Even in the 21st century, you can survive without plastic. Thrive, actually. Many people swear by the switch to cash-only as a means to avoid going into debt.
The act of forking over greenbacks is more tangible than the swipe of the credit card. The spender is more aware of what’s being spent—and what, if anything, is left in one’s pocket. When you spend with a credit card (and even with a debit card), you’re more removed from the transaction. Sure, you’re spending money just the same, but it’s easier than dropping cold cash. The convenience often translates into a certain level of thoughtlessness, and you wind up spending more than you should.
Or that’s what many cash-only advocates say. They’ve gotten rid of credit cards and swear by paying cash for just about everything, thereby eliminating the possibility of spending more than you have. They also eliminate the possibility of getting cash back and other rewards provided by many credit cards.
Even so, going cash is safe (as long as you don’t get mugged), and it works for a lot of people who have trouble disciplining their spending in other ways. Before you jump onboard the greenback bandwagon, read BankRate.com’s “4 factors to weigh before going all cash,” and also “4 steps to achieving an all-cash diet.”