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A Cashless Life

It's a rare day when you are able to walk through any major city's downtown or financial district without being asked at least once: "Can you spare some change?" My answer is always, "No, sorry!" It's not that I'm void of all compassion or that I don't want to give away the money I've worked so hard to earn. But unless the panhandler has a credit card machine in his pocket, I literally can't spare change because I don't physically have any! I cannot remember the last time my wallet even came close to smelling the scent of a USD bill of any denomination.

What are my reasons for living a completely cashless life?

First, cash is hard to come by. Even though I live in the same building as my bank, direct deposit and automatic payments give me no reason to step foot in the branch. And frankly, I don't miss having to try and remember my bank account number to fill out a deposit slip and then wait in a long line just to deposit a check with an amount that eventually seems insignificant compared to the time it took me to even deposit it! And then if I want cash, I'd have to either go back to the branch and stand in line or go in search of an ATM that won't charge me $3 just to use it.

Second, I love me some points! I personally use the Citi PremierPass Elite credit card for most of my purchases and earn points I can redeem towards free travel around the world. Cash gains me no points whatsoever, so why not at least get something back for the money I'm spending?

Third, I'll take a 30-day interest-free loan anytime I can get it. I learned from the day I turned 18 the importance of only spending on credit what I could pay back upon the due date. So while my credit card allows me to spend now and pay back later, I put my cash in an online savings account that earns one of the highest interest rates in the country until the payment is due.

Fourth, when I charge all purchases, I have a record in the form of an online credit card statement of every single purchase I have made on my credit card. At the end of each month, I know exactly how much I have spent on food, gas, entertainment, apparel, etc. When I pay using cash, it's all gone before I know it, leaving me to wrack my brain to try and figure out how every penny was spent.

A cashless life is not for everyone. Some of you may be recovering credit-a-holics and part of your recovery program is to learn how to live on a budget by using only what cash you have. And some of you may prefer to use cash instead of credit just because you like the feel of cold hard cash in your hands. Whatever it is you choose, I'd love to hear what you prefer and why. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Elisabeth Chan's picture

Elisabeth Chan is Creditnet's resident credit card expert. Elisabeth graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business.

When she's not rating and reviewing credit cards, Elisabeth enjoys gushing over her daughter (who is her exact clone), eating out (sushi and Chinese are favs), or attempting to conquer the pilates reformer machine (so far, all attempts have been futile).

Visit 's Google Plus profile for more.


johnny's picture

Thanks for good post