Use it or lose it?

I can’t remember the last time I used cash to pay for something, but it was several weeks ago.

The review warned then that more than 8 million UK adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society, with a significant number still relying on cash for day-to-day transactions.

Why? The article makes this statement but doesn’t explain it.

Even someone with poor credit history has a legal right to a free basic bank account that does everything required to be functional without cash. It seems to me that this isn’t being people “being excluded” but simply people excluding themselves. The common argument for preferring cash is that it “helps them budget”. I’ve never understood this. For me at least, cash gets frittered away and I don’t know where it’s gone. Card payments on the other hand are all individually logged and categorised, which is essential for proper budgeting.

There are only really two remaining arguments for using cash. 1) Privacy, since there isn’t a log at any bank about where you’ve been. 2) Hiding the transaction, typically for tax evasion.

The sooner we get rid of cash the better.

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Yes I must confess to being just as guilty, usually Google pay or contactless card

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I dont disagree with your 2 points but on the other side there is:…

Cash allows me to store my wealth without being dependent on others.
How reliable are the banks? in 2008 they were on the verge of collapsing.
In 2011 in Cyprus many peoples savings were devalued to bail the bank out.
In Japan they have imposed negative rates so you pay to save money.
When you deposit money in a bank they own it…not you! You are giving away ownership.
If we were cashless, in later years many will have access to our accounts and any small debt will have your account closed.
It also has its uses for private transactions, for which there are many possible reasons, and by no means all of them illegal.

History suggests otherwise, Al Capone was 100% cash they got him

Likewise I don’t necessarily disagree with your comments, but I do have significant issues with this particular statement. If you mean the proverbial “cash under the mattress” then in the event of banks collapsing to the point the government can’t cover the agreed FSCS guarantee then it’s quite likely that paper money would itself become worthless. Then there’s the issue of security. I don’t lose sleep over banks collapsing. I certainly would lose sleep having significant amounts of money stored in my house. Will your insurance cover the loss in the event of a fire? Will your family survive the break in while you sleep, when someone finds out somehow just how much you’ve got stashed away? Doing this would only even begin to make sense if we were talking so much wealth as to have a basement vault for the family jewels.

To me it’s similar to the arguments against contactless payments. If someone steals your wallet, they can go and spend several multiples of £30 before the card either starts asking for a PIN or stops working entirely after you’ve reported it stolen. Then the bank will refund all the fraudulent transactions without question, assuming you’re not in the habit of “losing” you card many times a year. Lose your wallet with £100 of cash in it and you’re never seeing that again. I know which I prefer.

We haven’t even started yet on inflation risk. Keeping cash in a bank in a low (or negative) interest rate environment, never mind the zero rate of under the bed return, isn’t enough to keep the value of your savings against inflation. The only way to ensure your life savings (i.e., most likely your pension) will actually support you in retirement is to invest it. Choose some relatively low risk low fee index trackers and the overall risk is likely lower than cash savings, even though it may perceptually feel higher. With a globally diverse portfolio that isn’t reliant on one bank, or company, or sector, there would have to be some global economic crash significantly worse than 2008 before you’d lose it all. By that point you’d be more worried about where the food and electricity were going to continue to come from than what might have happened to your pension.

Banking and investing aren’t perfect by any means. There are lots of problems. But it’s the best system we have.

If I don’t use cash I’m done for at my greengrocer (remember them?) as he only accepts cash. And when going to the pub, if I take £20 and leave my cards at home, I can’t lose or abuse my cards. Cash still has its uses.

Then your greengrocer needs to get with the times! There are plenty of systems available for taking card payments that are inexpensive to operate. Hell, even someone at a local craft fair I went to recently was able to take card payments easily via a small device plugged into a phone.

Or you could have some self control, and not get so drunk as to lose it :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m well aware of things like dinky card readers but the greengrocer doesn’t care! He’s happy to sell fruit and veg with no plastic, and paper bags, and doesn’t use a till. I can’t vouch for his accounting skills but he seems happy enough :wink: Meanwhile I have plenty of self control and never get drunk but it’s easy to lose a wallet.

unfotunately when I used to drink, and went to the pub I had none left to lose, the upside being CI didn’t have to bother about self control

Down in the South west there’s loads of car park machines that only take cash, and still some pubs / bars that only take cash too.

Some of the car parking meters take about 10 minutes to get enough signal to make the card transaction, by which point you’ve got a £50 fine for not having a parking ticket (yes this actually happens)