Cash or Credit
Are you a Cash or Credit Card type of person?
My dad was a Strictly Cash kind of person. Very rarely used his credit card. On payday, he used to go straight to the credit union and cash his whole paycheck. The he’d pass on a huge wad of money to my mom to pay for the household expenses.
My father-in-law – being a retired accountant – was the opposite. He’d pay for almost everything with a credit card. Before, when you used to be able to charge your phone bill, electric bill, water bill, etc. to your credit card, he’d do that. His theory was that he was “floating” the outstanding payment for almost an extra month while his cash in the bank gained interest. Plus, he’d either earn miles or get cash back by using his credit card. The trick to beating the system is to make sure you pay off your whole credit card amount on time. Once you start paying credit card interest – you’re losing the game.
Me, I’m a little bit of both. Whatever household expenses that I can pay by credit card, I do. Mostly all purchases are paid for by credit card including meals at restaurants. Except fast food and most take out foods. For some reason, I always use cash. Must be an MLC thing. Plus, it keeps me from spending too much for food since I’m forced to budget the amount of cash in my wallet. And also, not all food places accept credit card payments.
Now when it comes to paying for gasoline… I used to always pay cash to fill up my tank. But that was when a tank of gas used to cost under $20. And nowadays, self-service gas stations such as Costco only take credit card payments.
As for paying the bills – with on-line bill payment, it’s so easy. No more writing checks or addressing envelopes or buying stamps. But I still do log every transaction in the checkbook log and balance it – to the penny – every payday. That’s just the anal part in me.
I remember in the old days when I was too young for elementary school, my mom used to write out the checks to pay the bills, and we’d head to the Kailua Bank of Hawaii drive up teller window. Of course, me, having the whole back seat to myself, I’d roll down the back window on the driver’s side, stand on the seat with half my body sticking out the window and try and see what’s in the stainless steel drawer that the teller pushed in and out. And I’d always shout a “Hi” and “Bye”.
Wow, remember when banks used to rule? Their hours were be between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. And on Fridays, they cut us a break and opened until 6:00 PM. Of course – closed on Saturday and Sundays. And we’d have to adjust OUR schedule to fit into their business hours. My, how times have changed.
Debit cards – I don’t use them. Again, why have the cash taken out immediately when I can “float” the cash and earn interest by paying by credit card. Yes, I know – with today’s interest rates I might gain, maybe a nickel. If I’m lucky. But it’s a matter of principle. <— What MLCers say when they’re just stuck in their old ways.
Were your parents like mine – choosing to pay cash over credit card? Or did they use credit cards? And what about you; Paper or Plastic? And do you balance your checkbook or just accept what it says on the monthly bank statement? Debit cards – love it or hate it?
Thought of your costume yet?