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Just use cash.  It is legal tender for all debts public and private.  Read it, right on the bill you probably have on you right now!

UPDATE:  There is an ass load of comments about "cash only".  That's not the advocacy here.  Use more cash, where it makes sense, and have an impact on the banks.  That's it.  This is not a "use cash only diary" --thanks!

We've all been reading the credit horror stories.  

People closing their accounts seeing their FICA score change, impacting their other accounts.  Contract terms rendered meaningless (and they probably were anyway).  Interest rate hikes.  Goofy payment schedule changes.  You name it, the banks are doing it right now.

Because of my particular life situation, I've been using cash for most everything when I used to use a card...  time to hit back!

Money is speech.  It works either by having a lot of money and speaking loudly, or many smaller amounts of money speaking loudly.  Using cash is a cost effective way to get our voices heard!

There are some good comments below.  Let's list all the ways you use cash when you used to use cards, and don't forget to tell your merchant why.

[My first time on the Rec List --Thanks guys!  The conversation is great, jump on in!]

In a nutshell, just start using cash for most things.  When you do this, the banks don't collect their transaction fees and they are counting on those as part of their national "take back the profits" campaign.

You know those bankers really are suffering right now.  With all the regulations, bailouts with pesky strings attached, big ass market losses and general consumer unease, they are struggling to meet their own lofty expectations.  This kind of hurts and we really should feel for them.

Well, I don't.

Using cash is easy and it's fast.  With cash you don't have to enter your PIN.  There are no worries about crappy card readers either.  These days, transaction speed is high too.  Most registers compute change, making it all quick and easy for the cashier.

When you use cash, you absolutely, positively have no worries about being able to complete your transaction.  Network outages are no problem.  That sneaky double dip from your insurance company isn't an issue either.  Cash simply works, and it works the same way every single time.  Cash is consistent.

Cash is cheaper too.  Everything that gets processed electronically ends up with a 3 percent or so fee going directly to the bank, supposedly to cover the cost of handling financial transactions electronically.  Given all the benefits supposedly associated with electronic transactions for all parties involved, one would think they would be paying us to do it!

Using cash can put more money in your pocket.  All the bank fees tend to add up.  Transaction fees run maybe $30 per thousand spent.  ATM fees often run much higher, with people sometimes paying $3 on $20 dollars withdrawn.  Overdraft fees average $30, and there are other fees.

Increasing your use of cash can easily put $50 to $100 back in your pocket each month.  That's a lot of money that would otherwise end up at the banks!  I know I can put that amount to good use, can't you?

This is a direct, tangible savings!  You can put it in a jar and treat yourself, instead of paying it to big financial institution, who will spend it lobbying to screw you over.

Cash is private!  We leave lots of little electronic records around.  Those include our purchase history.  When you use cash, those records don't exist!

The only real downside to cash is suffering the loss of it.  Nothing to be done there.  Either you have it, or you don't, but I think that's a small risk to take, given all the other increasingly onerous electronic arrangements taking shape right now.

Use cash.  Each month, based on your electronic transaction history, factor out those things that could be done with cash and obtain that amount from your bank.  For those things where electronic transactions make sense, like online purchases, continue to do those.  The impact will still be very substantial, whether or not cash is used for all purchases.  Even smaller percentages of change will be noticed and that is the point!

The same over leveraged financial problems that cause a melt down with small percentage changes, also help make this kind of action effective and easy.  If a high percentage of us shifted even a quarter of our purchases to cash, that would roll up to a serious number each month, directly impacting the banks.

It is completely possible to push back on these clowns.  Do it!

When you do use cash, take a moment and let your merchant know why and encourage them to consider offering a small kick back for cash purchases.  One percent would be fine, and still a heck of a deal for them compared to increasingly high merchant fees that go to their cost of doing business.

If they want, they can take that money and donate it to charity, or show their customer that they saved some small amount and why doing that matters given what the banks are doing.

The same small numbers that annoy us but turn into millions for them can work in reverse.  If we all save that little bit with cash, they see it as the "loss" of millions of dollars of income.  

Cash is king in an emergency too.  When the power is out, computer is down, bank processor off line, those that are trying to pay with plastic are not getting anything.  Those of us with cash can continue to exercise our buying power with few to no worries.

Cash is secure.  If you've saved money, only to see it slowly drained away through fees, overdrafts, electronic transactions and other gaffes that impact your checking or credit connected savings account, consider saving some cash as well.  When times get tough, you will have buying power and that might really matter.  

It is not important to save huge amounts of cash.  There is no return on that, of course, but there is no risk, other than theft.  No risk, no reward!  It's best to understand that when keeping cash.  Given the many advantages cash has, saving some for use as a monthly buffer is not a bad idea, compared to that increasingly onerous and expensive revolving credit card.

Use cash.  Tell your merchant why.  Ask them to spread the word and make a difference.

UPDATE:  From indycam:

Don't leave home without it !
Its everywhere you wanna be !
More stores accept cash than any other form of payment !
And remember , paying cash screws the credit card companies ,
will you not please do your part to end this dreaded scourge ?

Well said, love it!

Originally posted to You can call me spud on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 10:41 AM PDT.


What percentage of your offline purchases are cash?

13%65 votes
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30%151 votes
12%61 votes

| 493 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for cash based speech! (125+ / 0-)

    Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

    by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 10:39:51 AM PDT

    •  No thanks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlanF, wader, last starfighter, mdmslle

      I understand your desire to "get the banks", but for me, my credit and debit cards are an easy way to keep my accounting (and my wife's accounting) straight and I never get charged any fees or overdraft charges. We pay off the balances each month on time and all of our transactions are categorized in a nice, tidy statement, which helps plan our household budget.

      So while the stores that take my card may have to pay a small transaction fee, I've personally never been charged anything to use a card. I prefer the convenience of using plastic and getting travel miles in the process.

    •  Another advantage of cash... (26+ / 0-) that its a great budgeting tool.

      If you put a designated amount of cash in your wallet at the beginning of the week, it's easy to check your spending.  All you have to do is open up your wallet and see how much of that cash is still left.

      Furthermore, one of the reasons that so many merchants encourage the use of credit (or debit) cards is simply because people tend to spend more when they aren't handing over cash in payment.  Numerous marketing studies have shown this to be true -- for example, when you're paying cash in a restaurant, most people pay more attention to what they're spending and the result is a smaller ticket (on average).

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:56:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm trying this approach (15+ / 0-)

        And so far, I love it.  Go to some art show or fair?  I just say "honey, I've got $50 cash in my pocket for food and random crap... this is our budget".  If I was using a debit card, I'd probably have put $150 on it by the end of the day.

        Cash is definitely a great budgeting tool.

        •  Good for you. That is now what we do too. (8+ / 0-)

          It's potent.

          And we have went from month to month, to being able to save some.

          It's in a small cash box and serves as our emergency buffer that has no strings attached.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:05:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  my budgeting tool is how much i can pay (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          off at the end of the month.

          i rarely use cash although i recently made a point to get 20 bucks from the bank to pay for laundry one day when i was planning to launder my king size comforter at the laundry mat.


          to my surprise no cash was needed (or even usable) at the mat.  things are all electronic-y now. (secretly i was pleased and spent the 20 bucks on lunch).

          about the only time i regret not having cash is when the "causes" are outside the grocery store. yesterday i remembered the 3 bucks i had left over from the laundromat lunch A MONTH AGO and gave it to the wheelchair bound dude outside the grocery store. whatevs

          i only use plastic. i pay it off every month. in May I used my points for a free one week stay in Toronto on the beach. Already I've built up enough additional points that i'm using them in NYC in september for 4 days.

          the banks hate me.  fuck them and their interest rates.

          •  I don't use debit cards (0+ / 0-)

              but I use a credit card that I pay off every month in full. At the end of the year I get a 1% rebate on purchases because it is from a co-op (the big recreational equipment co-op out of Seattle). Co-ops are good; if you don't like your bank then find a credit union.

            I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

            by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:15:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Does it say VISA on it? (0+ / 0-)

              If so, you are still paying fees to the big banks.

              Consider some cash for the speech of it.  That's what the advocacy in this diary is about.

              Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

              by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:30:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree partially (0+ / 0-)

                  but because I never run a balance, I am not paying the fees, the merchants are. Maybe their prices are higher than they otherwise would be; that would be the only way I am paying it.
                  My situation is unusual; my housing cost is nearly zero so I can live on less than most folks. I don't have any kids to support either. I like cash for some situations, but I also like the delay factor of not having to pay until the end of the month with a card (and, yeah, I have only one.)
                  I never had any credit cards until I was around 35 so I look at them differently than people that have used cards since their teen years. I always check my bill because I don't trust teh banks. It pisses me off that they consider me a deadbeat when the opposite is true; I pay my bills on time.

                I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

                by Zack from the SFV on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:48:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You think those merchants don't pass that to you? (0+ / 0-)

                  Think again.  You pay to use your own money every time.

                  Consider some cash purchases as speech against how the banks are treating us.

                  This isn't about you, it's about them.  You are doing the right things.

                  The point is they get less revenue when you use cash, and that's the effective speech.

                  Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                  by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:52:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  huh? is this a response to my (0+ / 0-)


                i dont use debit cards at all. i get great great bennies from using it and they get nothing from me since i pay them off every couple weeks.

      •  I like this and it's completely true. (5+ / 0-)

        On one hand, there is all the accounting.

        On the other, simply looking at the cash makes decisions easy, eliminating most of the accounting.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:04:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's how I do it (6+ / 0-)

        and I never lose track of how much I spend

        "instead of believing in science, we believe in crazy hokus pokus. It's like Kansas" -Prof. Farnsworth

        by last starfighter on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:09:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Already there. (9+ / 0-)

      And canceling those personal-info sucking store discount cards, too. If you need groceries, if you just say you left it in the car, most often the "cash"ier will scan a store card for you.

