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How Much Cash Do You Carry Around?

How Much Cash Do You Carry Around?


Don’t worry, I don’t need to borrow any money. I’m just curious to see how many people have started to use an envelope system to manage their budget categories. An objection that is often raised when discussing the envelope system is that people don’t want to carry around a ton of cash, I assume out of a fear of robbery. I guess I could understand this if I were asking you to carry around thousands of dollars in cash, though to a would-be robber, a purse with $42 in it and a purse with $4,000 in it look largely the same.

Right now, I have about $42 in my wallet, which is kind of low, but this is the last week of the month. Ordinarily, I carry around a little more than this, depending upon the time of the month and where I’m headed: when I go to the grocery store, I pay in cash, so I would be carrying around a little bit more. The main reason I don’t understand an aversion to cash is that you don’t have to bring it everywhere you go–I don’t carry around ALL of the cash in the budget, just what I might need that day. Most of the money stays at home.

But the biggest reason I like to use cash is I don’t have to think about it. It’s got the budgeting built in–when it’s gone, there’s no more left in the budget. With debit cards, you always have to go, “Well, how much have I spent on groceries so far? How much should I limit this trip to? etc.” Cash is so easy.

So how about you? How much cash do you carry around?

Comments (4)

  1. weezy
    Mar 25, 2009

    I get out $125 from my paycheck each week and it all stays with me and gets spent away. When I deposit my next check, I take any leftover cash from the prior week and put it in my snowflake stash. This week, I’ll probably only have $2-$3 left over.

  2. Mar 25, 2009

    I carry some for emergencies, places where credit cards aren’t accepted, etc. I find it much harder to control spending with cash though, because there’s no record afterward, so I only use it when there is no alternative.

  3. Snakey
    Mar 25, 2009

    I am sooo flunking out at the cash thing. Plastic is still more convenient. All I’m managing is to be much more value aware. Just a quick mental “Is this really worth $_.__ to me?” or “Would I buy this in cash?” or “Will I still be excited about this in 4 weeks?” and possibly “Did I do my research / is this really a good price?” (don’t know = must walk away) helps.

    The other thing I notice is me digging around for bills and change and feeling slightly self-conscious about it. I blame those VISA (?) adds (where the cash payer brings everyone’s blissful zombie shopping experience to a sudden halt). I need to channel my contrarian attitude, ignore plastic, and embrace the slow –cash– movement.

  4. Jul 19, 2010

    For me, cash actually goes faster than plastic. Crazy, huh?

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