Working with cash? Actual greenbacks.

I’m trying something new and moving away from using my Debit card and withdrawing actually cash to pay bills and buy groceries and the stuff I need. One of the big reasons for doing this I have been hearing the term “Bank Holiday” bandied about lately, and a couple of stories of electronic purchasing systems going down causing chaos in stores. Then there was that Bank of America story that they (BoA) would hold your cash for 7 days before allowing a withdrawal.  So I thought I’d forgo that whopping .025% and make sure I had some greenbacks to make purchases and pay bills.
I’d like to say it was a seamless transfer but I did hit a couple of bumps along the way. I knew I paid a lot of my bills online but I didn’t realize just how easy it is to just press a button and it’s paid rather than going down to the city to pay the water bill in cash. My attitude changed as well at the local grocery store. Swiping the card is quick. So quick you almost don’t think about it. Now I always have it budgeted about what I will spend, but  I focused on the budget not the actual dollars I was spending. When I had to break a $20.00 or a $100.00 bill how much I just spent seemed more real. My attitude about my surroundings changed as well. I became much more aware of who was around me just by carrying cash. I changed from being somewhat blase’ to actually looking for threats. Not paranoia, just a heightened level of awareness. 
So far I  think this a good idea, though I have some extra steps to take and some more tweaking to do with this system. I think I ‘ll have most of the kinks worked out pretty quickly.

P.S. Bonus, I can collect all that change I don’t normally get and save it in the coin jar for a “Fun Day” or next year’s gift fund.

4 Responses to Working with cash? Actual greenbacks.

  1. Kurt says:

    I've had other reasons to do this for some time now. But I have discovered though that some bills I'm all but forced to pay long distance. It does happen. In a case like that, just make sure you pay those bills as soon as the money is in the bank so that they are less likely to get tied up in something like a bank holiday. Test to see whether your payments actually hit your bank faster as a debit payment or credit card payment, then use that method. And keep an account open in more than one bank, making sure to check each bank out to see if they are likely to up and disappear on you over any given weekend. If one goes down, you might be able to still use another, unless they all go down. When that happens, we're all boned anyways. But with local banks you can shop around and usually find free checking accounts with a checkcard. Even keeping $20 in one to keep it open might offer you a bit of flex in a pinch. If you use it on occasion, it can stay open indefinitely under current conditions. And you might be able to make friendly with the staff there, making it more likely that they will work with you a bit better if you find you need them someday.And last, but not least, if you must pay long distance using a card, try to call it in rather than over the internet. Too many viri slip past antivirus software and steal info. It's harder to do, and easier to trace back, if you call it in rather than point and click. If it has to be over the internet, try and use Paypal. That makes it harder for a rouge or hacked website to get your info. You still have to worry about Paypal, but they are a lot less likely of a problem.But you are very correct, paying cash does tend to force you to pay closer attention to where the money actually goes and how fast, and is probably a tad bit safer because of the threat of an over all bank holiday being declared by the federal government.

  2. Oh I'm not saying get rid of all electronic banking. I just wanted to see if I could go straight cash outside of some bills. I bank at 2 Credit Unions and USAA Bank so I have spread my risk. I don't pay over the phone cause I have a wireless phone and libel to intercept of data. I'm very pro-active on PC security and so far have had only 1 problem online since 1992 and it was taken care of within a day. Usually my problem is OHT (Operator Head space and Timing)

  3. Kurt says:

    I have never heard anybody else use anywhere near that term before. Usually I refer to it as operator head space error lol. Though you seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Smart girl in fact, not just a smart alec ;)I kinda figured you was up to snuff on security. I was putting that out there for the benefit of any of your readers who might get some mileage from it.

  4. I agree on the security measures. I find many folks who won't use a PC/Internet to make a purchase. Yet assume their cell or cordless home phone is secure.

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