Can You Cash In On Cards?

I bought a few things while I was out today. Didn’t spend a lot… but here’s a picture of what my items cost:

Many of you out there will tell at a glance that I spent $17.30.


I can also tell you that of the exactly $40 I started my day with I still have $22.70 in my purse.

Yesterday I did my grocery shopping. Used my debit card for that… not sure just what my total bill was.

Took my clients out for lunch while I was gallivanting: used my credit card for that… can’t remember the amount of the bill, although I do remember being embarrassed that I didn’t have any cash on me, so had to put the tip on the card too, which means our server has to be completely honest come tax time because there’s a record of my generosity (or lack of same).

How about you? Last time you bought a coffee out, or a new pair of shoes, did you pay cash or use a card? Can you tell me the amount of the expense and what the balance of your bank account was after the transaction?

There was an article in October’s Financial Post that quoted some statistics that I found truly surprising!

“Cards make up 68% of all non-cash transactions in Canada, compared to the global average of about 40%, according to a 2011 Royal Bank of Scotland report.”

“Since 2005, Canadians have made more than 240 million transactions with their MasterCard PayPass — the highest of any country in the world.”

“Seventy-one percent of Canadians are comfortable with never handling cash again (up from 27% in 2011), says a Leger Marketing survey for PayPal Canada. Almost three-in-ten women (28%) say they rarely or never withdraw cash (22% of men say the same), a 2012 RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart poll revealed.”

“Average consumer debt, excluding mortgage, is more than $27,000 and Statistics Canada says that about one-third of retirees have debt. Just the mere sight of a credit card or a credit card logo prompts people to spend more, studies have shown.”

The whole article is truly eye-opening and I hope you will take the time to read it:

Do you carry and use cash for purchases? Do you find it easier to buy things with a debit or credit card? Do you know what your bank charges you for this “convenience”?

Personally, I dislike putting purchases of less than $10 on any card. As I often don’t carry cash, this does slow down my spending on impulse buys like coffees or magazines. It does mean that if I run in to the store on the way home for a loaf of bread, I will often buy something else. I justify the extra item(s) saying I’d need them soon anyways. Would I? Hard to say.

Where do you stand on the whole cash/credit/spend-ease subject? I’d be curious to know, if you would consider leaving a comment below.

I do know that since embarking on this on-line journey to Reclaim my Retirement Dreams I have been more thoughtful of my purchases, and parsimonious in my spending.

How about you?


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11 Responses to Can You Cash In On Cards?

  • Oooeee, this is such an important topic! I have wanted to put my family on the cash-only system for years, as I know it will save us money. But the convenience of my debit card always seems to win out. Once again, you’ve given me a lot to think about, Agnes!
    Erin recently posted…The NUMBER ONE Reason Your Photography Business Will FailMy Profile

  • Erin – So true, I do like use a credit card but pay it off each month. I use the credit card because of the points I get. I’ve been able to get some great things for free as a result.
    Heather Cameron recently posted…Change 5 Factors by 20% to More Than Double Your RevenuesMy Profile

  • One thing I like about using cash is knowing when I pay and walk out with my purchase, the transaction is complete.

  • Oh how I miss the days of a yellow envelope with my pay in cash tucked inside – I find I spend more now with the card as I make a purchase – and get cash out in case I need it….and spend it on unnecessary things! But on the other hand, I have had cash stolen from my purse when out so having it stashed in a bank with card access can be advantageous ….also never letting my purse out of my sight works a treat too!
    Great post Agnes 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
    Sonia recently posted…7 Awesome online tools I could not live withoutMy Profile

  • Hi Agnes I am the same, very rarely carry cash on me and I know I went to a store one day and bought something that was only £2 something (thought I had a bit of cash on me but NO) and I ended up apologising to the cashier for having to use my card and she then told me that people have used their card for a mere 50p – but yes I am also very careful as if I have cash on me I know I am going to spend more. Thanks for great post.
    Merle Gibbins recently posted…TeamViewer To Help Each Other.My Profile

  • What an eye-opener! I rarely use cash and I should get into the habit of taking out money at the beginning of the week because I become very thrifty when I use cash. I seem to spend a ton of money using my debit card and/or credit card and don’t realize it until I check my bank balance. Yikes! 😉
    Phyllis Garland recently posted…First Impressions Are Made in a Blink of an EyeMy Profile

  • These days I tend to use cash wherever possible. If I have to use a card it’s planned and I stick to the budget. I don’t have a credit card so it’s easier to do. That way, if I can’t afford something I don’t have it and work to get the money instead.
    Barrie Evans recently posted…Results Come When You Take Massive Action.My Profile

  • Hi there, this post made me really think about how often I use my cards without really clocking what amount I’m paying (scary). I find if I have cash in my purse then I do try to hang onto it and not spend it.

  • A post to get us all thinking Agnes. It is too easy to pay on credit these days, which is why so many get into debt. I do have a credit card, but like heather, I make sure to pay it off a the end of the month!
    Helen Willsher recently posted…As A Woman Over 40, It’s Time To Take A LeapMy Profile

  • I never carry cash Agnes. I always use my debit card. I know it is not a good habit but I have done this for a while now. My brother, on the other hand, carried cash. I don’t even believed he had a debit card. It is funny what people do. Thanks for sharing.
    Anita recently posted…3 Quick And Easy Ways To Build A Profitable Opt In ListMy Profile

  • It’s actually very hard to get by without having a credit card nowadays. Our local minor hockey organsiation doesn’t take cash and if you try and book a hotel without a credit card – good luck to you.

    I always have a small amount of cash on me but I do tend to use my debit card for groceries, wine etc. but I hate using it for small amounts so prefer cash.

    I don’t use my credit card for very much at all other than online but I also have an online debit card now which doesn’t always work where it’s supposed to but is getting more popular.

    When I travel to the States I mainly use debit or credit as I hate carrying American money – I always feel like I want to launder it first (is that illegal!!!)

    Great article Agnes!
    Lorraine McNulty recently posted…5 Ways to Bounce Your Website Visitors!My Profile

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