Is Cash Still King? The Surprising Reasons Why Many Consumers and Businesses Still Prefer It

Do you still use cash? It turns out many people do.

In a world dominated by debit and credit cards and mobile payment apps, it’s easy to assume that cash is becoming a thing of the past. However, cash remains a popular choice for consumers and businesses – and for good reasons.

1. To Support Local Small Businesses

People use cash to support local small businesses, whether buying lunch, shopping at a farmers market or paying the neighbor’s kid to mow their lawn.

“Taco trucks around me are cash only,” said the top comment on a recent thread.

Some small businesses simply can’t afford the costs of accepting non-cash payments. They can avoid high transaction fees, there’s less risk of fraud, and it simplifies their accounting by being cash-only.

2. Better Money Management

It can be hard to follow a budget when a transaction is completed with just a quick swipe, and the money is gone from your account. For this reason, many people prefer to use cash to manage their money more effectively.

Cash is a tangible form of payment, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t continue spending if you run out of cash. It helps curb overspending and makes it easier to stick to a budget. It’s also a helpful way to visualize your spending.

“When I see I’m losing money, it makes me spend less money,” added another commenter.

3. In Case of Emergencies

In case of an emergency or crisis, cash could be your savior. What if the power goes out or a server goes down, and you can no longer access your funds? “Last summer in Canada, one of the largest telecommunications companies went down and took Interac (debit) with it,” someone replied.

Or, you could have simply forgotten your wallet at home and are happy that you hid that $20 in your glove box.

Having cash means you can still buy the supplies you need, like food, water, gas, or medical supplies.

4. Less Paper Trail

Cash may be the way to go if you want to keep your financial information private and secure.

Some people believe the government and major corporations don’t need to know every purchase they make. Although cash transactions are still recorded, they offer a degree of anonymity that electronic transactions do not.

While there is less paper trail with cash transactions, this does not necessarily mean that the transactions are suspect or illegal.

Others don’t want scrutiny by outside entities, like their wives knowing about their secret fast food trips. They use cash to keep these indulgences hidden. “Like the second burger at a McDonald’s and that kind of thing?” a commenter asked.

However, not all secret cash purchases are driven by questionable motives. It’s hard to surprise your partner if you share bank accounts. “For me it’s primarily gifts for my wife. She handles all of our bills, so she sees everything that goes on our cards,” a user agreed.

5. Less Pressure to Tip

A surprising top reason given for using cash is “I don’t get a prompt to tip when I pay cash.”

Commenters on the thread feel there is a need for more transparency and consistency in the way tips are handled. They should be given for excellent service rather than out of obligation or social pressure.

They also feel that the prompted tip amounts are far too high. “I’m a big believer in tips. Used to be a bartender. But this is out of control. I would never expect 25% tip unless I did something exceptional. Some don’t even offer the standard 15%.”

6. Getting Paid In Cash

If you get paid in cash or tips, it makes perfect sense to keep that money in your wallet to spend instead of putting it into a bank account. You can immediately access your money without worrying about transaction fees or processing delays.

From Tipping to Budgeting: The Benefits of Using Cash in Everyday Life

Although many of us rely on credit and debit cards and mobile payment apps for everyday transactions, cash still plays a crucial role in our financial lives. Cash offers many advantages, including supporting local businesses, maintaining privacy, improving your spending habits, and being ready for unforeseen expenses.

Are you still using cash, or has the convenience of digital payments made it a thing of the past?

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Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN,, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.

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