Debit vs Cash

The wife and I differ on this topic quite a bit. I personally don't carry any cash on me anymore. It can be a pain in the foo foo (the piglets word) when you have to pick up a gallon of milk from the grocery store but generally I prefer this strategy. Why, you may be asking yourself (or you may not be depending on your interest in my writing :) )

First of all, whenever I do hit the ATM and take out $20 just to buy some milk for $4, I'm left with $16 in my pocket. Now, as dedicated as I am to saving money and not getting into debt, $16 will burn a hole in my pocket after a while. Either I'll get hungry and convince myself that I can just factor the $20 into the budget and spend that last $16 on lunch for a few days, or maybe even pick up a CD that was on sale at Best Buy, or worse, see something on sale at Pathmark that we don;t really need but I just have to have because "well I already took the money out" always those Oreo's that are on sale at the worst times. Truth is, I can give myself over 15, 134 reasons why I should spend this already withdrawn money instead of walking into the bank in the morning and making a $16 deposit. Its weak, I know, but I get around this by not keeping money in my pocket and by making sure most places I frequent accept my trusty debit card. I also keep $20 in the house for an emergency cab ride or if we need something quick. Expense tracking is also made simpler by debit purchases, I can look at a reciept or go to my online bank statement if I forgot to write something down.

For the most part it works. The other way around cash is to use rewards cards to purchase everything and pay them off monthly. Well we are still working on getting a few rewards cards lined up. The credit card monster still scares me I must admit. Once I have more stable footing,I will jump on that ship. It took me a long time to get out of debt, and those flashbacks haven't gone away just yet. As responsible as I have become, I know how quickly temptation can take over. "The will is strong, but the flesh is weak". I can admit my limitations, I'm grown :)

The wife is of a different school of though, leave the debit card and carry cash. Cash is more readily acceptable and accessible than a debit card. In her method, we would withdraw once every pay period for what we would use (groceries, gas, cleaning supplies, etc), plus about $40 for variable expenses for the next 2 weeks. It makes practical sense, but I just don't trust myself with over $200 in cash sitting in my house/wallet. She has a little more control than I do, or at least she's never been in the hole that I was in, so she is more at ease with this. She is afterall, my better half. aaawwwww :)

In the end, we stick with the minimal cash method. Keeps everyone happy and safe and with money in the bank....where it should be :)

Thanks for Reading

I Love You Baby


  1. Moneymonk said...


    Some people use an envelope system, every pay period a designated amount goes to the envolope, no more no less.

    So you use one for food, one for gas, etc

    I do not use one but some people say it works for them  

  2. Sistah Ant said...

    My boyfriend uses a combo of cash and debit. I don't know how his system works.

    I use debit and credit cards. I don't usually carry cash. I don't like having the money in my pocket, either, Rad. It's harder to track what I spent it on that way. Plus to me, cash is a temptation, plastic is just not.  

  3. Barbara Stanny said...

    I'm with you, Rad. The cash method may work for your wife, but if you have any concerns, you are really smart to stick with debit cards.

    For you, a debit card helps prevent impulsive spending. Your wife may not need any safeguards.

    You two sound like a cute couple!!!

    Barbara Stanny, author "Overcoming Underearning."  

  4. Trisha#1 said...

    I stick with credit cards only. Cash is too easy to burn. But, after an experience where I received a bogus charge on my debit card that neither the bank nor the merchant would refund, I refuse to use a debit card anywhere--ESPECIALLY NOT ONLINE.

    Herein lies my dilemma, though.... Using credit cards only has made our debit paydown TOUGH! It's a little like being a food addict and trying to get your habit under control--because you still have to eat to live!

    We're succeeding, though. It has gotten easier (although there have been ups and downs), thanks to a handy Excel spreadsheet I keep to track our debt, bills, and spending.  

  5. Tired of being broke said...

    I use my debit card at places such as the supermarket. For the most part I never need to carry cash. The only thing I use cash for is to load a new metro each week for work.

    Whatever system works for you I say keep doing it. Just adjust over time as your situation changes.  

  6. Moneymonk said...

    Where are You ????  

  7. Payday Loans said...

    The benefit of paying cash is that you get to keep the change and can save it and put it in a coin jar and eventually those savings will add up. Debit card is also excellent but you don't get any change back which won't let you to save change.  

  8. Quick cash loans said...

    The benefit of paying cash is that you will be able to change and can save it and put it in a coin jar and over time those savings will combine. Debit card is also quite nice but you don't get any alteration back which won't permit you to save change.  

  9. Payday Loans said...

    The other way around cash is to use rewards cards to purchase everything and pay them off monthly.  

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