot that it takes twice as long to pay for something via plastic than it does via cash … IF … the cash register is working properly and tells the cashier how much change to give back to the purchaser. Yes, that’s right! We are to the point now in our society that if the cash register does not calculate the change and the purchased items did not have bar codes to scan … we would really be operating at a snails pace.
I went to Sonic the other day to purchase two Strawberry Creme Slushes for my wife and I (if you have not had one, I highly recommend them). The bill came to $4.65 (yea it was after 8:00 PM so we get them for half-price). I gave the car-hop a $10 bill and she looked at me in dismay. I said, “No, the tip is not $5.35. Keep $1.35 and give my back $4.00.” She really got confused then (and these folks want a $10.00 per hour minimum wage – but that is for another article).
I guess the stores really prefer you to use plastic since they hire people that can’t do simple math … but plastic does not save money. It costs the stores 2% to 3% more per purchase (which is likely passed on to the consumer), and it makes it very easy for the consumer to over-spend when there is no need to.
In a report by CNBC of the people who do carry cash … 76% will keep $50 or less on them. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/01/heres-how-many-americans-say-they-dont-carry-cash.html.
According to this article: One reason for the shift away from paper, financial advice website NerdWallet experts speculate, is the growing use of person-to-person payment apps, like Venmo, that allow users to digitally swap funds.
Another reason: e-commerce in general. “Rather than going to the grocery store and paying with cash, for example,” NerdWallet says, “people now order groceries online and pay electronically. These trends, combined with the now-widespread use of debit [and credit] cards, have made carrying cash a rarity for many.”
My son and I recently had a motorcycle trip we went on. He, not a millennial but rather a member of the X-Generation wanted to do this “digitally swapping of funds” with me to pay his share. As much as I love him I told him to go to an ATM and get me CASH!
The article referenced above goes on to state … There are also good arguments for carrying cash. For starters, since it’s “more painful” to watch your money disappear, you could find that using cash leads you to spend less. Especially since, with surcharges and fees, like the extra dollar or so a movie theater charges you to buy tickets in advance with a card, you often have to pay extra when you use plastic.
Unfortunately, I believe we are all paying extra because some choose to use plastic. Credit card and Debit Cards are not free of charge to the merchant … and most smart merchants build that charge into their overall price.
Folks, Cash is good and convenient. I know you hear on the news about how the US Dollar is being devalued (and it is when considering inflation) … but I still think it is the most valuable currency in the world. As a matter of fact it is the only currency in the world that can be spent in any country. Can you spend the Mexican Peso or the British Pound in America … No! But, you can certainly spend the American Greenback – even though it is only a promissory note – in either of those countries and in more.
Some people, perhaps, even feel that if they carry cash they are targets for muggers. However, I can assure you a typical mugger (who after all is not that smart) has no idea if you are carrying cash or credit cards unless you are foolish enough to “show it off.”
Please, if you are going to be spending less than $25 at a time … take some cash with you. You won’t be mugged any easier … and you may actually spend less from time to time.
That’s my rant for today 09/20/2018,