questionsis cash slowly becoming outdated?

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Have you ever tried to buy a happy meal with gold? The universal acceptance idea is a myth that gold marketers like to use.

I haven't used cash in more than a year.

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Hard to complete a lot of illegal transactions like drug sales, paying workers under the table, etc... without cold hard cash.

Or at least that is what I have heard....

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I use my debit/credit card for everything. I rarely have cash on me, I have reminders in my phone to remember to get cash for tips before a salon appt. however, I try and keep a decent amount on hand for emergencies at home - such as when the hurricane just came through and no one had power to run credit card machines. Cash was a big issue for a lot of people then (and probably still is in some areas). I would be concerned about going totally electronic because in the event of massive power outages it leaves us in a vulnerable position. Although maybe in the future the infrastructure would be good enough that wouldn't be an issue. I'd sure like it myself!

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Nope. Cash will not become outdated. Unless there is some program that gives everbody a a bank account, a smartphone, and an app to scan credit cards (all for free) then cash will be around. I'm not sure of the statistics on cash transactions, but I assure you its way higher than you think. Just doing a google search it appears that around 17 million adults still don't have a bank account in the US alone, so you can bet that they all still depend on cash. Not to mention cash is the only way that most people buy and sell goods peer-to-peer. I carry a minimum of $40 in cash on me at all times, and it comes in handy every now and then.

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There are several situations where electronic transactions don't work or don't have the same feel.

Tipping where there is no main bill or it is paid separately: sky caps, bell hops, limo drivers, street performers, strippers (going to Vegas next month can you tell? :)
Slipping the maitre'd a 20/100 for a nice table
B-Day, XMas and other cards where a nice crisp bill is tradition.
Money trees, at weddings
Pinning cash on on someone celebrating a b-day or imminent wedding (weird, never seen it until I moved to the South)
Most vending machines

Some businesses share phone lines among more than one card reader plus a fax machine. So you either wait or pay cash.

Joint accounts. If my significant other has access to my statements that makes it harder to buy surprise gifts without cash.

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I try not to carry cash whenever possible, so for me, it's pretty out of date.

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Carry cash all the time. I've ran into 4 instances in the last 2 months where the debit/credit ability was down at the place we stopped. I carry cash for pretty much stop and robs to pick up a soda or lunch at fast food places, plus the occasional toll.

Otherwise it's usually debit.

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A little bit, maybe, but cash will always be king. Similar story to @mtm2, two weeks ago our business couldn''t process credit/debit cards for almost 3 days because "someone" cut a fiber optic cable 200 miles away from here. The outage happened again all day yesterday. We literally had to tell customers that without cash they couldn't make a purchase.

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I pay for almost everything with my credit card (woo-hoo! Amazon rewards!) but I do keep some cash in my wallet. I just like the flexibility it gives me, particularly in emergency situations...or when my coworker forgets his wallet and needs to buy lunch. Garage Sales also usually only take cash, so it's handy at times.

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I use cash for almost all of my day to day purchases. Debit for all of the other purchases like bills or gas. I get better deals when using cash at some stores, and using cash encourages me to be a saver rather than a spender.

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When the financial system finally breaks down worldwide, cash and precious metals will have very little value. The most valuable commodities will be food, water, fuel, alcohol/drugs, firearms and toilet paper. And anything else that is in very scarce supply or has to be shipped long distances (coffee, cocoa etc.). Remember, there are practically NO economic systems left that hold to the gold standard or any other actual backing. It's all just credit-based paper, and a complete sham.

In the event of an electronic disaster (EMP attack, natural disaster that affects the power grid or communications) all forms of payment that rely on communication of financial info will be DOA.

I still have a business and work for the $$, but I regularly add to my emergency prep inventory and I also try to barter for goods & services as much as possible. Barter will be the new currency in the absence of a real currency.

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@mkdr: I would be in trouble in that event, as I generally have no cash at all. But now that I think about it I have four piggy banks, one each for pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters plus (half dollars, silver dollars, Susan B.s, Sacagaweas, $2 bills). Between them they have got $300-500 I would guess. So it might make the store unhappy, but I could bust into one of my piggy banks in an emergency.

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It used to be - maybe still is - that if you accept Visa or Mastercard, you HAD to have a manual imprinter to use during a power/Internet/phone outage. Many of the individual terminals have a phone line backup port even if they primarily operate over the Internet. But many cards these days don't even have the raised numbers to make this possible. Of course it's prone to fraud, but it's better than some situations where I've seen fast food places give away food because the customer didn't have cash.

There's a Dairy Queen near here that does use a manual imprinter when they have a problem. They do it right - they don't tell you what's down or what isn't working, they just take your card and give you a different kind of receipt than normal - all else is the same.

Personally, I don't have any cash on hand (not even a penny) except for rare instances where I know I need cash and I get cash back or stop at the ATM.