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Top 3 Reasons to Use Cash Instead of Bank Cards or Credit Cards

Updated on January 22, 2011

Using cash has become a thing of the past for most people these days.  People tend to go with what's most convenient, and it's certainly handy to have bank cards/debit cards and credit cards so that you don't have to worry about carrying and handling cash.  In fact, many people today don't carry a single cent in cash with them, but instead depend on bank cards and credit cards.  While there's nothing wrong with that, using conveniences like this does have its price.  Here are three reasons that might make you consider switching from bank and credit cards to cash.

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With cash, you're more aware of what you're spending

When you're carrying cash, you suddenly become more aware of what you're spending because it's concrete, unlike bank cards and credit cards where the money isn't tangible and you can't actually see it.  It seems almost as if people have tricked their brains into believing that because they can't see the cash, but they know it's in the bank or they have a certain balance on their credit card, they can spend whatever they want because it's there.  Unless you know the exact amount of money in your bank account, the exact amount you can spend, and how much money you'll have left after your purchases, it becomes difficult to keep track of the money in your bank, which can easily lead to overspending.

When you're carrying cash, and you only have so much, you can only spend that much.  If you go into a store intending to spend no more than $20 but you see a few other things you want that would bring your total over $20, with a bank card, it would be tempting to overspend because you know there's more money in the bank.  Carrying cash not only makes you think about what you're spending and where, it can teach you to be more conscious of what you're buying and eliminate impulse buying.  This is especially beneficial if you're on a tight budget and looking to cut costs.

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Avoid bank fees by using cash

There are a myriad of fees associated with bank cards.  Depending on your bank, you can be charged fees for withdrawals, transfers, or any other number of transactions.  Some stores and restaurants charge a fee for paying with a bank card, and if you use your card in an ATM that's not affiliated with your bank, there's a fee.  Then there's the overdraft - if your account is set up with overdraft protection and you overdraw your account, there's an overdraft fee and you're charged interest.  The charge applies even if you go a few cents over the limit, and the fees and interest can be very high.

Keep cash in case of an emergency

Cash is always good to have on hand in case of an emergency.  Think of different emergency scenarios and how you might need cash.  For example, if you took sick or got hurt and had to take a taxi to the hospital, what if all you had was your bank debit card or credit card?  How would you pay for the taxi ride?  The last thing you'd want to do is ask the driver to stop at a bank machine so you can withdraw cash.

What if your child or spouse got sick and you had to rush to the pharmacy but their debit system was down and you didn't have a credit card?  Chances are, you wouldn't want to take time to drive to another pharmacy or find an ATM which may be miles away.  If you have cash, you don't have to worry about that happening.

There's nothing wrong with having a bank card/debit card or credit card, but there are many good reasons to carry and use cash.  If you're trying to get your finances in order and you're living on a tight budget, using cash is a great way to monitor what you're spending.  It's also a way to avoid overspending, avoid bank fees, and be prepared in case of an emergency.

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