Money Monday: Is Cash Still King?

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While growing up around people who engaged in financial transactions, I would often ear the statement “cash is king!” What they meant was that they would rather execute a transaction with someone who had cash, than someone who would write a check or provide some loan or promissory note. I noticed that cash was the preferred choice, especially among those who engaged in gambling, hustling, and drug dealing. But is cash still king today? And how are you going to pay for it?

Going Cashless

According to a Pew Research study  conducted in 2022, more than 40% of Americans say they generally do not use cash on a weekly basis while conducting purchases. And according to a 2022 Gallup Poll, almost 65% of Americans believe that the country will become cashless in their lifetime. That should come as no surprise to you since the same polls found that 54% of people between the ages of 18 through 29, are comfortable without using cash; and 55% of those aged 30 through 49 are also comfortable without using cash. Plus since 2019 there has been a 4% reduction in the umber of ATMs available. The data suggest that cash has been dethroned and is no longer king and therefore how you pay for goods and services does not matter. Not so fast, though! The king is not dead yet!

Cash Ups and Downs

The downside of not paying by cash and using peer-to-peer payments such as Cash App is that you run the risk of misdirected payments. There are scammers and hackers who impersonate someone you know and once you have pushed that button or swiped that card you may be stuck with the loss of those funds. According to Pew Research, some individuals who use Cash App, Venmo, and those forms of payments have been victimized; while 11% of them have been hacked. Just to make the point, in 2021 some $1.6 billion was lost due to scams, with only a few amounts reimbursed. The upside of using cash perhaps was best exemplified during the Covid-19 crisis when it seemed that everyone was attempting to purchase a house. Those who had more cash on hand and were more liquid were able to have more leverage and negotiating power. That was not only true for house purchases, but was the case where the supply chain was slow, or in the purchase of used vehicle. So, long live the king!

Additionally, I have seen in retail commercial transactions where those who have cash would receive additional discounts and in some transactions, avoid incurring taxes. I am not suggesting you not pay taxes, but it would appear that paying by cash provides incentives. Long live the king!

The last upside of paying by cash is that we are more conscientious in our transactions. An MIT study found shoppers spent 100% more when paying using credit cards than using cash. More interestingly, people who went out for dinner tipped an average of 4.29% more when paying by credit card than paying by cash according to the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Not Paying by Cash

If you are not going to pay by cash, you should consider the following actions:

  • Confirm the email address, name, and phone number of the recipient prior to sending payment or money.
  • Use multi-factor identification to protect your account.
  • Do not share your PIN and identification information, even if your caller ID suggests that it is a person you know. It could be Chat GPT or AI calling. Hang up and call them back.

Paying by Cash

With the ability to acquire things through Apps, wire transfers, and other means, when should you pay for something by cash? The answer to that question depends in large part on where you are in your personal finances. But if I were to suggest one general rule; you could start with the idea of paying for things by cash when you are engaging in discretionary spending. Although it is ideal to use cold cash, in this case, we can equate paying for something with your debit card to paying by cash. The point is, if it’s discretionary spending, let cash remain king!

WHAT’S UP!

Today’s What’s Up is about the Repo Man. With the average American auto vehicle loan amount now being $42,000, with close to 6% of Americans 60 days or more behind on their car loans, the Repo Man is back in business. So whether you make six figures or less, here is what to do if trouble is headed your way. The main thing is to speak with your lender immediately. Why? Because the dealer or lender will sell your vehicle at an auction and you may still have time to get your car back before the auction. Remember, if the dealer sells it for less than the amount you we, you will still end up with a car note and no vehicle to drive. Call now, and work things out! And that’s what’s up!

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC. Give2Get Rich, LLC 2023. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents

in any form is prohibited.

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