      I got a recorded call from Best Buy's "reward zone" program a couple days ago and went ballistic! No more card, no phone number on file, no more calls under penalty of undisclosed behavior attributed to stress-induced temporary insanity.

      I'm calling my changeover to cash "blinking out", after my refusal to authorize the new "blink" I.D.-imbedded chip-containing charge card Chase Bank sent to me. They let me keep my old card rather than accepting my cancellation.

      Forgive the space it takes here, but I should have finished this diary I started at the time. I don't have the time now to relocate the source links. Comments?

      I just got off the phone with my credit card company. (I just have one, I like things simple) I called to ask that I could destroy the new card they sent and continue to use the old card. Fortunately, they were just fine with that.

      Why would I want to destroy a new card? Well, I noticed the "blink" logo on the card and the friendly reminder that said, " Your card has blink! See insert for details." Of course, there were no details, just praise for how convenient this new technology would be for me. This is also known as "no-swipe", but "blink" sounds so darned friendly, even I can picture Sarah Palin winking at me. So with that frightening image in mind, I wondered if I better fill in the details myself. You betcha!

      The "blink" technology is nothing new by today's standards, just a new application. This is RFID, Radio Frequency IDentification. RFID has been around for awhile and has been very useful. Those little plastic bumps on DVD's that need to be deactivated at the checkout so it doesn't set off the security detector when you leave the store are primitive RFID, usefully preventing shoplifting and so keeping down the cost of the DVD.

      Briefly, these little devices, called "tags" are passive - no battery onboard. They're inactive most of the time, until they come near a "reader", whose magnetic field activates the tag's chip through it's tiny antenna, providing enough power so the tag can then transmit it's identity to the reader.

      I can see the tag distorting the surface of my card, and it is tiny. Some tags are microscopic now, and turning up everywhere - on packaging or embedded in a wide variety of products, like packs of razor blades or Levi's jeans. The latest technology uses conductive ink to allow the antenna to be printed onto packaging or fabric. The chip is like a grain of sand. The usefulness of these tags for shipping and inventory is undeniable. Imagine unloading a truck filled with a variety of items with no need to inventory each item. One reader near the truck does it all, right into a database. But unlike barcodes, each RFID tag identifies each item individually, with a unique serial number. And like a barcode, when you take the product from the store, the tag is purposely NOT deactivated.

      So, you have a tag in your clothes or other possessions. What harm is that? At worst, if you get near a reader, or someone with a reader in their pocket comes near you, they might find out what size your underwear is, or what book you are reading, or how expensive your watch is, or if you're carrying a box of Depends(yes, they're tagged), or if you're carrying "protection"(remember, these tag are very tiny now). That's all unless, however, they also have access to information of the credit card you used to buy these things; now they know not only who you are, but where you were when you purchased every tagged item with you. And you will never know they know.

      Though tags are easily implanted under a person's skin, unless you travel naked there's really no need for a well equipped "monitoring" agency to do that. You're "tagged" by your possessions. Those of you in Wisconsin will be glad to know our state was the first to outlaw any compulsory implantation of human tags, known as VeriChip.

      Well, that brings us back to my credit card with "blink". This personal tag is on a higher level than product tags. What was once only on the magnetic stripe of the card is now imbedded on the chip in the blink tag - enough personal information to complete a purchase, but with no need to take the card out of my pocket.

      So, what happens when the reader in the adjacent checkout reads my pocket? I just bought the wrong size underwear - and for someone I'll never even get to meet! Seems like such a waste. Sound crazy? Tech students have already competed to see from how far they could read a "blink" card. Sixty-nine feet is the record, so far; and that's with fifty dollars worth of parts. Measure that off at the mall, or your apartment building. At least the guy, or if I had seen the stuff, possibly the lady who I bought underwear for will never know who paid for such a lovely present. But those students who read RFID tags at 69 feet also transferred the information they read onto their own home-made "blink" cards, and they worked. Now that's a gift that keeps on giving.

      My blink card is now in pieces which have been fried in the microwave. But I may want to get some really big fish sometime. No, not fish with "chips". I mean I might need to get a passport someday to assure the government I will not be escorting any terrorist walleyes back across the border from Ontario. The passport WILL have a tag, and it must function for me to get home. Maybe someday they can just scan the product tags in my shoes, eh?

      But for now, this brings up the question of how to protect personal information on a tag you must carry with you. There are products on the market which claim to block the magnetic waves from readers until you take your credit card or passport out. This would be a good idea for anyone who must carry anything with a personal tag onboard.

      And the blink credit card? Check your card(s), then ask you credit card company for one without blink or no-swipe, or to keep the old one. Then destroy the blink card, thoroughly. If they want your business; make it on your terms.

      "All war is stupid" - JFK

      by jorogo on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:14:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You do raise a good point. (0+ / 0-)

      However, no one ever flew me to Paris free for using cash :( I realize this is a self-centered reply, but there are good personal (though not political) reasons for using CCs. One, there is a record for ME of my spending. We do finances weekly and keep our budgets largely by allocating each CC purchase to a budget. Two, between the two of us and Mr Pixxer's business expenses, which go on the card, we earn about one round trip to Europe every year. That's quite a bonus. We never pay interest, of course, or this would be a ridiculous waste.

      You're right, of course, about benefiting the banks with those tansaction fees. Just a few of us quitting cards would not be enough to lower prices at stores, so the argument that CC accounts cause merchants to raise prices, though undoubtedly true, is also not a strong one in this case. If I quit using my card, the prices are not going to drop. Yes, someone has to start. Right now, given it's the only way we can afford to get to Europe every few years... I would have trouble giving up the FF miles :(

      Our system of law is premised on the idea that an unfettered government - rather than criminals - is the greatest danger to our lives and liberty.

      by pixxer on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:17:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So don't quit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just consider using some cash.

        It all adds up, and this is about speech as much as it is anything else.

        This is not a cash only diary.

        It's highly likely you can still get your perks and exercise a little speech with cash.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:20:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great idea (13+ / 0-)

    About the cash discounts. All those fees are built right into the prices you see.

    Some merchants already do this.

    A Creative Revolution- - To revolt within society in order to make it a little better- Krishnamurti

    by pale cold on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 10:47:28 AM PDT

  •  Yes, but those still have many of the problems (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluedoc, greenearth, la urracca, blindyone

    that cash does not.

    I'm all for using them however.

    Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

    by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 10:50:25 AM PDT

  •  Cash ! (6+ / 0-)

    "In Switzerland, only nonprofit insurers may participate."

    by indycam on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:22:27 AM PDT

  •  money is dirty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about half my cash money is given to folks in the street crying out how they need it for gas or coffee or some food.  honestly, i don't want it back after they use it.

  •  I have moved to using more cash for a lot more (4+ / 0-)

    purchases, but I find the credit/charge/debit cards to be the best way to help me track what I'm spending and to make large purchases (I just don't like carrying that much cash or going to the bank for withdrawals frequently).  However, I'm still one of those people who pays the balance each month, so the rate changes aren't huritng us.  Still, we cancelled one card that upped the APR recently--we never used it anyway and their attitude ticked me off.

    "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

    by catleigh on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:39:03 AM PDT

  •  Great suggestion (5+ / 0-)

    But not entirely practical in this world.

    Gas after hours?
    Shopping for large-ticket items?
    Online shopping?

    Also, my Citi card gives me 5% REBATE on all gas & food purchases. If I do it right, I will actually be profiting from having a credit card.

    Dick Cheney rhymes with "sick meanie." Pass it on.

    by LaughingPlanet on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:39:13 AM PDT

    •  There will be a "catch" at some point with your (5+ / 0-)

      Citi card...

      "As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever." -- Clarence Darrow

      by Bluedoc on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:42:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Profit? You?! Hah!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis, Coilette

      Yeah right!  The house wins my friend.  The house always wins.  

      Nobody pays off their credit cards on time every month.  Well, some people claim to, but I have my doubts anyway.  Most people are like me--they hear "OMG as long as I pay it off every month, I win" only to rack up 12k in debt (like I did) and bam house wins.

      I read in a book somewhere that only 15% of all card holders ever claim their rewards.  I have no trouble believing that.

      The house wins.  Only a fool walks into a casino thinking he'll win over the house.  Likewise, only a fool gets a credit card thinking he will beat the house.

      Don't get a credit card no matter how much you think you will "profit".  Why play with fire?  

      •  "most people"; not "nobody." (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, RainyDay, Horsefeathers

        Your point is taken; but calling people fools isn't productive.

        Dick Cheney rhymes with "sick meanie." Pass it on.

        by LaughingPlanet on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I called myself a fool, fool (6+ / 0-)

          Because I was a fool to listen to fools like you.  I'm a smart guy, I thought I could play the "OMG if you play the game right, it is like free money" and I lost.  Most people lose, that is how credit card companies stay in business.  You are one of the few in our world who has the vigilance to manage credit card debt.  Most dont.  And honestly, even if they could, they shouldn't anyway because it is a scam no matter what.

          You said this in a different comment:

          But it takes time something which most people seem to think they never have enough of.

          Credit card companies know this.  That is how they win.  I didn't have the time, nor the discipline to manage a credit card and quite frankly after getting burned I dont want to learn the discipline and I really dont want to take the time either.  They can take their frequent flier miles and %5 "cash back" rewards and shove it.  And actually, the fact that I dont or won't take the time to manage credit cards is a good thing, at least once I don't owe them anything.  I'd rather use my time on something else!

