View Poll Results: In an average day, most of my monetary transactions are
Cash 19 11.11%
Checks 2 1.17%
Credit Card 80 46.78%
Debit Card 60 35.09%
Mobile pay (eg Apple Pay) 9 5.26%
Other 1 0.58%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-10-2019, 10:35 PM
installLSC is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA
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Most common way of payment

When my mobile payment thread started mentioning the convenience or lack thereof compared to cash or debit cards, it got me wondering what the most common way of making payments. Not the ones that involve the most money, but the ones you use the most in day-to-day transactions. If you would, it would be nice if you mention why you use this method or if you don't use certain methods at all.
Old 10-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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Beckdawrek is offline
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Back in these woods checks are still the way to go. My Hughesnet and Directv are auto withdrawn. I take or mail checks to our Electric coop. It's a bitch cause the office isn't always staffed and some months they owe me. Which they really, really hate.
I pay C.C. statements online.
Our mortgage is paid off, I guess I would be still sending them a check.
Old 10-11-2019, 01:13 AM
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Mostly debit card but I prefer cash when I can get around to getting some, for pos transactions, for household bills I pay all of those through my financial institution's online bill paying setup, that way I can pay them all at once and don't have to do any running around either in town or online
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:50 AM
Sunspace is offline
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Around here*, it's online bill payment and money transfer, plus Interac debit card (mostly EMV tap) in person at stores. Cash is far behind in third place (mostly vending machines and the occasional person-to-person transaction, though even vending machines have apps or accept the tap these days). Credit card is 4th place, mostly online subscriptions.

Cheques? I have to think what year, and possibly decade, I last issued one. I still get them occasionally. The grocery store near my old apartment stopped accepting them eleven years ago.

*"Here" being a small city in Southern Ontario.
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Look, and you will begin to see.

Last edited by Sunspace; 10-11-2019 at 01:52 AM.
Old 10-11-2019, 03:01 AM
Musicat is offline
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Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
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Your poll doesn't allow multiple choices. All my over-the-counter transactions are cash. All my online purchases are credit card or PayPal. All my bill paying is check (force of habit plus easiest paper trail). Which transaction type or dollar amount dominates, I don't know.
Old 10-11-2019, 04:46 AM
Ludovic is online now
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I use credit everywhere except fast food, because the ubiquity of it at fast food places is recent enough that I haven't gotten out of the habit of cash, and it is fast enough of a transaction that I don't have time to look around to make sure they take Discover. Plus when I'm at the drive thru it feels slightly dangerous and awkward to hand over my important card through the window.

I haven't tried a mobile pay solution yet and have been wary of it for quite some time because when I am in line to get in to Disney I am often held up by people who can't get their mobile ticketing to work. But I am warming up to if after my mobile ticketing worked on my latest plane flight with no issues.
Old 10-11-2019, 04:51 AM
FinsToTheLeft is offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 561
All the big stuff - mortgage, property tax, insurance, etc. is pre-authorized payment direct from my bank account. My mid-level reoccurring stuff is all pre-authorized credit card so I can get the points. Day to day groceries, lunches, in store or online purchase is either credit card or Apple Pay.

The only semi-regular cash spend is at our cash only neighbourhood hipster ice cream place. Since they are only open May-Sept I may not really need cash until then.

Last edited by FinsToTheLeft; 10-11-2019 at 04:52 AM.
Old 10-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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Jophiel is offline
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Debit card (typically run as credit but whatever). I go weeks without cash in my pocket these days.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:13 AM
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Credit card. I get back 2% of everything. Debit card doesn't give back jack shit.

I usually have about $20 in cash on me but I try not to spend it.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:15 AM
campp is offline
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Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 3,205
We use CC for anything we can that costs more than $10. This kicks back to us as 1.5%. Hundreds of dollars annually.

A few utilities are direct withdrawal. That's because it is the cheapest way to pay those particular bills (No cc allowed on those, such as electric bill).

I average 1.5 checks per month. One always for the CC bill. Then, sometimes an odd check for whatever.

I have never used a debit card in my life. This system works for us at this point in our lives.

