How Much Cash Should You Carry?

How Much Cash Should You Carry?

Our increasingly tech-driven world makes it possible to almost forget about carrying physical cash — from receiving your paycheck via direct deposit, to using a credit or debit card to purchase pretty much anything, and paying bills through automatic online payments. While technology makes the transfer of money more convenient, cash obviously still exists, which raises the question for many of us: how much cash is appropriate to carry in today’s day and age.

carrying cash

How Much Money to Carry Daily

The decision of how much cash to carry depends on your preferences. Some people may stash a few twenties in their wallet for “just-in-case” situations, while others don’t carry even a penny.

Most people use their credit cards for the majority of their daily purchases such as gas, groceries, eating out, clothing, or entertainment. Although it’s up to your discretion how much money to carry, there’s often no explicit reason to do so — except in small amounts for things like tips and other emergency situations. For this reason, you may want to get some cash out before heading out on a day trip or going to a restaurant. It’s convenient to have this cash broken into smaller bills if you’re planning to use it for things like tips.

If you prefer to pay for your day-to-day expenses in cash, you’ll need to calculate how much you’re planning to spend and withdraw that amount, plus a small cushion for unexpected expenses.

Be Cautious of Carrying a Lot of Cash

If bills fall from your pocket or someone swipes your wallet, you’re likely not to see that money again — you can’t trace cash or “lock” it the way you can a debit or credit card. By using online and mobile banking along with credit and debit cards, your money is safer with the use of logins, PINs, and signature requirements. You can also put a hold on your credit or debit card if it goes missing and request a new card if it isn’t found. These security features help you minimize any losses if someone does steal or try to misuse your card. However, if you lose cash, you’re typically out of luck.

Alternative to Carrying Cash

Using a card, such as a PSECU Visa® credit – either the Classic Card or the cash rewards Founder’s Card – or debit card, for your purchases can provide extra security and convenience. Our cards are accepted at any retailer that accepts Visa cards, making it an easy payment option.

If you have a tendency to leave your card at home or you just like to have another payment method on hand, there are backup options that may be safer than carrying cash with you. For instance, you can sign up for mobile payments so you can pay with your smartphone.

The Benefits of Joining PSECU

If you prefer not to carry cash, look for a financial institution that provides you with digital banking options that are easy and convenient to use.

With us, you don’t need a lot of cash when you use our digital banking tools. They allow you to complete transactions with the touch or click of a few buttons whether you choose to make a purchase using a credit card, deposit a check on our mobile app, send money through person-to-person transfer, or make a mobile payment at a store.

And going digital doesn’t mean it’s hard to get cash when you need it. Our members either use our ATM service for free or get cash back with a store purchase.

Join Now to Use Our Digital Banking Services

We’re here to help our members manage their finances in the safest, most convenient ways possible. Our digital banking services help reduce the amount of cash you need to carry and offer additional benefits that support your accounts.

See what we offer and open a PSECU account today, or learn more financial tips from our experts.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.