Cash vs. Credit

Most people like using cash. Cash is accepted where ever you go, you can carry a certain amount to keep from overspending, and there is no risk of identity theft. Those seem like pretty good reasons to use it. I like to carry cash with me because it comes in handy. For example, when I am going out with a group of people to a restaurant, cash is easiest to use. You simply put in the number of bills that you are responsible for. It is much easier than asking the waitress to separate the bill into ten smaller amounts. However, then there are the less reasonable reasons to use cash. Someone I once talked to told me that they use cash because they can feel it in their hands. Another person stated, “Cash is King!” Some people use cash exclusively because they are afraid of the risks that come with credit cards. They cite possible identity theft, interest, and overspending as reasons for not using cards. Others are in piles of credit card debt that they incurred as young, irresponsible adults and point to credit cards as the main issue for their troubles. Finally, there is the group that had previously used credit cards, went into debt because of overspending, paid off their debts, but are now afraid to use cards because they fear the same will happen again.

I am in love with my credit cards (yes, that is plural) and it is not because I am a shopaholic, in debt, or any reason related to the items I buy with it. I love my credit cards because I get more value out of them than I do with cash. I like to use cards for their rewards. Sure, the reward is a very small fraction of you actually pay, but if I am going to spend $1000 no matter what, then why not enjoy a free $10 gift card? I also like credit cards because I view them just like cash. Unlike some people, every swipe of the credit card feels like spending money to me. I do not view using a credit card as not spending money. It will always be money out of the bank…and it hurts just the same! I do not have the issue of overspending because I track exactly what I spend. On the flip side, I often find myself more casual with cash than with cards. Each bill is exactly the same size and feels the same. So even though I start the night with a $20 bill and at the end of the night have $3 in dollar bills, it physically feels like I have not spent anything. In fact, it almost feels like I gained money! Finally, I like credit cards because of the protection. Although some may say I am risking identity theft by having a card, I say that I am preventing theft. See, if I have $20 in cash and someone steals it, then I will never see that $20 again. However, if I have a credit card and someone makes fraudulent purchases on it, I can log into my account online, track these purchases, and report them as fraud to my credit card company. Cardholders have immeasurably more protection than those with cash.

So yes, this was a rambling post, but forgive me it is 4am in the morning and the only reason why I am writing this is because I promised myself that I would write everyday. And 500 words is better than nothing.

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