Going Cash-Only

I’ve often run across articles about the wisdom of cutting up one’s credit cards, using only cash, avoiding all debt, and so on. Usually in response I roll my eyes, think fondly of my 2% cash back arrangement and the low rate on my home loan, and move along cheerfully. However, Brett Arends provides a few compelling reasons to be cash-only (or at least, to rely much more on cash) in his recent SmartMoney article. First, cash offers a certain degree of privacy compared to credit cards, where your every purchase is tracked and the information used in future marketing efforts. Second, credit card use enriches certain companies or their employees at the expense of others, and perhaps it’s more important to do business that keeps local employees at work, in your credit union or bank, than to further line the pockets of AmEx or other companies that are outsourcing labor and taking money from local businesses.

Of course, I’ll still continue using credit cards, since I function on the same budget and purchasing plan whether I use cash or credit, and I like the cashback bonuses. However, there are still some good reasons worth considering, to rely on cash more often.

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