3 Reasons Cash is Better than Credit


How often do you carry cash? If you’re like most people, you rarely have more than a few crumpled up singles at the bottom of your purse or stuffed in a pocket. According to one report by market research firm Javelin Strategy & Research, only 23 percent of retail purchases were made with cash, while 66 percent were made with credit or debit cards.

Consumers worldwide tend to prefer credit and debit cards over cash, and even mobile pay is starting to gain traction. But are these truly the best options? Here are three reasons why cash is still king:

1) It’s safer.
With recent data breaches of major data retailers, including Target and Home Depot, and even banks themselves (Chase), it seems like no one is immune from data breaches–except people who pay with cash. Paying with cash minimizes your chance of having your money or identity stolen.

Of course, you have to be careful with your cash as well. If your credit or debit card is stolen and fraudulent charges are made, your bank will reimburse you. If your wallet or purse is stolen and you were carrying cash, you can pretty much kiss it good-bye. For that reason, it’s best not to carry large amounts of cash with you.

2) It helps you control your spending.
One of the biggest benefits of using cash over credit is the ability it gives you to control your spending. With a credit or debit card, it’s easy to swipe your card while giving little thought to the amount of money you’re spending–until you wake up one day and wonder where all of your money went. With cash, you can see clearly how much money you have left during a given period, so you think twice about your purchases.

Personally, switching to cash to pay just my grocery bills has made an astronomical difference. I withdraw a specific amount every pay period, then leave my debit card at home when I go to the store. I’ve learned how to shop smarter and saved hundreds of dollars. When you know you only have a certain amount of cash, there aren’t as many things you don’t really need that find their way into your cart.

3) It’s convenient.
Carrying cash is just convenient. It makes it easier to tip, park, pay back a friend when you split the tab at a bar or restaurant, and helps you avoid having to use your debit card for a 99-cent purchase.

The world may be quickly moving away from cash, and for large purchases and credit card rewards, this makes sense. However, using cash to pay for groceries, gas, and shopping trips can help you save a bundle.

Posted in: Money, Saving Money

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