What’s In Your Wallet – Cash?

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We went to the Minnesota State Fair about a week ago and enjoyed all of the greasy food, unique exhibits, and saw Stevie Nicks in concert.  Our State Fair, which lasts for 12 days, is the second biggest fair in the United States with attendance of almost 2 million people.  One thing the fair excels at is getting those 2 million people to spend money.  Not just any money – cold, cash.

I am not usually much of a cash person.  I often have less than $20 in my wallet.  My wife is about the same.  For the State Fair – we stopped at the cash machine and took out $100.  It was almost all gone before the end of the day!

I saw this interesting article recently about how much cash people keep in their wallets.  One quarter of Americans (like me) keep less than $10 with them on average.  A full 50% carry between $10-$50 in cash.  And, the remaining 25% keep more than $50.

I had a former boss that was in this last group.  One time when we were out to lunch, he pulled out what looked like a roll of $100 bills.  He said he liked to have a lot of US cash with him because he had worked internationally and was in Poland when the currency their collapsed at the end of the Communist era.  For him, hard currency was definitely King.

When I can withdraw money for “free” from a debit card at a store, I usually try to.  I believe one of the biggest wastes of money in the world  is having to pay fees to an ATM (and my home bank) because I ran out of money in a place that only takes cash (like the Fair).  I have to think that whoever is putting those ATM machines out there is making a killing – although I’m sure the machine is expensive and they have to pay rent on the location.

We’re not exactly in a cashless world, despite what the headlines tell you.  Given the choice, I’d rather swipe my credit card or tap Apple Pay from my phone.  That makes my spending much easier to track (and analyze). With cash it seems like money just floats away and you have no idea of what it has been spent on.  When we are traveling overseas I use cash more often and am always shocked at how quickly we go through it.

What strategies do you use in managing cash?  If you keep a lot with you, why?  Or, have you gone financially digital as much as you can?

Image Credit: Pixabay

11 thoughts on “What’s In Your Wallet – Cash?

  1. We very rarely carry cash as it’s too easy to spend since it falls outside are tracking credit cards. We have a bank that reimburses other banks fees up to six dollars a month, so I’m not to worried about a the surprise need for funds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – I tell my wife that. It’s a better deal to charge to the right card … and Mint.com tracks easily.


    1. I like knowing at the end of the year where all of the spending went – even if I don’t change my habits too much!


  2. I actually wrote a post about this very topic a few weeks ago now. But I usually carry very few things in my wallet (minimalist dash wallet), small bills included. I always like to have a little cash – it’s probably more of a security thing – at least in my mind.
    Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I probably keep about $50 or less in my wallet for those situations where cash is more of the expected way to pay like a bar, food truck event, or fair like you went to. Other wise I charge everything for the bonus points on my credit cards. Sometimes Ill use Samsung Pay which generates points also. Its not always a lot, but it does add up over time. Might as well make something back for money you need to spend anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Samsung Pay rewards is another argument for Android over Apple IOS, I guess. I use Apple away when I can – attached to my bank account – but don’t get any love from Apple.


  4. Very little cash for me, usually less than $10 it seems. Use credit cards for everything to accumulate rewards.


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