      •  Who gets a CC for profit? (8+ / 0-)

        I think the point is that if you're what a bank considers a "deadbeat" (pays balance off, no fees generated), you can actually get something like cash back, air miles, etc. I do how I was taught. If you don't have the cash (even if paying by credit), you can't afford it and shouldn't buy it. No one is taught how to live within a budget anymore. I own 1 credit card. It has no annual fee, gives me cash back and I never keep a balance. On those rare occasions the bank tries to sneak a late fee in, I call immediately and they've always negated the fee. Credit cards are bad for people who do not know how to live within their means. No one needs a credit card, but they are convenient, IF you can honestly control yourself.

        Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. - Roger C. Andersen

        by jumpnfool on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:20:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I pay my card off on time every month. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, spookthesunset

        I have a basic card.  No rewards.  No fees. I have a chequing account at HSBC and qualify for their seniors' rate.  $2.00 a month covers chequing, returning my cancelled cheques every month no-charge cash withdrawals and really excellent rates (or maybe free) for things like money orders.  

        The house does not always win.  

        •  They take your transaction fees (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and pay lobbyists to fuck us over.

          Maybe you are lucky enough and smart enough to manage a good life situation.

          A whole lot of people lack one or both of those things.

          This is about speech and sending a clear message to the banks that we don't roll this way.

          That's the advocacy, and good advocacy generally costs us something.  It's time, money, something.

          Do you want to speak or not.  Getting your needs met really isn't speaking to anyone but you is it?

          And that's not a slam.  Good for you.  Consider the speech for those that can't get where you are.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:56:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since I'm in Canada, any protest from me would (0+ / 0-)

            have absolutely zero influence on your financial system.  However, when I read your diary it did occur to me to watch more carefully when I use my card and pay cash as much as possible when I deal with small merchants so they can keep a little bit more rather than pay it to the bloodsuckers.  So you have done some little guys in Vancouver a bit of good.  

            •  Cool! (0+ / 0-)

              I'm glad to have given you some food for consideration.

              Now, if we can only get it right with health care down here.  Ugh...

              That being broken is part of why I have the experiences necessary to write this diary!

              Cheers from the lower 48!

              Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

              by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 09:02:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Ok, so do it with a few big purchases (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, ladybug53, LaughingPlanet

      It's not like you have to give up the card.

      The point is to leverage your money as speech.  Getting that reward and rewarding them for giving it to you is like saying you support what they are doing and how they are treating people.

      Money IS speech.

      So then, do you want to speak or not?

      If you take your food purchase, for example, and do it with cash, that's going to have an impact.  Consider using cash for some purchases, and to have as a buffer for when that card doesn't work.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:50:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wells Fargo offers same deal on debit cards. NT (0+ / 0-)
  •  Great idea...I've stopped using all but one card (7+ / 0-)

    because I am busy trying to pay down the others...using mostly debit card now.

    "As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever." -- Clarence Darrow

    by Bluedoc on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:39:23 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, that's where I'm at. (8+ / 0-)

      Because of health care, I lost everything basically.

      Funds got so tight, I was forced down this road.

      Now that I am here, frankly I like it!

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:00:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hope you are being an activist for the Public (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        potatohead, greenearth

        Option...sorry to hear about your situation.  Everyone I know is barely holding on because of the financial crisis...Nobody seems to be looking at the role of Oil Companies and the effect of rising oil/gas prices on everything...not to mention the credit cards and their robbery of consumers.  I am soooo tired of the robber barons being in complete control of our daily lives.  I like the idea of "cash only"...and I'm with you on that...bartering is not a bad idea either.

        "As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever." -- Clarence Darrow

        by Bluedoc on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:08:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So sorry you were forced into this situation. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Good luck getting back to a better financial footing.

        Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. - Roger C. Andersen

        by jumpnfool on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:24:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me, too. I am down to two cards. (0+ / 0-)

        Still have four to pay off. So I am heading in the only cash direction.  Trouble is, I buy too much on-line.  I gotta stop that.  It is just laziness on my part.  I am sixty-two and not as spry as I used to be so the temptation is great.  But your post gave me the spirit to get to that cash only place.  It is like group therapy, we all have to encourage each other. I frankly admit the consumer culture got to me too.  I liked to go to TJ MAXX on Saturdays after working all week and just buying some stuff, whether I actually needed it or not. Now I am retired on a fixed income, I can't do that, but the craving remains. I am fighting it.

  •  I did it long enough before I had an ATM or (5+ / 0-)

    credit card. I can do it again.

  •  I'll do it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, ladybug53, greenearth

    It will generate a little more discipline on my spending, as well.

    •  Sweet!! Yes it does do that too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, greenearth

      I was forced, but it's been a good thing actually.

      Seeing the money change hands makes an impact that just swiping a card does not.

      Secondly, when you've got credit, you don't actually feel the pain of spending.

      When you are running cash, it actually hurts a little and in these times, that's not a bad thing.

      Don't forget to tell your merchant why you are using cash and encourage them to spread the word.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:51:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  not to mention (3+ / 0-)

    no interest.

    just to add, you can avoid using ATM'S. just go in the bank and use a withdrawl ticket. ATM fees add up like a mother f'er.

  •  Another bonus with cash (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, eXtina, CherryTheTart

    Is the bank can't play games with you like they can with your account.  They can't put a hold on your cash like they can a deposit.  They can't stack your cash transactions in such a way that you overdraft and have no  more.  Unlike what is in your bank account, cash is in your hand.  If you have $75 in your hand, you have $75.  If you have $75 in the bank, when you wake up in the morning they might have "rearranged" your account so you dont have $75 (put a hold on your deposit a day after you made it, had some automatic payment suck out money a day before you expected, etc).

    Ditto with checks.  I hate them.  You never know when they'll get deposited and you never know how long it will take for the bank to clear them.  I never write checks and if I need to pay with paper (i.e. paying rent) I always try to get a cashiers check so the money is instantly out of my account.

    I just don't trust banks (or myself) at all.  The less points of contact I have with them, the better I sleep at night.

    •  bank can't put a hold on money ? guess again. (8+ / 0-)

      my boss walked into the bank and put money in her account. then wrote a check later in the day. you guessed it. there is a "processing time" hold on money. check bounced. bank got the fees. banks are as nasty and dirty (sometimes dirtier) than the credit card companies.

      The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -- G. Carlin

      by marzook on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:52:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True also. You have to explicitly ask "no hold" (6+ / 0-)


        My favorite these days is to pay the damn check cashing fee at the bank honoring the check, bitch about it huge costing them time, then use the cash for deposits at my bank, and keep the rest for buffer spending at home.

        The only transactions I do electronically are utilities and some online stuff.

        I ask no hold each time, at the advice of the nice people that work at my bank.  They don't like it any more than I do.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:57:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "no hold" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53, greenearth, lgcap, Coilette

          I'll have to ask for that.  I can understand them putting holds on some kinds of checks (large dollar personal checks from out of state), but putting holds on things like paychecks is just unacceptable (and yes, I've had this happen, and my employer is huge, if they were writing bad checks our economy would really have issues).

          As for electronic stuff like utilities, I've found that using the banks bill payer is "safer" for me than letting the utility take the money out.  The bank won't do the auto-pay if the money isn't in the account were as if the utility ran the transaction they would overdraft you.

          Sad we need to know all these tricks.  I'll specify "no hold" though, but something tells me it will still get held and I'll still have to go in to remove the hold.

          •  Take that time and withdraw $1K in cash. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bablhous, greenearth, spookthesunset

            That most deffo will insure there is no hold, won't it.

            Another trick is to cash the check, then deposit what you want to bank with.

            You can do this at your bank, or the issuing bank.

            Quite effective.

            Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

            by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:07:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I have direct deposit now (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, greenearth

              So I'm safe until they find a way to put a hold on those transactions too (after all, think of the "fraud"!).

              I know people who would rather eat the check cashing fee at Money Mart or something and then deposit the cash into their real account than deposit the funds directly into their account.

              That issuing bank thing though... never thought about that.  You sure that is still free?  I guess it depends on the bank.

              Honestly though, I've given myself a month to dump BofA and switch to a local credit union.  I've been a BofA customer my entire adult life and recently they've started to go downhill fast.

              •  did you know they can withdraw? (4+ / 0-)

                Yeah, that's a two way street.

                If your employer wants some of that money back, they can just take it.

                Not true, if you cash their check.

                Just FYI.

                Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:16:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ladybug53, greenearth, lgcap

                  But as I said, I work for a huge employer (odds are good you are interacting with their products now).  The risks of them pulling the stunt you describe is much lower then the risk of dealing with paper checks and all the hassles involved.  Plus direct deposit shows up in my account a day before the paychecks did :-)

                  My policy is anybody can put money into my account, but only I will approve of what goes out (eventually).

                  •  Fair enough. Just wanted the FYI. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ladybug53, lgcap, spookthesunset

                    Working for smaller business carries that risk.

                    I've had it happen to others, and avoided it by simply cashing their check.

                    I get asked repeatedly for electronic deposit too.  They don't like not having the payday slop they get with electronic deposit.

                    The check has to be there when it is supposed to be there and the funds transfer that day, because I cash the check.

                    Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                    by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:38:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Have them deposit in your checking account and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  then move it electronically to your savings or another account.  They can only take the money back from the account (i.e., checking) they deposited the money into.

              •  It's not generally free at the larger banks (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emeraldmaiden, Coilette

                They want the $5 fee.

                I pay it, bitch to consume time, get a reciept, which they often don't want to give, collect them and intend on faxing them to my state rep.

                Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:17:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Recipts (8+ / 0-)

                  Always, always, always get a reciept and make sure they give you a balance.  If you use an ATM, make sure you have a receipt with the balance on it.  If your bank (of america) is like my bank, they will post all your ATM transactions out of order to overdraft your account.  

                  If you have the receipts, you can call them or go into the branch and say "well, it says on my ATM receipt that after I made this deposit, I had $300 in my account yet your banker online said I made the deposit a day later and only had $25 in my account...  please explain the discrepancy and remove all the overdraft fees".  They've done this to me twice and I'd have been screwed without receipts showing the balance after a transaction.  Both times I complained, nobody had a clue why they posted the transactions in the order they did.

