This article promotes the debt free lifestyle we advocate at The Pirates Republic. Debt free is a position of power and allows you two opportunities first is to say yes and the second is equally as important the opportunity to say NO! So take a look and if you have something to comment then please chime in.
Go Back To Cash – The benefits of using cash more and cards less This tip is about using cash again. While debit and credit cards can be quite convenient, they have an ‘achilles heal’ in that when the power or network goes down, the electronic verification system cannot verify the card and the transaction is denied. This can also happen with paper checks. When this occurs, making purchases with your checks, debit or credit cards comes to a stop. Additionally, the overuse of credit is causing the economy to collapse on itself under massive debt.
This is true for both governments and family households. However, you can bypass all of this by using cash. There was a time, not too long ago, when most people used cash. Today, the majority of us use cards to pay for purchases and carry few bills in our wallets, or have stopped carrying cash altogether. There are several significant reasons why you should start using cash again and veer away from the “cashless society.”
BENEFIT #1 Having cash means that you will always be able to pay for goods and services As noted above, there are any number of reasons that could prevent merchants from processing payments of cashless cards and checks. However, if you’re standing at the gas pump with an empty tank and the pump won’t accept your card, you won’t care what the reason is; only that you’re unable to put gas in your tank. Having been in this situation myself, I can tell you that having cash with me has made the difference as to whether I was able to get fuel. More seriously, if there was a collapse of the dollar or other economic collapse in this country, and don’t forget that we came extremely close to this in 2008, you’re going to see many stores stop accepting any form of payment except cash. In times of uncertainty, people become very protective and even business owners won’t be too keen on accepting forms of payment that they can’t be assured of getting reimbursed for. In these circumstances, Cash is King.
BENEFIT #2 Get to know your neighborhood merchants In most places, when you use cash to pay for your fuel, you have to go inside the station to pay for it. This gives you the opportunity for the small talk that occurs while you wait for your sale (or pre-sale) to be ran through the register. Likewise when you pay with cash at other places, there is a more personal interaction with the clerk. Don’t discount these brief exchanges with the employees and other customers in the store. Not only does this allow you to learn more about the store and the people that work there, but they also get to learn more about you and become comfortable with you as a customer. You never know when you may need the help of one of these people and them knowing you can go a long way.
BENEFIT #3 Start a small savings account at home When you use cash, you get change in return, including coins, but don’t spend any of the coins! Even if you can make exact change, use a bill instead. When you get home, put the coins into a coin jar. Depending on how many times you use cash throughout the average day, you could be adding $1 to $2 to your coin savings every day. It’s an easy way to save up a little extra money without putting a strain on your budget. Some people use this money for vacation, while others will go through and pull out all the nickels, copper pennies and silver quarters. Believe it or not, the metal in these coins is worth more than the face value of the coin itself! Currently, as I write this, pennies minted before 1982 have a value of about 2.4 cents. A nickel is just a tad over 5 cents, though recently it was as ugh as 7 cents. It won’t be too long before they change the metal composition of these coins again. The big value comes from silver quarters. It’s becoming more difficult to find these in circulation, but there are still some out there. If you were to get one of these in your change, it would be worth over $6, that’s 2442% higher than the face value! Coin collecting isn’t for everyone, but when the value of these coins is higher than the face value of the coins themselves, it sure becomes interesting. You can easily check on current values of coins by using this website: Coinflation.com.
BENEFIT #4 Keep your debt low None of these benefits are more important than the others, but the importance of keeping your debt low cannot be understated. The less debt you have, the more financial freedom you retain. With the current average interest rate of credit cards hovering around 17%, using credit is tantamount to shackling yourself into financial servitude. We’re lured into thinking that, “it’s only a small payment, I can afford it,” when in truth, all it does is make you a slave to the issuer of the credit card. Even though credit is a necessity in today’s world, unless carefully managed and paid off immediately, we waste more and more of our income on interest. When you fall behind on the payments, these companies can be pretty ruthless in attempting to extract their payment from you. Avoid these hassles and pay for things with cash. By using cash, you’re paying for something now, not later. We’ve seen what happens when families get in over their head (repossessions, foreclosures, stress, divorce, suicides, etc.), but it can be avoided by not getting into debt in the first place. Even if you have debt now, avoid getting further into debt by paying for things with cash. If you don’t have the cash now, you can’t afford it and need to save until you can. If you’re having difficulty paying your bills, downsize your life now before the economy really gets crazy. This tip was brought to you buy The Preparedness Podcast.