43% of Americans go without cash for a week

@Money June 22, 2012: 11:35 AM ET
cut-out-cash.top.jpg

43% of Americans cut out cash for a week

(MONEY Magazine) -- Are cash payments becoming a thing of the past?

Money never goes out of style, but the paper version seems to have lost some appeal: Able to buy stuff with debit cards, credit cards, and even mobile phones, two in five adults have gone cashless for an entire week, according to a recent survey by Rasmussen Reports.

While plastic is convenient, it's also a threat to thrift: A 2011 study found that people paying with cash think more about a purchase's costs; those using credit dwell more on the benefits -- and are primed to pay more.

MAKE IT PAY

Using cash? Ask for a discount. Changes to Visa and MasterCard rules in 2010 permit merchants to cut prices for customers bearing legal tender.

Mom-and-pop shops might knock 2% to 3% off your bill, says SmartCredit.com CEO John Ulzheimer.

Using plastic? Put off buying unplanned purchases a few days, says Connecticut College psychology professor Stuart Vyse.

You'll duplicate the cash-economy delay of having to get money from the bank -- and give yourself time to reconsider what you really need to buy.  To top of page

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