                  Always get a receipt that has the balance on it.  Always.  Banks are evil and will screw you over unless you pay close attention.  They will time all your transactions in whatever order yields the longest float or largest fees.  You can only beat the system with physical evidence in the form of receipts.

                  (ps: this is therapeutic :-)

                  •  Or cut the number of transactions. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    on the cusp, spookthesunset

                    That has saved me a lot in fees and hassle.

                    Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                    by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:36:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  they count on people not having the time (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    spookthesunset, marzook

                    to constantly monitor them and call on their mistakes. same with the credit cards, same with the phone company....

                    •  Exactly! Cash frees a very significant amount (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      on the cusp, fayea, spookthesunset

                      of time.

                      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:42:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well not entirely (0+ / 0-)

                        your bill is your bill, eg the phone company, will add bogus charges regardless of how you pay.

                        •  But you don't spend the time (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          on lots of other little transactions that could have the same problem.

                          Restaurants are a big one.  They can fat finger your charge after you've left and you won't know unless you track that.

                          Cash is really easy.  Pay and leave, no worries.

                          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:01:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Amazing (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RainyDay, spookthesunset

                        It frees an amazing amount of time for your accountant. It take me 10 seconds to see transactions from this week electronically. It would take me considerably more time to do it manually.

                        You're simply wrong. Cash economies are more time and labor intensive.

                        •  It depends on how good you are with money (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RainyDay, fayea

                          Not all of us trust ourselves with money.  If you have good discipline, by all means do whatever is most efficient and has the best ROI.  If you are like me, use cash and debit cards--non-cash might sound more efficient but in reality it will be far more expensive.

                          Someday I hope to be like you--but until then I have to admit my faults and work around them.  Using cash in hand ensures I dont go doing stupid things :-)

                        •  Some additional use of cash is effective speech. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Odysseus, emeraldmaiden, fayea

                          And if you are poor, low to mid income, you don't have a fucking accountant.

                          Those extra dollars end up being a significant fraction of your liquid income and that matters.

                          This is not a "cash only" diary.

                          It's about using more cash as speech that directly impacts the larger banks.

                          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:09:42 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      emeraldmaiden, fayea, eXtina

                      When I was younger I dismissed the advice I gave.  I thought "mistake" meant something like "they said I deposited $302.24 when I actually deposited $304.76".  Those aren't the mistakes banks typically make.  The "mistakes" banks make are ones of timing and transaction re-ordering.  Ones that will result in you NSF'ing 3 checks* because they claimed a deposit posted a day later then when it was deposited and posted.  

                      They'll catch errors in their math--the teller at the window will usually will catch errors on your deposit slip and you'll spot anything else pretty quickly.  The real "errors" are way harder to catch and much more costly without proper documentation.

                      * which is why I never write checks unless I absolutely must.

          •  I'd have to ask for a "no hold" on my (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, mattman, emeraldmaiden

            paycheck from my own small business.  Funny thing is - my small business account is at the same bank as my personal account.  They don't really need to wait to see if my paycheck clears to let me use it.  They could just transfer the funds from one account into the other instantly.  But where is their impetus to change their software to do that?  
            However, I have learned to live within my means and with a pretty good buffer.  It just makes me too crazy to live paycheck to paycheck.  I'd rather put off getting things for a while and hoard some $$ just in case.  

            I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

            by fayea on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:32:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That was kinda my point :-) (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, greenearth, marzook, eXtina

        When you are holding cash, green dollar bills, they can't put a hold on that.  They can only put a hold on cash, green dollar bills once you deposit them (and if they could, they would... "stopping fraud", right?) Banks (cough bank of america) would put a hold on a government check if they could get away with it.

        And I agree with you 100%.  Banks are almost nastier and dirtier than credit card companies.

      •  agree. my cash has been held too. nt (4+ / 0-)
    •  Absolutely true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, CherryTheTart

      I think I'm gonna edit to include some of that.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:53:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainyDay, spookthesunset

      They can't stack your cash transactions in such a way that you overdraft and have no  more.

      Okay, you know how I avoid this? By knowing how much money I have in my bank account and NOT SPENDING MORE THAN THAT. It really does not take all that much vigilance. You don't even have to go to an ATM to check this, most banks let you do it online for free.

      •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, mattman, emeraldmaiden

        In the ideal world you'd maintain about a $500 buffer in your checking account to protect against such nonsense.  Sadly, I'm busting my hump paying off $12k in debt (hopefully done in 9 months or so).

        By knowing how much money I have in my bank account and NOT SPENDING MORE THAN THAT

        With some banks (BofA), that isn't possible unless you go to the bank and have them pull up weird screens on their computer that have all the pending transactions.

        most banks let you do it online for free.

        What you see online isn't what is in your account either.  Some banks (of america) take up to a week for your account balance (both online and offline) to fully reflect reality.  During that lag, unless you have that $500 buffer, it doesn't matter what you or the bank thinks in your account--they can and will find ways to screw with your transactions.

        Forgive me for sounding like a paranoid bastard about this, but I've been screwed by the bank and know many other people who have been screwed in exactly the same way.  Most people I know who use said bank (of america) have yearly banking fees in the thousands.

        Yes, I'm switching banks.  I only was using said bank (of america) because I used to know some people who would make these problems go away.  They no longer work there so I have no loyalty.  Hopefully a local credit union won't pull this kind of crap.

        PS:  Keep in mind BofA uses a different system if you live in Washington.  If you are a BofA customer and are wondering what I'm talking about, you dont live in Washington state.

      •  Until some electronic transfer hammers you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this happens more often than you think.

        It's worth noting in these times a lot of people are right on the wire too, meaning they just don't have the buffer.

        Because of health care, I was in this boat for a lot of years.  Cash saves money when you don't have a lot of money.

        Avoiding fees can easily make an extra $100 or so, and that matters to a lot of people right now.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:03:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's nice for local merchants. (5+ / 0-)

    As others have pointed out, each debit/credit card purchase results in a transaction fee for the merchant. That's why many local merchants have a minimum $5 or $10 purchase with debit/credit cards, and some still accept cash only.

  •  Intelligent, thoughtful advocacy diary. n/t (7+ / 0-)
  •  False assumption in your diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jonnie rae

    You assume someone has cash to pay.

  •  Does using a debit card count as cash? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, doc superdog

    since it comes straight out of my account?

    what about the tax avoidance problem with cash paying? i know there are little restaurants in my neighborhood that only take cash, charge 'tax' but never pay the state. they don't ring it up on the cash register and there's no receipt given.

  •  Cash (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Lyme, eXtina, CherryTheTart

    The payment system needs to be reformed and re-regulated.  Resorting to cash only may give one a warm feeling but the economy requires a safe, efficient payment system that works for the economy and consumers.

    The ABA (American Banker's Association) is the lobbying group protecting the credit card companies and their ill-gotten profits.  They have sought to protect the industry from any regulations, pushed to lower the FDIC insurance fees on banks to the peril of the fund.  They have found no fault with allowing non-banks to enter the business to obtain FDIC insurance at the expense of small independent banks.  Too big to fail is a concept foreign to the ABA.

    go raibh maith agat

    by jersy on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:04:44 PM PDT

  •  Back when Chase took over WAMU (5+ / 0-)

    I closed my WAMU account, but in my infinite laziness, didn't get around to opening a new account at a credit union for a few months.

    My paychecks were no longer direct deposited; I had to go twice a month to the local bank they were drawn on, in the wealthiest part of town, to cash them.

    I actually managed my money very well during that time. When I got home, the cash I could spend each week went into its own envelope, and savings went into another envelope.

    I only spent what I had, and when it ran out, it ran out. (I try to only use credit cards for online purchases or emergencies.)

    Worked out pretty well, actually, outside of the PITA factor of having to cash paychecks at the bank they were drawn on, which had FOX News playing behind the tellers' heads every time I was there, and the inconvenience of having to mail bills when previously I'd paid them online.

    "When we say 'War is over if you want it,' we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace." -- John Lennon

    by think2004 on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:04:48 PM PDT

  •  This is what I like about the Kos! (4+ / 0-)

     Brilliant!  Folks all you have to do is look in your wallet.  If the money isn't there you don't need it.  It's just that simple.  Fiscal resonsibility doesn't start with Washington, it starts with us, "The People".  When they see what we're doing they will fall in line or loose their jobs and they know it.  Lead by example.

  •  I'm not sure if this is common in other (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potatohead, kamarvt, greenearth

    states but here in michigan gas stations have two different gas prices, one if you pay with cash (cheaper) and one if you pay with plastic.  

    "instead of believing in science, we believe in crazy hokus pokus. It's like Kansas" -Prof. Farnsworth

    by last starfighter on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:11:41 PM PDT

  •  One more benefit (4+ / 0-)

    When you use cash, banks have to hire real human beings to count the merchants' cash deposits (or at least real human beings to put the cash in the counting machine), and that means more jobs.

  •  My 2 cents: (8+ / 0-)

    I'm a little surprised nobody has yet pointed out the "found money" benefits of receiving change, which is a byproduct of cash transactions. With everything priced at $xxx.99, plus tax, you nearly always get some coins back from a purchase. My wife and I throw these coins in a jar, and I roll them up when the jar is full. This averages about $70/ month. Since it's little increments, this feels like found money every time.

    The Republican Party will never die until there is a new political home for racists.

    by kamarvt on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:20:50 PM PDT

    •  Totally! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kamarvt, greenearth, Coilette

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:27:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was waiting for someone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, kamarvt

      to say this.
      I use cash for anything I can, and as many things as possible that are non-deductible.
      Food, fuel (personal use), snacks, clothing, necessities of my household, etc...
      If it is tax deductible, I use check or credit card so the receipts are not tiny slips of paper with fading ink data.
      What coinage I receive goes into a jar and is later rolled and swapped for bills.  I never, EVER use coins at purchase.
      Those coins add up.  They have been my Christmas, my bonus for my secretary, my new set of tires, or my food for a month, my vet bill.  
      Never spending coins was some online tip I read years ago.  I am always happy to hand over a $10 bill for a $9.01 purchase.  