Last edited by campp; 10-11-2019 at 09:16 AM.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:19 AM
Tired and Cranky is offline
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Posts: 1,571
I went with credit card but ACH debit straight from my checking account is close - mortgage, periodic investment, two credit cards, car insurance, cable, and cell phone bill are all paid that way. That's roughly six transactions per month, which isn't too far behind the dozen or so credit card transactions I do each month.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:22 AM
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Location: Rural Western PA
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Credit card wins, with cash coming in second. I often pay for food/drink with a credit card, then pay the tip with cash.

Last night I paid our brewery tab with a gift certificate (Thanks, Suzanne!) then paid the final $15 with a credit card. Because I tipped with the credit card I can expect my card issuer to email me soon asking if I really meant to tip 100%.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:55 AM
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Colibri is online now
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Location: Panama
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Overwhelmingly credit card or bank transfers. I may pay small amounts in stores with cash, and pay my cleaning lady and most other service people in cash. Now that Uber is an option here in Panama I pay even less things in cash. I use my debit card almost exclusively as an ATM card to withdraw cash when I need it.

I may write one or two checks a year these days. I used to use them to send birthday presents to my nieces and nephews but they're adults now. I pay my US taxes by check mainly from force of habit.

I haven't gotten around to investigating mobile payments but I don't think they're that widespread here in Panama.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:00 AM
installLSC is offline
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Location: Tacoma, WA
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To answer my own poll:
Cash leads, because as a single guy in a walking friendly neighborhood, most of my purchases are small food buys in equally small stores. Any other method is clumsy or incurs a charge since these places rarely have good card readers.
Debit card is second, but in monetary terms it's the bulk of my purchases.
Checks only for bills by mail and church.
I don't do mobile pay since I don't have a smartphone, and I don't use credit cards because I've soon way too many people did themselves into huge financial holes with them.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:06 AM
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CC for anything that can be paid with CC, including small purchases and online payments to utilities and insurance - because points. I travel for work so there is a large amount pushed through the CC each month, POINTS!

Oh, and I diligently pay off the entire balance every month, that's the key to making it work.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:07 AM
Smapti is online now
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I use debit exclusively, and I never carry cash unless I know I'm going to be going somewhere that might not take cards.

I write a check once a month to pay my rent, and once or twice in a blue moon if I need to send money to a family member and don't want/need to pay for Western Union.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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Buck Godot is offline
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Location: MD outside DC
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Amazon Credit card first, I choose this over debit card because I get Amazon credit. Cash second for my weekly slice of pizza at the cafeteria down stairs, and the occasional other small purchase.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:00 AM
Sir T-Cups is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 8,777
Debit Card is number one for me, both with purchases and bills.

Number two is cash because I like to have cash on me and try really hard to use cash as much as possible to try and stick with a budget.

Credit Card is third on the list because I have a ton of CC debt from my past and I'm working really hard to get rid of it, so I'm trying to make my usage zero. That said, I have a few monthly bills taken out of the CC because they're smaller than the amount I'm paying off (by a long shot) and it keeps the card active.

I never use checks. Even the things that I need checks for, like my car payment, I pay through Wells Fargo who sends a check on my behalf.

I have mobile pay, but I've used it literally once and it's an ICE thing for me.
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:24 PM
Mallard is offline
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Location: Western Canada
Posts: 267
Credit Card for absolutely everything except for monthly payments directly from bank accounts. All CC bills are paid in full every month. Cash only where CC cannot be used.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:31 PM
Dinsdale is offline
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Posts: 18,738
Credit card for just about anything over $20, cash for just about everything under.
Cash or check for larger expenditures if that gives us a discount.

We get a certain amount of cash each week when grocery shopping. We usually make a point of spending that weekly, since it is already factored into our budget. If we just hung onto the case, and charged everything, the budget might look slightly different than we expect. But the amount of cash we spend in a typical week is really pretty small. Definitely <$100.
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:32 PM
kayT is offline
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Originally Posted by campp View Post
We use CC for anything we can that costs more than $10. This kicks back to us as 1.5%. Hundreds of dollars annually.

A few utilities are direct withdrawal. That's because it is the cheapest way to pay those particular bills (No cc allowed on those, such as electric bill).

I average 1.5 checks per month. One always for the CC bill. Then, sometimes an odd check for whatever.

