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Old 05-23-2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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I'm the opposite - I use cash for most daily expenses. I pay monthly living expenses online and use a debitcard for groceries. When I make purchases online, I use a PayPal. But for everything else - eating out, gas, etc., I use cash. I started this about 20 years ago in a quest for debt-free living. I read it was easier to teach children, as well as adults, to manage money better when you use cash. When the cash is gone, you don't spend til you make more. Also, it's somehow harder to part with the green than use a card - makes you evaluate your purchases a little more. It's worked for me and my family. I can honestly say I have no debt except for monthly expenses like utilities,insurance, property taxes etc. It was hard to get used to but now, I cringe when I have to use a credit card for stuff like car repairs or large purchases that I want the extra warranty that is provided by the credit card.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:46 AM   #12
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Like Andy, we buy almost everything with the credit card so that we get the miles. Groceries, gas,phone bills..everything. I do always have cash with me for little items. But, don't seem to use it much.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:51 AM   #13
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Pacanis...Your processing fees aren't built in to your mark up?? Often times, on larger purchases, I negotiate the price down with a retailer by paying cash to at least where the processing fee is not charged...often less...if the retailer wants to "skim" some cash.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:01 AM   #14
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I am debt free like you FM (with the exception of mortgage and car loan and utilities) We have a home equity line, but we keep that paid off. We use our credit card for every single purchase we can as we get a return on doing that. Not using our credit card would be like throwing money in the trash.

What we do though is keep track of every penny we spend. We get a receipt for every purchase, no matter how small. At the end of the day I take all the receipts and total up the money. That amount is then moved from our individual checking accounts into our joint account. Our joint checking account is used solely for paying bills. When the money is moved over it is rounded up so if we make a purchase for $29.02 then we will move $30 over. Those extra cents add up over time and also build in a little buffer in case we ever mess up a little. Every two weeks I will pay our credit card bill online by paying the entire balance at that time right away. I know the money is there because it has already been moved to our joint checking account.

The great thing about doing it this way (for us) is that not only do we get perks from our credit card (GPS, two iPods, rice cooker, thermopen, and many other cool things), but by tracking the money each day we can see what we are spending on and what our spending habits are. If we starts to spend too much then we notice it right away and can take corrective action.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:05 AM   #15
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Hardly any cash on me, for the same reason - I use mostly plastic (debit card). If I ever get held up, the most they'll get is lip gloss. A few days ago I went into the bank. It was the first time I'd seen the inside of a bank in years. Couldn't believe there were still lines, & the ATM was empty.

ETA: I rarely go to an ATM. When I do, $40 will last awhile. Getting singles & change is the hard part. Have to wait on lines for vendors to open the register - till someone makes a cash purchase
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:35 AM   #16
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Pacanis...Your processing fees aren't built in to your mark up?? Often times, on larger purchases, I negotiate the price down with a retailer by paying cash to at least where the processing fee is not charged...often less...if the retailer wants to "skim" some cash.
No, not really, since the majority of my sales is "Service" and hard to access a true net value. So when I see my CC processing statement at the end of the month and think I could be drive a Porsche.... It hits home.
There is a yearly farm auction by me that charges a surcharge if you pay for your purchase with a CC, but technically that's illegal here. I know of another business that gives a 3% discount if the sale is cash or check and have often thought about doing that. Not that there is any "skimming", but obviously there is more to pocket if the CC company doesn't take their "share".

It's definitely a perception thing..... I don't mind losing 3% of a $300 sale, but losing 3% on a $10 bag of catfood is more noticable.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
No, not really, since the majority of my sales is "Service" and hard to access a true net value. So when I see my CC processing statement at the end of the month and think I could be drive a Porsche.... It hits home.
There is a yearly farm auction by me that charges a surcharge if you pay for your purchase with a CC, but technically that's illegal here. I know of another business that gives a 3% discount if the sale is cash or check and have often thought about doing that. Not that there is any "skimming", but obviously there is more to pocket if the CC company doesn't take their "share".

It's definitely a perception thing..... I don't mind losing 3% of a $300 sale, but losing 3% on a $10 bag of catfood is more noticable.
Still, I would figure out how to pass the expense along to the consumer...you should not "absorb" the cost of processing fees...You can only offer a 3% discount on cash, and check sales (I wouldn't on checks) if you have the 3% built in to the mark up...So what color Porsche ya gonna buy???
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:59 PM   #18
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I hit the ATM about every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. Just for money for things like quick lunches here at work and stuff. Use a credit card (no balance carried) for most other things.

Be sure to keep a hawk's eye on your credit cards especially if they come from Bank of America though. They've *really* been jerking consumers around and trying to find a reason to tack on any type of rate they can find. I'd guess that since they're probably getting hit with more missed payments and such, they've gone looking for revenues in other areas.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:05 PM   #19
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Cash

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Old 05-23-2008, 01:14 PM   #20
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You're right, I should UB. But in a business where you get a lot of grief everytime you raise the price....

And as a sidenote; Visa, with MC to soon follow, has just started bumping up processing fees on corporate cards to a higher rate if we don't enter a sales tax amount. Apparently this is an effort to monitor whether charges to corporate cards are legitimate write offs. When you swipe one of these cards, they always want the sales tax entered separately.
So, seeing as how 85% of my sales are non-taxable in PA, I always enter $0.00. That is now an unacceptable amount and I will pay a higher processing fee because of it. Everytime I get one of these cards.
Credit cards might be more convenient, but it is the merchants who end up paying for all these perks the consumers get. You can clearly see though looking at most of the answers here, it isn't the wave of the future, it's here now.
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