Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Wallet is Open, Really!

Given the title of my blog, today I thought I would tell you what is in my open wallet, literally.


And happily, this matches the balance in my Quicken cash account exactly. I usually carry more cash around than this, but I haven't had a chance to go to the ATM in the last few days. I usually take out $100 at a time, whenever I think I might need it, or when my cash on hand gets around $40 or less. The only things I tend to spend cash on are breakfast and lunch, so I can often go awhile without taking out money. Since I've been cutting back on my breakfast and lunch expenses, it's noticeable how much less often I visit the ATM. But over the weekend I went out to a couple of bars and paid cash for drinks, so now I am running low.

I am always fascinated when I notice people paying cash and peeling the bills off of gigantic wads of money. I know a lot of people just cash their paychecks and carry the money around until they spend it. But other people just feel nervous without a lot of money in their pockets, I think. My uncle is a case in point. He makes plenty of money and certainly keeps it in the bank, but he always seems to have several hundred dollars in cash in his wallet. He also just likes to pay for a lot of things in cash rather than using credit cards. Even though he drives everywhere and pays lots of tolls, he refuses to use an EZPass because he doesn't want the government to be able to track his movements. Well, strange paranoias aside, I wonder how others feel about this issue. What do you spend cash on? How much of it do you carry around? Please chime in and vote in the poll below!

How much cash do you usually carry in your wallet?
Over $300

Free polls from Pollhost.com


Anonymous said...

funny. my dad wont do ezpass b/c he thinks they track his speed by measuring how far it takes him to get from one point to another. as if they really have people doing that. schmuck. reminds me of the idiots who think that the CIA blew up the levees in New Orleans and flew the planes into the twin towers.

Dwight said...

Ah, you caught me flush today. I have $60, but only because we met some friends for dinner Saturday evening and I used my debit card, our friends giving me their half of the tab in cash. I need to stop by the bank and put that in so I don't spend it on something else!

Regarding the 'wads of cash,' I hardly ever see that anymore so when I do it stands out. We had a professional athlete that lived down the street from us and he would come over to the house for treatments when he was injured. He or his wife would have a large roll of bills that they would pull out.

For someone with a large contract, they were pretty frugal. They paid cash for everything. He had just bought a wine storage unit and we talked about wines you could find at Costco that were decent.

Caitlin said...

You don't have an option for none! :)

I rarely carry cash. I do carry some when I go on business trips for things like train fare, tips and other small expenses but I like to charge as much as possible for the record-keeping.

At home, LaLa is the cash mistress but again we try to keep cash purchases to a minimum. Mostly the twice weekly vet visits, takeout that is under $10, and a few sundry small purchases.

We used to take out $600 cash a month and use it for all incidentals: all food, gas, CVS etc. But now with the Citi Dividend we get 5% cashback on those items so we take out FAR less cash since early September.

I estimate we use maybe $200 a month these days if even that. I wish I could tell you exactly, but my quicken has been down (in a very bad way) since Friday.

Oh! and LaLa is an expert change user so we don't have or need a change jar type of thing. we really use the cash we take out down to the penny.

K said...

I use my ATM/Visa card as it is just about the same as carrying cash (comes out of my checking account & I have direct deposit). At the end of the month I can check online to see how I am spending my money. Also if I was to get robbed/loose my wallet/etc I can make a phone call & get the card replaced.

Unknown said...

I sure am not feeling out of place on this poll. 21 people voted for 0-20 range, including myself. Usually, I feel out of place by not having more than $20 most of the time with friends.

Single Ma said...

There was no choice for $0. I don't carry cash at all. I charge EVERYTHING to maximize rewards, then PIF when the statement closes.

I'm more inclined to spend if I have money in my pocket.

Madame X said...

Wow, literally $0? Not even a few coins? Fascinating. That would make me feel really anxious! I don't have to have tons of money in my pocket but not carrying any seems so weird to me! Obviously, so weird it didn't even occur to me as an option for the poll!

Peachy said...

I feel naked with less than $50. Since I work in a downtown area and don't drive to work, what if I have to catch a cab for jobsite. What if I forget my train ticket? Fortunately I don't feel compelled to spend it, so it usually sits there for a week or two.

Anonymous said...

I never withdrwaw less than $200, so I always have at least $50 in my wallet. I found I was getting zapped with ATM charges from other banks if I didn't carry around that reserve. It usually lasts over a month and I got my annual ATM fees down from $60 to 0.

Single Ma said...

Yep, literally $0. I can't think of anything that I couldn't pay for with a credit card.

I don't ride public transportion and I don't do vending machines. What else am I missing?

Besides, not carrying cash is my excuse for the rounds of donations/group gifts/school fundraisers at the office. lol

Anonymous said...

I hardly ever carry any cash. I acutally only have a few coins in my wallet right now!

mapgirl said...

I usually have $0 and my coin purse which I don't count up. But as I'm trying to pay with cash more often and use credit less, lately I have anywhere between $10-$40. I rarely take out more than $40 at a time.

I'm so bad at tracking my cash in Quicken. On Jan 1, I ended up making a $700 mystery adjustment on my cash account. That's kind of why I am stuck on using my credit card.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend won't get a credit card because he doesn't want to be "tracked".

Anonymous said...

"funny. my dad wont do ezpass b/c he thinks they track his speed by measuring how far it takes him to get from one point to another. as if they really have people doing that."

They do. I read about it in the news. It's a way of making more money from speeding tickets. It's called RFID tracking. Look it up.

They now even include tiny chips in our passports and the clothes we buy at Walmart.

These people are not paranoid; they're serious about their privacy. The government has already passed the REAL ID Act and made a national ID card, which should be coming in 2008. The information for these cards will be compiled by the Department of Homeland Security.

It's good to be "paranoid", especially in times like now. A good book to read on this topic is "How to Be Invisible" by J.J. Luna. You can get it at Amazon.com.

It will really open your eyes.

mOOm said...

I used to get $100 from my own bank's ATM and $200 if I was forced to use another bank. Now I just get $200 everytime so that I will be less likely to have to use another bank's ATM. Maybe it is a function of age... I'm 41. It's certainly got easier and easier to use cards everywhere. And maybe I should because I find it much harder to spend using a plastic card than using cash :) This is the opposite of most people, but I record every plastic transaction (including those ATM withdrawals)... again with online bank accounts this is also getting less neccessary.

Anonymous said...

As far as the privacy issues go...if you're not doing anything shady or illegal: you have nothing to worry about. I love how some people love being squirrelly for the sake of being squirelly. Like the govt. is sending blackops agents out to find your bullion stash or track what pantyhose fetish websites you're frequenting.