      Cowards die many times before their deaths... Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar, II, 2

      by on the cusp on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:32:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And I'll even walk an extra four blocks ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... just to use the bank machine that doesn't charge me a fee when I get that cash.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:23:45 PM PDT

    •  I've never paid an ATM fee in my life (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, highfive

      It only takes a little planning and effort to go to a branch where I have an account.

      One thing I did to get petty revenge on the scoundrels of Citi and BAC was to reply to their offers of 0% for 12 months, stick multiple thousands in a high yielding account, and then pay back the balance 11 months later.

      Of course, they aren't offering those deals anymore and interest rates are no longer high enough to make it worth the trouble.

      •  You did pay a lot of transaction fees though! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Consider a few larger cash purchases for the speech to the banks, not because it's better.

        They only understand money and law.

        You taking advantage of the offer doesn't really get much.  It's the suckers that take them up on the offer and lose that they want.

        Those of us who do take the offer and say, "see? that's great!" actually do their work for them.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:09:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have paid (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, highfive

          transactions fees (well, merchants have paid them) on accounts where I've made convenience purchases (always immediately paid off).

          The scheme I outlined, however, is only worthwhile for the offers that waive transaction fees for the first month or two (there were surprising a lot of these).  Then you make the one transaction (balance transfer straight to your bank account - sans fee) and never use that credit account again.

          They are hoping people will forget when the promotional rate ends, or pile up a bunch of new spending that at a higher rate will be retired after the lower rate balance. If one was careful, it was quite possible not to give them that satisfaction.

          Of course, I can't really help it if suckers or disorganized people end up on the short end of such a deal.  After all, most people pay ATM withdrawal fees and plenty of other easily-avoidable fees as well.

          Of course, it would be nice if the scoundrel banks didn't entrap the financially illiterate so often in their schemes, but that's why I called my revenge "petty."  Shorting the stocks provided for an additional bit of catharsis, however meaningless for the bigger picture.

          •  Consider some cash purchases as speech. (0+ / 0-)

            It's a simple and effective way to engage in positive advocacy over what the banks are doing to people.

            Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

            by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:38:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I hardly buy much of anything (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              these days besides food and probably 3/4 of my purchases are cash, so I guess I am on the bandwagon already.  I'll keep buying my monthly metrocard with the credit card, however -- it takes too long to keep feeding all those 20s into the machine.

              •  Yep. You are there. (0+ / 0-)

                A look at the poll suggests a lot of us are at the 20 percent mark.

                Adding a few purchases to that will have a big impact.

                Tell your friends.

                Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:53:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You can sometimes avoid the upfront fees (0+ / 0-)
            The US Mint Direct Ship program allows you to order dollar coins.

            This allows you to do a lot of different things.  If you have two credit cards, one with a balance at high interest and one no balance, you can order coins on the empty card, take them to the bank, and immediately make a payment to your high interest card.  You will not be charged interest during the grace period on your purchase, and can remove nearly a month's worth of interest from the debt.

            If you are looking at a 0% balance transfer offer, this can allow you to spike your balance before doing the transfer.

            It's also a method where normally non-credit bills like a mortgage can be placed onto a credit card, if that would allow you to avoid a penalty and/or smooth out a rough month.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 03:25:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Cash is Great But Has Problems... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MNPundit, Lyme, cooper888

    There are disadvantages, dramatic ones.

    • Cash can be lost or stolen
    • Itemized budget tracking with cash is very, very time-consuming

    Use Debit Cards

    • Checks are evil, agreed. I never use them if at all possible, big waste of time
    • Saving money and holding a cash reserve will avoid overdraft fees - planning
    • Debit cards don't have transaction fees for retailers like credit cards
    • Use ATMs from your bank (e.g. plan) to withdraw money to avoid fees
    • If your Debit Card is stolen, you don't lose any money
    • Debit cards leave a "little electronic trail" so you can actually plan your finances easily

    Getting a wad of money in my wallet on monday is not exactly what I would call "cash flow management" or budgeting.

    Use free services like (instead of buying Micro$oft Money) to budget and track and manage how you spend.

    •  It takes 95 comments before someone mentions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty, MNPundit, cooper888

      that cash can be stolen, lost, etc.?  Sheesh.  Moderation in all things, folks.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify invasion of Iraq.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I mentioned it in the diary! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, Coilette

        And that chance of loss isn't really any different than the funny business so often played by the banks.

        Ever had an electronic transaction go through twice, or early?

        That's "loss" you can believe in, just the same as it is simple loss of physical cash.

        This stuff isn't hard.

        Besides, if you want to do the speech thing, just do it for a larger purchase, such as the grocery store, where the reciept is easily kept for that detail accounting.

        Then again, if you want to make simple, "do I buy this goodie" decisions, there is no need for that accounting.  Just examine your cash, and it's fairly obvious what the right decision is.

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:30:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Just Startled (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, Seneca Doane, cooper888

        By the financial naiveté in this diary. It reminds me of posts about vaccines causing autism.

        There's a definite lack of discussion about basic personal financial planning, and a "banks are evil" or "credit cards are evil" discourse.

        Credit cards allow you to buy things when you don't have money, and want to pay back on installment. If you find yourself buying staples like food, transportation, or clothing with credit cards, then there are serious financial planning issues at hand, not a "credit card" problem.

        Debit cards allow you to buy things when you do have money. You should be buying staples like food, transportation or clothing with debit cards whenever possible to get free electronic records for planning and budget management purposes. Planning allows you to manage cash withdrawals without having to pay fees.

        Checks allow you to pay for things without cash, but not instantaneously. They require much more careful planning, and should only be used for things (IMHO) like recurring, planned monthly charges (the water bill). Checks can be stolen.

        Cash allows you to pay for anything, but it doesn't leave a convenient record allowing you to do careful planning and tracking of budget. Cash can be lost or stolen. Cashing a paycheck and holding salary as cash provides a fantastic way to lose an entire paycheck that a direct transfer never would.

        Electronic bank payments allow you to simplify bill payment planning which you previously had to do with checks, allows for tracking like debit cards, and avoids almost all fees.

        Using very simple web tools like - everyone reading this has free access to it - coupled with use of electronic payments and debit cards - will do wonders for budgeting and planning.

        •  It's about speech. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth, Coilette

          Using cash has NO impact on your financial planning.

          It is simply a value transfer means that doesn't include a cut to the banks.

          And again, this is not a cash only diary.  The advocacy is to use more cash, and by doing so, deny big financial institutions income from fees.

          If you do one larger purchase with cash, that's the same impact as doing a ton of smaller ones.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:54:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree strongly (0+ / 0-)

            Use of cash versus no-cost debit cards where you get free electronic transactions is more expensive. If retailers could go purely cash-free they'd do so in a heartbeat, not because "banks" wanted it, but because it has fewer process steps (simpler, streamlined), less error prone (both intentional and accidental), and provides substantial free accounting data.

            On the personal level, cash is

            • Error prone
            • More wasted time with reconciling receipts
            • Higher cost to retailers than debit cards

            •  My local grocery store and small (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenearth, Coilette

              merchants disagree.

              They feel those transaction fees and are perfectly happy with cash.

              Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

              by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:13:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are no (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                transaction fees in most debit card transactions.

                Ask a small merchant if they're happy being sitting ducks for armed robbery.

                Ask the employee if they like counting cash at the beginning and ending of each day instead of going home.


                •  Ok, so they win and we have no options. (0+ / 0-)

                  Sorry, but that "work" is a part of the cost of doing business.

                  Some level of cash in the economy is important.

                  Let me flip that around.  The power is out, or your bank payment processor is offline.

                  I pay cash and leave with my goods and or services, and you stand there with plastic and nothing else.

                  Cuts both ways.

                  (and I've had exactly that happen too)

                  Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                  by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:25:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  In a survey by the New York Public Interest Research Group, 89% of the banks surveyed tack on a point-of-sale fee of anywhere from 10 cents to $1.50 for PIN-based debit transactions. While the survey looked only at New York-area banks, people all around the country are finding these debit-card fees on their bank statements.

                  Just as with credit cards, retailers usually pay a fee for the processing of a debit card transaction. NYPIRG says a flat fee of 7.5 cents to 10 cents is paid when the PIN is used and the transaction is processed "online." If the customer signs for the purchase, it's processed "offline" and the fee can be up to 2% of the transaction.


        •  Mint (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for the link.  I'll check that out.

          Everything you say is correct (except banks are evil).  But you have to understand that what sounds obvious to you isn't obvious to a lot of people (wasn't and still isn't to me).  So it takes baby steps to train ourselves into better managing our money.  Cash is a great way to budget.  Yes it might cost more money (for all the reasons you state), but that cost is one I am willing to bare because of the feeling of control I have over my finances.    I know my limitations and at this stage in the game I would be much the fool to focus on how much extra I wind up spending using cash instead of other means.  I can worry about that kind of stuff when I can quantify the amount it is costing me.  Right now, I can't.

          By the way, when I talk "cash", I'm talking paying for lunch at work, buying groceries at the store or spending money for a day trip.  Utilities and whatnot are all electronic.  Rent is paid with a cashiers check.

          •  We all use cash but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            when it's necessary, I'm not saying anything against cash, but the tenor of this posting was that cash is a wonderful thing. It's like saying that high-lead gas is a wonderful thing because you avoid knocking in the car, or perhaps that they rhythm method is better contraception because pharmaceutical companies make condoms, so they must be evil and bad contraception.

