When it comes to my personal expenses I’ve decided to use cash more and debit cards less and here are five reasons why. As I get settle into my 40’s , I want to start making better financial decisions if I’m set on retiring by 65. This post is inspired by Genworth Financial. These are my honest opinions and experiences. Consult your financial consultant or banker for expertise.
5 Reasons to Use Cash More
and Debit Cards Less
1. I hate balancing my checkbook. I procrastinate doing it because there are receipts to match up with my purchases. If I use cash, once the money is spent there’s no need to track it. I will keep receipts handy from larger purchases in case I need to return something.
2. I need to start touching real money. Weeks go by and I haven’t had any cash in my hands. I think that creates a weird disconnect between money and value. I can better appreciate the value of the $60 bookshelf I just bought when I have the cash in hand vs. swiping a debit card. There are also some valuable lessons for our children to learn when they see us actually exchange cash money for goods and services.
3. I can stop using my husband as an ATM. I’m sure he’s happy to read that bit. But since he’s a little better about having cash handy I will ask him for $5 if I need it to keep in my wallet.
4. I can leave better tips. Every once in awhile I have to valet my car at an Atlanta event and I don’t have cash for a tip. I feel so bad about that I even went back to one restaurant a week later to leave a tip for the valet. Did you know that when you add a tip on your credit or debit card, it takes about two weeks for the serving staff to get that money back?
5. I need to stop overspending. I’ve read a lot about the envelope method of paying for expenses like groceries, fuel and dining out. I’d like to give it a try. When I have my debit card I find myself going a little crazy on spending – unless I use my bank account app to see how much is in my account.
The Genworth Financial Easy Budget Calculator is a handy tool to keep your family’s budget on track.
I’m even working to convince my husband to switch to the envelope method of handling our family’s finances that’s spread like wildfire thanks to financial expert and author Dave Ramsey.
When will I use debit cards?
- To pay bills online
- My Target Red Card helps me save 5% on purchases and get free shipping online.
- Travel expenses like hotels and airfare.
- I’ve also shared the benefits of paying your sitter or nanny with a pre-paid card for expenses and fuel.
Comment below: Have you ever tried to use cash more vs. debit cards t? Is it hard for you to keep up and balance your checkbook too?
I honestly found that when I use my debit card instead of cash, I am actually MORE careful about how I spend my money because I can actually SEE where my money is going. When I have cash I have no clue because I don’t have a record of the expense. When I use my debit card, the transaction is right there in my face (plus it goes right to my wave account). It just works better for me.
I go the entirely opposite way. I get an email each morning with my latest balance update, and I do a 5-minute review of my online banking each day, so I haven’t balanced a checkbook the old-school way in years. That said, I haven’t had a checkbook in years!
I don’t use cash that often, but I like to keep some in my purse just for little things or when I end up at a place that only takes cash (like some parking lots). I keep a very detailed recording of all our spending, and to avoid bouncing checks, not only do I balance all accounts daily, I also keep a few hundred dollars ‘hidden’ in the checking account ‘just-in-case’.
I find I spend less when I use cash! So using cash is a great way to cut back on those extras that I don’t really need and can’t really afford.
I don’t use cash at all I sometimes become to dependent especially when I don’t have a dollar during happy hour at sonics. I use my debit card and keep up with my balance online. Once bills are paid we don’t have much left over to keep up with so I never have to keep an actual account or checkbook I just know whats left for the next two weeks. I think if you take out enough cash and stick with that for the week you can kind of put yourself on an allowance.
I don’t use debit, but I do use WAY too much credit!!! These are great tips and I need to do them, too!
I find that if I have my “spending” money in cash, especially in larger bills, I don’t spend it as quickly. It’s easy for me to run to SBUX and grab a coffee with my card, but when I have to break a $10 and only get back $4 and change, that makes me sad. Lol. Good luck Joyce!
I don’t use cash much either, but living in the Bronx, NY means it is easier if I do. I use debit cards and balance ad hoc. I keep a running balance in my head.
Great article! I try to save credit cards for emergencies only, but they definitely come in handy from time to time.
Great reasons. I hardly every spend Monday and when i do get cash it doesn’t last long
I prefer cash to my debit card. When I take out a certain amount of cash to spend I can see the pile dwindle and so my expenses are easy to track. With my debit card the money comes from my account and does not seem real, because the money leaving the account is not as easily identifiable as a pile of dollars leaving my wallet.
This was a great article and great tips. I did the cash envelope a while back and it really helped and gave better discipline (for all the reasons Janeane mentioned above). I think I might have to get back to this because I also hate NEVER having cash to leave tips for parking or for a car wash.
I notice that I am terrible with cash. I tried the Dave Ramsey wallet system and it didn’t work well for me. I probably didn’t try hard enough though. 🙂 In our family, our weakest area is going out to eat. So as long as I cook every day and meal plan, that helps us out the most. Food is expensive!
Before the days of debit cards (and credit cards), all we had was cash and a check. I try as much as possible to use cash, especially when out with my daughter (she’s 12), so that she can see real money being exchanged.
It’s very easy to overspend with a debit card. We take out X amount of cash for grocery shopping and that’s all we’re allowed to spend. My daughter sees first-hand that if you don’t have the cash, you don’t make the purchase.
I went to Dave Ramsey’s classes. I could not apply the budget to our life. We are both small business owners of random services (fitness and business). We can only count our money when we get it, so its gone when we sit down to budget. We did find out that our budget is as tight as our money, lol. Not a lot of fun money, left over. We use debit cards religiously. to be able to keep track and cut spending for the next opportunity. Cash goes so fast that we can’t keep track. I tried the envelope method but they where always empty. The cash went from the client to the gas or food cashier. I gave up credit cards with my last corporate job. This is a great thought provoking article. Thank you, Joyce.
I think that is so nice that you went back and gave a tip once you had some cash on you. I do think cash is better for somethings than others. Great listing, thanks for sharing!