I have never used a debit card in my life. This system works for us at this point in our lives.
This is me, except I don't pay my credit card bill with a check. I pay all my bills on line through my bank. The only checks I can remember in the past year were the ones for taxes and to my dentist (who gives me a 5% discount if I use cash or check and I don't like carrying large amounts of cash around). Life is a lot simpler and I also get a lot of cash back; why wouldn't I do that? Capitol One lets you choose how you get your cash back and I choose to apply it back to the credit card bill. Simple.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:48 PM
kopek is offline
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Location: Southwestern PA
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Day to day stuff I am mostly cash; credit for bigger things sometimes. Debit I don't use because I am horrible at keeping track and balancing everything and the last time I wrote a physical check was while President Obama was still in office. But really most of my money is handled automatically by direct deposit/transfers.
Old 10-11-2019, 01:11 PM
ISiddiqui is online now
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Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA
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I'll pay with my phone whenever I can.

Baring that, my debit card comes next. Credit at times depending on what it is (Amazon card on Amazon for the points, etc)
Old 10-11-2019, 02:00 PM
begbert2 is offline
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Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,267
For me the debit card is the big winner, for virtually all of my day-to-day transactions. (I might use a credit card instead but I've never owned one.) I spend cash very infrequently, maybe one time every few months. I use checks only to pay my rent, so once a month. I use bank-instigated bill pay to pay bills I get in the mail, so around four times a month. All of this is dwarfed by my near-daily card payments.

ETA: I also don't have a cell phone, so no payments that way!

Last edited by begbert2; 10-11-2019 at 02:00 PM.
Old 10-11-2019, 02:02 PM
Macca26 is offline
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Posts: 1,705
Anything possible through credit card for the cash back. Hundreds of dollars a year. No reason not to. Wish I could pay my rent with credit card because I'd immediately save myself another $20 a month. Everything else still comes into play, but only when I can't use credit cards as an option.

Last edited by Macca26; 10-11-2019 at 02:06 PM.
Old 10-11-2019, 02:37 PM
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WildaBeast is offline
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Location: Folsom, CA
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Originally Posted by Macca26 View Post
Wish I could pay my rent with credit card because I'd immediately save myself another $20 a month.
My old apartment complex allowed credit card payments, and yes, I did rack up a ton of points by paying rent with a credit card. I wish I was allowed to pay my mortgage with a credit card for exactly that reason.

In terms of the frequency I take it out of my wallet, I use my debit card most often, for stuff like groceries, restaurants, gas, etc.

I use my credit card for big ticket items, online purchases, and all the bills that will allow it are auto-charged to it. I really should use it more often for everyday stuff just for the cash back, but I still use debit for most stuff partly just out of habit, and partly because I just prefer having the money deducted from my account at the time of purchase rather than having to pay a big bill at the end of the month. Yeah, logically I know I'm spending the exact same amount either way, but there's some psychological reason I just prefer debit. And the gas station I frequent gives you a discount for paying with debit or cash which is probably worth more than the cash back I'd get by paying with credit.

I am starting to use mobile payments more often. I've gotten to the habit of using Apple Pay at Trader Joe's, but not most other places for some reason. And Target doesn't accept Apple Pay, but they have their own app that you can link your Red Card, so I always use that there.

I still use cash some places, mostly farmers markets and food trucks. Many of those vendors accept cards now using those tablet/smartphone based systems, but I like to pay cash anyway since being small businesses it's a bigger hit for them to have to pay the processing fees.
Old 10-11-2019, 02:46 PM
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ZonexandScout is offline
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Primarily CC, with 2% back. I travel a lot and my travel expenses often exceed $4K/month. It's nice to get a bonus of $80-$100 back. It is not at all unusual for me to leave town for a week and go the entire five days without a single dollar or coin in my pocket.
Old 10-11-2019, 05:15 PM
TwoCarrotSnowman is offline
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Location: West Yorks, UK
Posts: 527
Contactless debit card. Contactless payment facilities are near-ubiquitous in the UK.
Old 10-11-2019, 06:29 PM
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Fiendish Astronaut is offline
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Originally Posted by TwoCarrotSnowman View Post
Contactless debit card. Contactless payment facilities are near-ubiquitous in the UK.

