The old saying cash is king hasnt really been true in ages. Card and app transactions represent about 60% of most purchases between $10 and $100, meaning cash is currently mainly used for small purchasesand the casual business that doesnt accept bank cards or cash apps. But cash can be still very useful. Whenever a hurricane knocked out the energy grid in my own town for seven long days a couple of years ago, local businesses became cash-only overnight, which made having some money in your emergency kit a complete necessity. And using cash rather than cards or digital payment systems will help you stay inside a budget due to the physical interaction you have together with your money. Plus, cash may be the ultimate in anonymous spending, since it is virtually untraceable.
But if you’d like the cash-only lifestyle due to these benefits, you come across some trouble: The world is becoming increasingly organized around cards, chips, and payment apps. Is it possible to actually live cash-only in todays world?
A purist cash-only lifestyle would also eliminate bank accounts, needless to say, but living with out a bank-account isnt easy if you don’t have several Walter White barrels of cash in the home to draw on. For those who have a job or perhaps a retirement fund youd prefer to grow via the magic of compound interest, you’ll likely have to have some type of bank accounts, so lets stipulate that. Otherwise youre cashing a paper paycheck at a check-cashing place and paying ridiculous fees for the privilege. Now then, lets have a look at the fundamentals of life and whether you have even the choice of paying cash for them:
- Housing. Its likely you can arrived at an arrangement with a landlord to rent a flat for cash. This may be considered a delicate negotiation, though: On the main one hand, they could like cash for exactly the same reason you do. However, the suggestion will make them suspicious of one’s finances. And contrary to popular belief you can buy a house with cashyou’ll come across some serious IRS oversight, though, and youll have to look for a seller who doesnt mind receiving payment via dump truck pouring dollar bills onto their front lawn. But lets rate this a possible, as possible done.
- Utilities. Paying your electric, gas, water, and phone bills with cash is possible, but often difficult. Utility companies will gladly accept cashbut only when you arrive at a payment center personally, therefore the viability of the depends upon whether there exists a location in your area. Similarly, if your phone carrier includes a storefront in your area, cash payments are often acceptedbut if theres no location nearby, youll be SOL.
- Food.Food markets are probably easy and simple places to utilize cash. Virtually all grocery stores remain set up to simply accept cash, even though they will have self-serve checkout kiosks. It’s rather a bit wonky feeding bill after bill into those kiosks, nonetheless it works, which means this is really a definitely!
- Transportation. It is possible to still use cash of all public transportationalthough that is changing, so youll need to check your neighborhood serviceand old-school taxis will most likely take cash. You can even still purchase a carnew or usedwith cash; the dealer may be caught off guard, however they encourage your grubby, anonymous money. Even though insurance firms arent thrilled because of it, it is possible to still stop off at their local office to cover in profit most cases. The main one solid exception here’s rental cars. You might look for a rental company that may enable you to settle your final bill with cash, but the vast majority of them need a credit card to create, hold, and secure the reservation. Still, cash-only transportation is really a yes.
OK, so that you can live a bare-bones, cash-only lifestyle in the event that you choose your living situation meticulously. But imagine if you truly desire to leave your home and do things?
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- Stores. Virtually all shops will still accept cashthough you might find exceptions. Some states and cities have local laws that want all businesses to simply accept cash, including NJ, Rhode Island, NY, and Massachusetts, but also for probably the most, part its around the average person store to select a cash policy. But this remains a definitely for the moment.
- Airlines. Yep, you can purchase an airfare ticket with cash generally in most casesas long as possible physically visit the airlines ticket booth. Most major airlines have ticket counters in the airport, if you will get that far with cash, you can purchase a ticket. Remember that investing in a ticket with cash sacrifices a few of the advantages you obtain with credit cards, like easy refunds plus some degree of travel protection. But well rate this a yes.
- Hotels. That one is complicated. Basically, the fancier the hotel, the not as likely it’ll accept cash. A run-down motel? Probably. A four-star luxury joint? Most likely not. Some hotels encourage cash to stay your final bill, but will still need a charge card on file once you make the reservation and check-in. Some hotels encourage cash with out a charge card if youre a walk-in guest and may deposit a deposit, nevertheless, you need to call ahead to ensure of this. It is a maybe.
It is possible to still manage a cash-only lifestyle in the event that you actually want to, though it’ll include some limitations. But because you can take action doesnt mean you can find no downsides:
- Convenience. Insisting on cash limits your alternatives, oftentimes requires extra effort, and sometimes will in actuality set you back more.
- Supply. Living cash-only takes a large amount of planning, as you have to have a way to obtain physical currency all the time. In the event that you keep a bank-account, youll have to actually visit the bank and withdraw fundsand in the event that you spend your last dollar on a hot dog and also have no carfare to obtain home, you should have zero options.
- Theft. Probably the most miraculous reasons for having bank cards is how easy they ensure it is to recuperate from theft. Frequently, reporting fraud on your own bank cards results in zero loss to you. Losing cash, however, is nothing but loss. Its impossible to obtain that cash back if you don’t can physically track it down.
Final verdict: You sure can live a cash-only life. Nonetheless it includes some serious downsides youll need to consider.