Cash, Checks , Or Plastic, Which Do You Use Now?

Discussion in 'Money & Finances' started by Yvonne Smith, Dec 2, 2022.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    When I was young and first married, my husband worked construction line work, so we moved constantly from job to job. There was no way to set up a bank account because we moved every month or two, everything we owned in the back of our Rambler American.
    We had to pay for everything with cash at that point, and back then, it was what most people did.

    In later years, after having a family of 3 kids, we settled down in Idaho, and had a checking account, and it was easy to write checks for everything back then, so I used a mixture of cash and checks for things like groceries and bills.
    Eventually, writing checks meant producing all kinds of ID, unless you were mailing them, but I mostly still used checks.

    When covid came along, with its shopping restrictions, I had to shop online for almost everything; so I had very little need for cash or checks, and mainly used my credit or debit card.
    Now that I am not driving anymore, I literally do everything online with my iPad. I haven’t written a check in several years, because I pay everything on line , and anything that I don’t , I use cash for.
     
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  2. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    A little of all 3.
     
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  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    I didn't have any credit cards before I met my wife. I just didn't make enough money to get one approved. After we bought the house we had, I wound up getting sent different credit cards without even applying for them. We very seldom pay cash for anything, except for my haircuts. Some bills are paid by check/mail, while the rest are paid online thru our banking account.

    At one time, I owed both state and federal taxes and found out that I couldn't have a banking account. I started one and either the state or federal cleaned the less than $200 out of it. I started it with an unemployment check. Just before buying that house, we paid off my state and federal tax I owed.

    There are those, either by choice or due to taxes owed, don't want or can't have a banking account.
     
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  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Same here, but it seems we don't write many checks anymore. We use the "bill pay" option at our bank so no need to write out checks for monthly bills.
     
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  5. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    We do that too but not often.
     
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  6. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    now...with all this central bank biz going on...we keep just enough in checking to pay bills..online stuff...rest cash...
    we had two checking...when i closed it...lots of questions about why
     
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  7. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    We have three checking accounts, but pay most bills with credit cards now and pay them off every month. Some of the is for the small farm business, but we also get travel points on the cards, which allow us to fly with little cost. The cards are paid from one of the three accounts depending on what it was that was purchased
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I use mostly my PayPal debit card, but I have been using more cash lately than I did a few years ago.
     
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  9. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Veteran Member
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    Plastic 95% of the time and pay it off each month. That way I get cash back each month
     
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  10. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    I have about $50 in my purse that has been there so long it's getting crinkly. I keep it just in case there is some out of the way place that doesn't accept credit cards. I haven't seen one of those in years. Even the Girl Scouts accept credit cards for cookies now.

    I wonder if the Salvation Army bell ringers do?
     
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  11. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Yep, the Salvation Army does here anyway. Sometimes they just have the kettle with a card reader hanging above it with no attendant. I have no idea how secure that would be. It is always good to have a little cash with you at all times, especially in your vehicle. We had a fiber optic line go down here once and all the ATMs, card readers and electronic payments went down for about a day. No one could buy anything unless they had cash. We didn't need to purchase anything, but friends got stranded without gas, so we learned....
     
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  12. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I always paid for my purchases with cash, and used checks to pay bills. Then online banking came along where I was able to use the Bill Pay feature, so at that time I wrote very few checks (mostly to pay property & real estate taxes to the govt, and for large purchases.) I rarely used my credit card...there was just no reason to. I never financed stuff.

    Always being behind the curve, I did not get any rewards-driven cards until I bought my new car close to 4 years ago and my bank offered up one that fit my buying habits and that I could convert to cash (I have no need for airline miles.) The I got a Verizon-branded one that gave even higher rewards, and that lets me apply them to my monthly cell bill. So now I put as much as I possibly can on my credit cards, taking advantage of auto-pay & paperless discounts.

    I still keep cash around in the house and in my vehicles, mostly for small businesses, sub shops, firewood and yard sales.

    @Yvonne Smith: "Rambler American" put a smile on my face. We had Rambler Americans, Rambler Ambassadors, Nash Ramblers, etc.
     
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  13. Elle Lewis

    Elle Lewis Member
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    I use my debit card for everything now (mostly because my bank Sagewell gives automatic discounts at a ton of stores I shop when I do). I hardly ever carry cash because I've gotten too lazy to go to an ATM and I literally can't remember the last time I owned a checkbook, let alone paid for anything by check.

    Look at me, saving trees! :)
     
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  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    And they'll still fall on your car, the ungrateful ashes.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I have been trying to use more cash lately, in part because I still do WheresGeorge.com, but also because I think that paper and coins are a better way to do a transaction than plastic, and it seems silly to use a card for a cup of coffee at MacDonald's. However, I frequently don't have any cash on me because both my Social Security and my employment payments are made direct, so I have to actively withdraw cash. I do get money back every now and then by using PayPal, but it's not enough to be a significant incentive.
     
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