            I hate using cash for groceries, why bother when I can swipe a card and get a detailed record for free on my computer? I see people struggling writing a check or counting small change (naturally, at an express lane) and it's mind-bending - yes, the rhythm method is great contraception too.

            Realize that a cashier's check doesn't guarantee payment. The receiving bank can refuse it, post it to the wrong account, or type in an incorrect amount. Guess what! If you do an electronic payment, the likelihood of error is dramatically smaller. Think about it. You are the only one making a manual entry.

            The best protection you have against poor bank practice is data on your own cash management practices. If you don't know in detail how you spend money, you can't manage it, and you can't make informed decisions.

            With ample data, and simple analysis, you can dramatically amplify your own ability to manage money, and beat the bank at their own game.

            Paradoxically, use of Cash on a substantial basis reduces easy access to your money habits, reduces visibility to your true expenditures and planning information, and provokes even greater problems with unplanned expenditures.

            That fundamentally is why I find this diary strange. It advocates a position of having less information to deal with in minimizing banking costs, rather than more. For those that buy into the message, it is guaranteed to create even more difficult cashflow and money management.

            •  See, I agree with you quite a bit (0+ / 0-)

              And thus you confuse me.  I use mainly debit for groceries but sometimes I'll do cash.  I'll pay for lunch at work in cash as well. I always try to use cash while on a day trip or at some fair/concert/whatever.  When you are at one of those things you are too caught up in the moment to think about if you are overspending.  With cash I know beforehand how much I'll spend (and it makes it more fun anyways because since it was in the budget, I get to spend all of it :-)

              If you don't know in detail how you spend money, you can't manage it, and you can't make informed decisions.

              This is exactly right.

              I guess the proper way to think about it is that you need to treat cash as a line-item in your budget.  It is basically petty cash that you get to spend willy nilly.  As long as you limit your "fun" spending to cash-on-hand and dont start tapping your bank account life is okay.

              You've given me much to consider.

              •  That's a very good view (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You need to treat cash as a line-item in your budget.

                When I go to the beach and park the car, ain't gonna be able to do debit cards. If I'm in a bar, I prefer to tip the bartender with cash. There are lots of small situations where you need and work with cash, so you set a level of petty cash you run through a week - $20? $50? Who knows.

                I do know that when I went to the beach a few weekends ago for the annual sandcastle contest in Galveston, I put $50 bucks in my pocket - parking fees at the beach, parking fees in Galveston at the strand, Bridge toll fee, buying a lemonade from a vendor. I spent $25 for lunch for two, and $15 on gasoline on a debit card.

                Major expenditures monthly - food (groceries/restaurants), transportation (gasoline), water bills, mortgage/rent, insurance, telephone, personal care (haircut, gym), entertainment and so on - they'll eat up 99% of your budget. Use Debit cards or EFT for that so you have easy to manage free electronic records.

                The first time you do this, you find out much to your shock that you spend too much on restaurants! or too much on haircuts, or whatever. You get to immediately dial back those items and set line-item budgets for your behavior. Guess what, then you can pay off or avoid credit cards! And bank fees!

                Leverage what you get for free, and avoid what you don't unless absolutely necessary. Ensure petty cash is a small fraction of your budget.

                Data is your friend.

    •  It's just a different set of skill. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, greenearth, Coilette

      NOBODY walks around with a big wad in their wallet.

      What they do is carry that which they expect to use.

      This limits impulse spending, marginalizes the loss risk, and forces some planning.

      All good things.

      Plus, it's not like you have to give up the card.  Just take a few purchases and move them to cash.

      It all rolls up to significant numbers on their end.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:32:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cash is Burning a Hole In Your Pocket! (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry, it's a very very old truism that having cash on hand provokes spending.

        (a.) "It was only a bit of change, but it was plainly burning a hole in his pocket." As though it were something hot, he wanted to pull the money out--and get rid of it by spending it. This can be used of almost anything that a new owner wants to use or spend right away. In the 18th century it was sometimes expressed as "burning in one's pocket" or something similar. Two examples cited by the OED are "1740 MRS. DELANY Autobiog. & Corr. (1861) II. 165 The post brought me your letter, which burnt in my pocket. 1768 TUCKER Lt. Nat. I. 152 Children..cannot rest till they get rid of their money, or, as we say, it burns in their pockets."

        The more modern version appeared at least as early as the 19th century: "1857 TROLLOPE Three Clerks II. ix. 198 How was she to give him the purse? It was burning a hole in her pocket till she could do so." (Example quoted in the OED, s.v. burn.)

    •  you have no protection with debit (0+ / 0-)

      I you must use a card run ti through as a credit so you have protection as a consumer.

      •  Nonesense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If it has the VISA or MC logo on it, you are protected exactly the same as running it credit.  Nobody would use debit cards if they didn't have the same protection as credit cards.

        The only reason this myth isn't tapped down is to sucker people into more credit card debt and because the transaction fees for running a card as credit are higher.

        PS: They have higher transaction fees because the rate of fraud is higher for credit transactions than debit transactions.  For debit transactions gotta know the PIN number, for credit transactions you just have to sign a slip of paper nobody checks (and shouldn't check according to their merchant agreement).

        •  So just do one larger purchase (0+ / 0-)

          Every little bit adds up.

          There are lots of purchases you can do this with, that have little to no risk.

          Try your grocery store for a great starter purchase.  That's where I use cash most often.

          If it's risky, then use the card.  No worries!

          This is not an all or nothing deal.  If you use more cash, that impacts the banks, and that's the point.

          The speech is the point.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:44:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It depends (0+ / 0-)

            Technically, you are right, but really it just depends.

            The federal reserve set the minimum required protection.  The merchants (VISA, MC, AMEX) are free to offer more protection and all of them do because it makes no sense for them to do otherwise.  

            example.  Obviously there are catches, but in general you are covered pretty much the same no matter what method you use.

    •  WTF (0+ / 0-)

      If your Debit Card is stolen, you don't lose any money

      Where did you get that idea?

      It's important to be aware of the potential risk in using an EFT card, which differs from the risk on a credit card.

      On lost or stolen credit cards, your loss is limited to $50 per card (see Lost or Stolen Credit Cards). On an EFT card, your liability for an unauthorized withdrawal can vary:

      Your loss is limited to $50 if you notify the financial institution within two business days after learning of loss or theft of your card or code.
      But you could lose as much as $500 if you do not tell the card issuer within two business days after learning of loss or theft.
      If you do not report an unauthorized transfer that appears on your statement within 60 days after the statement is mailed to you, you risk unlimited loss on transfers made after the 60-day period. That means you could lose all the money in your account plus your maximum overdraft line of credit, if any.

      •  Strictly Speaking, If Your Debit Card is Stolen (0+ / 0-)

        Cash cannot be withdrawn unless they have the code, which if you're foolish enough to supply, is not worth discussing.

        As you note, If you don't notify a bank about your loss within 2 days, then your SOL.

        If you're holding a week of expenses in cash vs having a debit card in your wallet, for me a week of cash is much worse than the maximum of $50 liability.

  •  Cash is not speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Coilette

    no matter what the Supreme Court says. That opinion is a travesty, and to associate ourselves with it is to associate ourselves with the corporatist corruption that exists right now. And furthermore, this notion is broader apology for the culture of marketing and the consumptive ideologies propagated therein. By saying that cash is speech, it reinforces the notion that the only political value a person has is their wealth and the only political activity of value is spending (or consuming). Our political rights are more varied and complex than that.

    Call this what it is. A call for a consumer boycott of credit cards. Stop using credit cards. The time is ripe for this move.

    The second part of this would be a call for people to remove their bank deposits. As our deposited cash is what banks use to engage in their unethical, possibly illegal loans. And it is time to create new banks that fully disclose their lending practices and the types of businesses and purchases that they lend money for all their customers to see with some kind of contractual obligation to depositors to engage in that behavior.

    In every cry of every man, In every infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear

    by Areopagitica on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:29:40 PM PDT

  •  This is what I did (7+ / 0-)

    After 12 years of ontime credit card payments to both Capitol One and Bank of America I called them as instructed to report my next payments would be late due to a 10% pay cut.I arranged for a debit payment that was literally 1 and 3 days late respectively to both banks.They charged me fees to do this but I wanted to be a good citizen so I paid ridiculous fees to pay them ASAP.They both sent me notices after payment that my new credit card rates were 24.99% and 31.99% due to late payments.I called them both to ask for a rate reduction.They both refused.I immediately contacted a local nonprofit credit counseling organization and turned ny accounts to them.I now pay less % than I requested and neither one of them has closed my account.I do not use them in fact I cut them up.Now I pay cash and use my debit card only when absolutely needed.No one can force you to be a victim.They kick you in the ass- kick them back in the balls.They deserve it and in the end you will have more money in your pocket.I learned my lesson.If I can't pay cash for it I don't need it.

  •  i use cash or debt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, greenearth

    only loans i have are fed student loans...........


  •  I use a debit card from my Credit Union (3+ / 0-)

    for probably 90% of my offline purchases, and 100% of my online ones.

    •  you can use paper checks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to pay bills too and that saves jobs.Humans must handle them for the most part.That way you can skip the plastic entirely.

      •  Paper checks have nasty side effects (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In that you cannot control when they get deposited and you can't control when the bank posts the transaction.  Odds are good they get deposited after you forget you wrote them and when they get deposited, your bank will post the transaction in just the right sequence to make you overdraft.  Even if you did balance your checkbook, the balance you have in your books will never match the balance the bank thinks you have.  And in that difference, they'll find numerous ways to re-arrange things in creative ways to screw you.

        Paper checks are the worst way to pay anything.  If you have to use paper, do yourself a favor and get a cashiers check.  That way the money is out of your account instantly.