Yup, Londoner here and I very rarely use cash anymore. Contactless almost every time. For online payments though i prefer PayPal.
Old 10-11-2019, 06:30 PM
enipla is online now
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Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 14,668
CC or automatic bank deduction (that I would put on CC if I could for the points). I still like about $60-100 of walking around money though. Old habits die hard.
I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
Old 10-11-2019, 07:02 PM
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Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Google Pay.

The cafeteria at work takes mobile pay, and it's pretty much the fastest method (credit cards take 5-10 seconds to process). So I use this method about 9 times per week, and also for the occasional other purchase like groceries.

Somewhat counterintuitively, there's a pretty much direct inverse relationship between sorting by dollars vs. frequency. All my cafeteria purchases don't add up to much. The rarer payment types like paper checks or wire transfers happen only a couple times per year, but are always large amounts.
Old 10-11-2019, 07:39 PM
Balthisar is offline
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Too many places don't allow contactless, so it's still majority credit cards for me. Since we've adopted that slow-ass chip, I keep hoping that more and more will adopt contactless.
Old 10-11-2019, 08:05 PM
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RealityChuck is offline
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I use credit cards for nearly all purchases, using cash only when people don't accept them.

I pay off my credit card bill in full every month.
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 10-11-2019 at 08:05 PM.
Old 10-11-2019, 08:07 PM
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Kent Clark is offline
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Cash for the small stuff. It's still the best way to know when you're spending too much on coffee and lunch. Debit cards for gas and groceries. Direct pay for recurring expenses. Credit cards for online purchases.
Old 10-11-2019, 08:45 PM
OldGuy is offline
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Hard to say. I carry my lunch so most days I pay for nothing. I pay gas, groceries, and on-line with Credit card. I use cash at virtually all restaurants (1.5 x a week). Mailed bills are paid by check, but my wife writes most of those.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:37 PM
actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,402
Even random guys selling food on the street in the Midwest have card readers these days. Fraud risk is the only reason I see not to use credit cards for everything. I've had 2 cards compromised recently but I have plenty of other cards and there's really little no risk when your credit card is cloned. Cash lost or stolen is a different story, and debit cards have protection but carry risk and inconvenience to correct. Yeah, the "checking" (I think i've written 2-3 checks in the last 5 years) account pays some bills online, mostly the credit cards. If that gets wiped out I might have some issues. If my available credit on any given card gets temporarily held, not big deal.

I have one credit card that gets automatic discounts on groceries and gas plus cash back. Then I have a restaurant cash back card, and all kinds of other general rewards cards.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:08 PM
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Location: Hawaii
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I use cash for all offline purchases and Visa gift cards for online.
Cold showers lead to crack!
Old 10-11-2019, 10:14 PM
TimeWinder is offline
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Location: Albany/Corvallis, OR
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Mobile pay for everybody that'll take it (I get at least 2% back on every such transaction), which these days is maybe 3/4 of my non-online purchases. Those get a credit card mostly linked to the same account unless they take mobile pay as well.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:45 PM
steepone is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 33
For face to face transactions I almost always use cash, I don't have any particular reason, it's just what I've always done (yes, I'm an old fart)

For paying bills I would normally use online banking because it's the easiest way for me
Old 10-12-2019, 05:24 AM
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TokyoBayer is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 10,569
Here in Taiwan, I use cash for most small and medium things, including groceries and lunch. I get paid in cash for my private English lessons, so I have cash on hand.

The mortgage is automatic withdraw. Most of the bills are automatically billed to credit card.
Old 10-12-2019, 09:12 AM
dalej42 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14,570
USA, contactless credit card whenever possible, otherwise it works as chip and sign. Apple Pay on occasion. I use Venmo to send and receive money from friends, for example last burg when for dinner and drinks, I paid for dinner and he paid for two rounds of drinks so he just Venmoed me $30 or so to balance it out.

Cash is only for street festivals, often the food or drinks cash line is shorter.

Now that my fantasy baseball commissioner finally got Venmo, I may never write another check again. For the past few years, they have been my only checks written.