        And humans dont handle checks any more then humans handle the mail.  Machines do.  If humans handled checks, it would take months for a check to post to your account.

        •  Totally agreed. I don't use checks much at all. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:51:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree on checks but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          labradog, ladybug53

          Balancing your checkbook is how you avoid issues with late deposit.

          Am I mad?

          •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

            But you need a buffer too just in case.  I dont have that and I'm an idiot because of it :-)

            (and thanks for that thing.  I'll probably get something like Microsoft Money though, but same idea).

            •  I like (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              more actually, not just because it's free, but the reporting is nicer.

              As I responded to you above:

              Good data, lots of data on your money habits is your best protection against avaricious bank practices.

              A wad of money in the wallet doesn't tell you where you spent it, and give you information to make sure you have more the next round.

            •  You don't need a buffer if you do it right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, coprario

              All the complaint about checks come from screwing up your record keeping.
              Log deposits accurately.
              Log withdrawls accurately - and immediately.
              Know the bank hold policy.
              If you do these things, you will not have a problem, nor will you need a buffer.

              The bank's biggest advantage is a lazy, inattentive client.

              I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

              by labradog on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:03:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I pay all my bills with checks and have never had (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a problem. It's a matter of good bookkeeping.  I send the bills out at least 8 to 10 days before the due date. I do use a credit union and pay no fees.  I have an ATM card and no debit card.  I use the ATMs that are free.

          And I use cash for everything. Groceries, doctor co-pays, hair salon, clothing, etc.  I don't buy expensive coffees or lunches.  I will use dept store credit cards when there's a sale and then pay the bill in full by check.

          Don't get me wrong.  I do have credit card debt, more than I care to admit.  But, those days of handing over the plastic for every little thing are over.  I managed to get my balances into very low interest rates for the life of the loan so, so far so good.  Every month I owe less.

          What Wall St did this last year changed everything for me.  I refuse to pay the banks one cent more than I have to.  I will not be a party to their usury.

      •  Mind-Blowing (0+ / 0-)

        As for using checks to create jobs:

        Why not go to the bank in a chauffeured limousine (there's a job) with your accountant (another job), withdraw funds from the teller (another job), get your personal assistant to count it (another job), then mosey on down to Bonwit Teller for your shopper (another job) to buy a box of truffles?

    •  If it says VISA on it, you are paying fees. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:52:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Attention thieves! (0+ / 0-)

    Time to steal some wallets!

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:39:15 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, and that can happen with your card too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, Coilette

      It has happened to many people I know.  Online transactions are risky too.

      Besides, it's not like you walk around with a ton of cash.

      I sure don't.

      I carry some, along with my debit card.

      If there is a significant risk, simply don't do it.  What I'm asking is for you do use cash where there isn't a lot of risk.

      Every transaction helps.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry debit card for me. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm never going back.

        And yeah I've had my card lost/stolen. A phone call to the company and police and any damage is largely gone. Cash? You're just screwed. And if the recommendation is to pay cash for everything how are you going to get it to people other than to carry it on your person?

        There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

        by MNPundit on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not everything. (0+ / 0-)

          Just consider some cash purchases.

          You know, sometimes EBT fees run $1.50.  I know what I spend each day, and it's not much.  The risk is just as big as you choose to make it out to be.

          Thanks for reading and considering this.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 08:49:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Using debit card now because my purse was stolen (0+ / 0-)

    with over $300 in cash inside.

    While I applaud the intention and excellent points for leaving less of an electronic footprint and savings in fees, there are some practical issues that cannot be overlooked. The main one that concerns me is safety.

    In the incident with the theft, a man grabbed my purse out of my shopping cart as I was loading the bags into the van. He had positioned his vehicle for a quick getaway. It was obviously a well-planned heist. I admit to being unobservant in the situation, however, it took him less than 30 seconds to snatch the purse, hop in his vehicle, and drive off.  In my outrage, I chased the guy and damn near caught him. I'm not sure what I'd have done if I had caught him, but I'm willing to bet one of us would have been hurt. Probably me. Hindsight makes me glad he got away.

    At any rate, cash makes you a target. It's a lesson I won't soon forget.

    YES WE CAN! *Obama/Biden08* YES WE WILL!

    by HoosierDeb on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:42:10 PM PDT

    •  It only makes you a target, if you are flashing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, HoosierDeb


      This can be done for a single larger purchase.  Do the grocery store for starters.  It's quite easy to just pay your food bill in cash, sharply limiting the risk.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:49:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't flashing it. (4+ / 0-)

        I had put it there the day before and paid for my purchases at the grocery with a debit card. The cash was for another, subsequent purchase (ala your single large purchase). He was hoping for a decent haul & got lucky. I'm a former bank teller and truckstop bookkeeper. I am very aware of proper cash handling methods.

        I use a debit card issued through my community bank for most purchases. I also now strap my purse into the cart using the child safety belt (if I take my purse at all). Next fool that tries to grab it is going to get more than he expected.

        The incident I related happened a few years back. Folks are even more desperate today than they were back then. Again, I understand and applaud the intention behind your suggestion. I merely stated that safety concerns are not to be left out of the mix.

        YES WE CAN! *Obama/Biden08* YES WE WILL!

        by HoosierDeb on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:11:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, stuff happens. Sorry about that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:15:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is big for me too. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          potatohead, HoosierDeb


          But I never put cash in my purse now. :)

          Pockets only, and I arrange the amounts I think I will need in the proper pocket before I go into the store.

          I have stopped using a "purse" in the real sense anyway. A tarot bag which is tucked under my jacket usually anyway.

          I have never been robbed like you were, I am just paranoid.

          A Creative Revolution- - To revolt within society in order to make it a little better- Krishnamurti

          by pale cold on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:02:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I carry very little of value in it anymore. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pale cold

            Mostly just my other glasses, lip ointment, pens, etc.  If I'm just running errands, it's sans purse.  The 'pockets solution' is great advice and I use that on occasion as well. Thanks for the reminder.

            Thankfully it wasn't a traumatic experience. More one of life's lessons, but I don't think I've been that pissed off in a very long time. The boldness of it absolutely made me see a fury I didn't know I had. Like I said, it was good thing I didn't catch him. >:-p

            YES WE CAN! *Obama/Biden08* YES WE WILL!

            by HoosierDeb on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:33:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  But none of this applies to me. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't use ATMs that charge fees (in fact, I almost never use ATMs, except when I need to deposit a check). I get no fees on using my accounts - credit or bank: I always pay off my credit card bills every month except on the rare occasions where I have to make a big purchase (Ie: the $500 to pay off buying new computer parts from NewEgg took 2 months instead of one).

    For me, I STOPPED using cash because it makes me spend more money. Have a few ones in my wallet, or spare change? It would likely go into the snack machine at work to buy me a coke or a candybar. If I don't keep any cash on me, I'm SOL when I want a snack if I don't bring it with me... and it's better for my health, too. Instead, I bring an apple and some crackers with me from home.

    Not to mention, when you lose cash, it's gone for GOOD. If I lost my debit card - which I did once on a trip - all I had to do was call the bank to cancel the card and I was safe, no money gone.

    So, sorry, I don't agree with you. Going cash-only doesn't work for everyone. If it works for you, great, more power to you... but this advice does not apply universally.

  •  I keep my cash in my bra (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, lgcap, Coilette, Wom Bat

    if I have over 50 bucks.If you find  it there I want you to have it.

  •  I use my credit card if it's possible. (0+ / 0-)

    We get points towards cash back and so we use it for everything possible.  We also pay it off every month in full.  The credit card company pays us $150-200 a year.

    •  either you want to speak or not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      If not, that's fine.

      Personally, I can't stomach perks from these greedy asses.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:48:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's bribe to be stupid for 200 bucks. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, spookthesunset
      •  Yeah it is. (0+ / 0-)

        Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

        by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:06:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. (0+ / 0-)
        •  It means the vast majority of people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          who take them up on the offer don't come out ahead.

          Secondly, the incentives associated with the offer encourage "stupid" decisions.

          People will do amazing things just to get a free trip, or some other perk, that they may well have been able to afford, given they didn't entertain those incentives.

          Not a slam on you, just the practice in general.  They don't make the offers to actually "reward" good customers.  That's just an artifact.  They make the offers and structure them so that people feel "rewarded" and or are encouraged to do things that are more profitable for the bank.  They don't really care about anybody, other than for how much money they can extract from them.  

          If you meant the speech, then it's simple.

          Increasing your use of cash is speech that reinforces the idea that people are not happy with the banks behavior right now.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 11:19:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Recently been asked to produce picture ID to pay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potatohead, ladybug53

    cash and we are only talking about 50 bucks.  told it was store policy.  TJ Maxx.

  •  On payday, I take out some cash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I keep a few bills with me to pay for small purchases, leave the remainder at home.  I do still use my debit card for larger transactions.  

    I only occasionally use a credit card for online purchases.  Mostly, I use PayPal's plugin for generating a one-time use cc number.  The money still comes out of my bank account, but I'm not using the riskier option of using my debit card online.

    There's a gas station in my neighborhood that knocks off five cents per gallon for using cash.  I try to buy there whenever I can.

    My goal is to pay off the balance I have with BoA, et al and never do business with them again.  Greedy assholes.

    GOP: Grand Obstructionist Party (sore losers too!)

    by BlueInRedCincy on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:27:43 PM PDT

    •  Amen on BofA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I used an MBNA Visa for some dramatic dental work (implants and bone grafts when my upper jaw mysteriously melted in a small spot and two molars literally popped out, but that's another story) and set up - yes - automatic payments for the balance (mid-five-figure). But unbeknownst to me, MBNA was bought by BofA, and I didn't notice the fees being deducted one month per plan, so then I tried to log into MBNA. Well, their payment site was gone, so I struggled to find out what was happening with BofA (no paper statements at all), and of course my payments were late and bang - interest rate jump. That spawned a fight which it was clear I was going to lose, so unhappily paying off, and will leave BofA when this is over.