When visiting the U.K. earlier this year, I used my contactless card almost everywhere. I only had to get cash for a couple of pubs with a 5 minimum to pay by card and one stubborn place which refused to take American chip and sign cards.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:21 AM
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puzzlegal is online now
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If I'd read the first post, I would have voted "cash" instead of "credit card". Most of the money I spend is on credit cards, but I probably have more cash transactions. On-line, i mostly use PayPal, but it uses my credit card.
Old 10-12-2019, 09:32 AM
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kayaker is online now
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Location: Rural Western PA
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I haven't seen barter mentioned yet as a form of payment. As a small business owner, I barter my services with several other local business people. It generally is a win-win situation*.

*of course you should consult a tax professional.
Old 10-12-2019, 03:53 PM
Hari Seldon is online now
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 13,073
I use cash surprisingly often. For small transactions (under $10 or $20) but also to pay our cleaning service, to pay nurse who does my footcare, to pay for meals at the cheap Indian restaurant that has a sign asking to pay with cash, my barber and my wife's hairdresser, and to pay my doctor if he has to fill out a form (for my driver's licence renewal every two years after 80). Except for that restaurant, none of the others are set up for CCs. Nearly everything else with a CC. We write a few checks a year, mostly insurance premiums. My wife had to write one last week to the passport office as they accept no other form of payment. Most bills are paid online. Some are automatically debited from our account: our monthly condo fees and payment in full of our CC balance (so we never pay interest).
Old 10-12-2019, 04:34 PM
PastTense is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,746
There have been studies done about this. You might look at the 2019 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice
The high-level findings are:

Consumers used cash in 26 percent of transactions, down from 30 percent in 2017
Debit cards were the most used instrument, accounting for 28 percent of payments
Credit cards accounted for 23 percent of payments, a 2 percentage point increase from 2017
Cash was used heavily for small-value payments, representing 49 percent of payments under $10
The share of cash use among individuals under 25 years old is the highest of any age group
In-person payments accounted for 73 percent of all transactions. Participants used cash for 35 percent of in-person payments

Last edited by PastTense; 10-12-2019 at 04:35 PM.
Old 10-12-2019, 04:45 PM
Anny Middon is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,209
Credit card for most stuff. We have a lot of our routine bills (cable, cellphone, newspaper, and the like) charged to a credit card so we get the cashback bonus. The credit cards themselves are autopayed out of a bank account -- but we are religious about reviewing the bills every month.

We use cash fairly frequently for expenses for which it's easier. For example, entry fees at the bridge club -- the club owners aren't set up for credit card payment. When we go out with others and there's one tab for the table, we pay our share in cash. Tuesday evening bridge, drinks after the game, and Thursday afternoon bridge runs us about $60 per week.

Checks are used infrequently. If one of my sibs for example sends flowers to a funeral on behalf of the whole family, I send a check for my share. We pay our real estate taxes via check.

I think I have a debit card (it's also my ATM card), but I've never used it.
Old 10-14-2019, 01:45 PM
Balthisar is offline
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I haven't seen barter mentioned yet as a form of payment. As a small business owner, I barter my services with several other local business people. It generally is a win-win situation*.
But, the OP is asking about an average day, and the majority of your transactions.
Old 10-14-2019, 02:20 PM
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engineer_comp_geek is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 25,028
Bills are paid online out of my checking account. For all day-to-day spending, I use a credit card, which I typically pay off about twice per month (once every couple of weeks), partly because I don't like to let the balances get too high and partly to make sure that I don't ever miss the minimum monthly payment if I get busy and forgetful. I never let the balance carry over from one month to the next. I always pay it off.

I own my home (and a rental property) so no mortgages to pay. Back when I had a mortgage on the house I would write a check for that (online payments weren't much of a thing back then) and when I had a mortgage on the rental property I would pay that online from my checking account. Any time I buy anything for the rental property, that comes out of a separate checking account, so either it gets paid directly online or it gets paid by debit card (buying supplies at Lowes, for example).

I own all of my vehicles so no car payment of any sort either. The last time I had a car payment, Ronald Reagan was president.

I hate everyone trying to track me by my mobile phone, and I don't have a lot of trust in the security of a phone, so I do not pay anything at all, ever, with my phone.
Old 10-14-2019, 03:12 PM
peedin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,082
Cash for the small stuff. Debit card for groceries, cigarettes. Automatic bank deduction for cell phone, internet/cable, mortgage. Checks for utilities, HOA fees, horse board, farrier, therapist, chiropractor, equine therapist....


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