  •  And then there was the cash invested in Bank of M (0+ / 0-)

    wherein M stands for mattress...and then some well meaning relative throws the mattress away.  Remember that story from a week or so ago?

  •  National move, close account with too big to fail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, jfdunphy

    Isn't it a simple, teachable truth that the people of this country cannot afford to do business with banks that are too big to fail?  We just can't let something even exist that can hold a gun to our head and rob us blind whenever they feel they need to, with no sheriff with the power to make them pay.  As things are going now, it's going to happen again, no doubt.  Why wouldn't it?  Isn't this easy enough to see, and help others see?  Can we try to start a national movement to educate people on how much this is costing them and foster a movement to banks that are small enough to deal with, and small enough to be able to afford to allow exist?

    I'm not sure how to deal with the credit card monopolies, but I would think knocking the banks that run them down to size would be a good start.  It's not all banks that are the problem, just the really big ones, but who needs them?  Smaller banks are fine.  I'm changing to a credit union.  But it won't help the "too big to fail" problem unless enough people switch, and stay switched.

    Of course the first thing the big banks would do is buy out the competition, so maybe, like the idea of having a public plan for health insurance that can't be bought out by big insurance, we need to check out trying to move toward state-owned banks, like North Dakota's, that can't be bought.  Hmm, do I see a trend here?

    The big banks own Congress so there is no help from the sheriff there.  Organizing against them, using our ability to move our business, could knock them down to size without having to get anything through Congress.  Can this be done?  Can we afford not to do it, and is there really any other way right now?

    Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God. A Course in Miracles.

    by Steven wonders on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:45:25 PM PDT

  •  I use a debit card when I can (0+ / 0-)

    That way I don't have to carry a lot of cash, which is bulky (especially once you start making change), and since I pay a monthly fee to my bank anyway, it costs them a small amount every time I use it. It's just a lot more convenient than cash.

    What I don't understand is people who write checks for everything, even $5 purchases at the supermarket, and then make everyone wait for them to balance their checkbook register, which they do slowly and meticulously. I never saw this when I lived in NYC, but see it all the time in Seattle and it drives me and I'm sure others bonkers.

    Despite its reputation as a progressive city, there's this infuriating passive-aggressive, anal-retentive, stuck in the past, fear of change, not gonna change just to please you attitude here that I just don't understand. It's like people WANT to be annoying, go out of their way to be annoying, just to annoy others and not feel insignificant.

    Or, perhaps, they just don't trust all this newfangled technology stuff (believe it or not, not everyone here works for Microsoft). Such people, I'm sure, will never use cash, because they'd be scared to lose $5 or a purchase receipt and have to spend the entire afternoon accounting for every cent spent.

    Ok, mini-rant over. Me, I'll continue to use debit cards.

    Fox Nauseam Delenda Est

    by kovie on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:50:48 PM PDT

    •  Consider some cash because it's effective speech (0+ / 0-)

      not because it's necessarily better for you.

      That's the point of this diary.  Effective, push back speech to the banks.

      The only language they understand is money and law.

      What we actually say to them, about them, because of them does not matter at all to them.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:07:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket (0+ / 0-)

        that will never be more than a symbolic protest that the banks will never really notice or care about. I think that people using debit instead of credit cards would be more effective, since banks make less money off of them. That's what I've been doing.

        This reminds me of a "protest" technique that my grade school earth science teacher told us about in the 70's, to mail in as many of those postage-paid postcards that corporations insert into magazines, without filling in any personal information, in the hopes that they end up paying so much in postage, for nothing in return, that they stop this environmentally wasteful practice. Guess what? It didn't work.

        There are more effective ways to fight the banks, like pushing for tougher regulations, and urging people to not use credit cards when possible.

        Fox Nauseam Delenda Est

        by kovie on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:17:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not mutually exclusive. (0+ / 0-)

          Good advocacy is advocacy on many fronts.


          Being symbolic just adds to the overall impact.

          And, if you think it doesn't make an impact, think again.  Because of all the funny money credit defaults and such, these clowns are way over leveraged.

          A percent or two change matters.

          Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

          by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:18:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But debit cards COST banks money (0+ / 0-)

            Whereas cash has no impact on them one way or another. So I see using debit cards over cash or credit cards as an even more effective way of "hurting" banks.

            Fox Nauseam Delenda Est

            by kovie on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:23:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why then do merchants charge debit fees? (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think debits cost banks money.

              Why offer them and subject themselves to that?

              Source this please!

              Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

              by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:28:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is only one merchant that I use (0+ / 0-)

                that charges debit fees, and I try not to use a debit card with them when I can. The rest do not charge any such fees. Not to me at least. If banks charge merchants debit fees, well, then that's between them, not me.

                The solution to the financial mess that we're in is not moving backward, to a cash-only off-the-grid economy. Such "solutions" will always be a marginal effort. We need to regulate the banks to the point where they start doing what they're supposed to do, not rip us off. We do need banks, and always will. We just need to make them be what they're supposed to be, not ripoff outfits that ruin economies.

                Fox Nauseam Delenda Est

                by kovie on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:46:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually that makes the speech effective! (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't think the debit cards cost the banks money.

                  They would not promote them so widely if they did.

                  So then, consider some cash purchases as advocacy speech against what the banks are doing.

                  Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                  by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:48:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How can it be speech (0+ / 0-)

                    if by its very nature it's silent to its intended audience, banks, because they'll never know what didn't happen? Cash transactions would have to significantly cut into non-cash transactions for them to both notice and care, and I don't see that happening due to this campaign. It's only going to make people FEEL like they're doing something.

                    FWIW, I try to bring my own bags when I buy things now, and use plastic bags as infrequently as possible, and ride my bike or walk as often as possible when shopping, so I'm doing other things to help out. This just seems less helpful to me, but I respect what you're trying to do here.

                    Fox Nauseam Delenda Est

                    by kovie on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:58:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's speech like any other advocacy is. (0+ / 0-)

                      So let's take the scenario where there isn't a lot of impact.

                      If people feel they are doing something, and share that with others, then there is some awareness of the problem.

                      Combine that with other advocacy efforts and it all adds together toward motivation for change.

                      If you look at any one effort and say, "I won't see anything directly from that" then no efforts get done to add together!

                      I've made changes in how I deal with banks, and I've done so to minimize my support of them.  I'm asking others to do the same.

                      That's speech using money as the vehicle for it, and it's going to combine with the other efforts toward other things.

                      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 03:06:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh be sure and tell others. (0+ / 0-)

                      This is part of it too.

                      Being able to say, "I'm not supporting the banks", stating why, and backing that with some action, if minor, is a lot more effective advocacy than simply doing nothing and that's the point of it.

                      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

                      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 03:07:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary and comments. One dumb thing: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is no danger in using checks if you know arithmetic, and keep your register current.
    This bullshit about "they'll 'stack' your deposits" makes no sense.
    If you record your deposits accurately, as well as withdrawls, and you make yourself aware of your bank's hold policy, you should not have any problem.

    It doesn't matter what order your checks are presented and collected in - if you have the money in your account to back each check you write, you are covered. If you're kiting checks, you have other problems to solve.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 01:56:01 PM PDT

    •  I rec'd you, but... (0+ / 0-)

      It's always easy to say "manage your money" when you have money to manage.

      For those living on the edge, and that's an awful lot of us right now, just having enough money is the problem.

      Using cash gives that struggling person a lot of options, and not many fees.  $50 matters to them, and using more cash can get them that $50.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:02:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I'm nearly broke... (0+ / 0-)

        ...if I keep a good register, then I know when I'm trying to kite a check, and I can decide whether or not to do it.

        I think the idea of using less credit card transactions is a good one.

        The idea that checks are another evil trick from the bank is just rationalizing one's own sloppy recordkeeping. I saw one commenter suggest using cashier's checks so the money comes right out of your account, whatever the hell that means. I do know that cashier check will incur a fee that you don't need to be paying.

        I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:10:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of the old joke... (0+ / 0-)

      ... "I can't be out of money, I still have checks!"

      It doesn't matter whether you pay in cash or check. Money is money and you can't spend more than you have. If you are bad at arithmetic then yep, pay cash by all means.

      I'm sorry, the 18k club is not accepting new members at this time.

      by cooper888 on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:38:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I use a debit card for most things (0+ / 0-)

    but I carry cash for small stuff (a cup of coffee, veggies at the farmer's market, etc.). I'm like Lyme-- I actually spend more when carrying cash. Plus I was mugged once, and ever since then I've been nervous when carrying a lot of cash.

    Then sometimes I use credit for big things, and transfer to a "0% interest for nine months" deal (although I pay a 3% flat fee) and make sure to pay it off before the interest kicks in.

    •  Consider a few cash purchases to speak (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's what the diary is about.

      If you move just a few purchases to cash, you reduce the transaction fees, and that's speech the banks can understand.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:36:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll give it a shot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, potatohead

    I have to admit, I have gotten very used to not carrying cash, and just using my debit card everywhere.  But, I shall try to change my ways.  Because when you get right down to it, I really, really don't like banks.

    •  Thanks!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, David R

      Just be smart about it.

      There are lots of great points made in this discussion.  It's about the speech, meaning you don't have to take big risks.  Just move a few known purchases to cash.

      I would do the grocery store.  That's an easy one.  We all know what the food bill is.  Snag that cash and go and do it.

      Speak or be spoken for. This is the lesson learned over the last 8 years.

      by potatohead on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I waited until my mid 30s to get my first card (0+ / 0-)

    Never liked them much.

    Insurance, Oil, Banking, and Defense corporations all have a substantial equity positions in what's supposed to be our Congress.

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 03:46:29 PM PDT

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