In today’s primarily digital world, you will not find many folks carrying cash in their wallets or purses. With the ease and simplicity of credit and debit cards, keeping cash can seem inconvenient. However, there are many unrecognized benefits to paying with cash. For example, keeping cash on hand can be a life-saver in a multitude of emergencies, such as driving on an empty gas tank or keeping hungry children from eating their crayons. But better yet, carrying cash can potentially save you money when making purchases.
Despite common knowledge, merchants may offer a lower cost for purchases made with cash. Often, a supplemental fee is added to electronic transactions. This additional charge is called a surcharge fee or convenience fee. Customers incur a surcharge fee when a credit card, debit card, or personal check is used to make a purchase. This fee is part of a surcharge program that covers the cost charged to the merchant for payment processing services. It is typically unnoticed as it is automated in most transactions.
On average, surcharge fees are an additional three to four percent of your total purchase. For example, a $100 purchase is increased to $104. On paper, this does not sound like enough to break the bank. Nevertheless, what may seem to be a reasonable four percent surcharge can quickly add up. A consumer will potentially save hundreds of dollars per month by paying cash for day-to-day purchases and services.
Parking in large cities, downtowns, or shopping plazas usually requires an hourly payment. Unbelievably, when parking in public places, paying with cash can conserve several dollars. Most parking garages and parking lots accept payment via automated machines. However, while it is rare to find a parking attendant accepting payment, it is not obsolete. Either way, paying with cash is the way to go. When paying at an automated process station, two options are provided- pay with cash or card. Selecting to pay with a card will automatically incur a surcharge fee at a three to four percent rate. However, choosing a cash payment option will eliminate the convenience fee and automatically charge a cash price. When directly paying the parking attendant, do not doubt the opportunity for a cash price. Simply ask the attendant if they have a cash price available. Chances are, they will gladly accept a cash payment at a discounted rate.
The most obvious benefit of cash payment is the financial savings from not paying convenience fees, but that is not all. Paying with cash reduces the risk of data breach. Unfortunately, paying with a debit card or credit card increases the risk that the card information will be stolen, especially in popular, public places, such as gas stations or parking garages. Using cash for day-to-day expenses, will also increase cash flow, which provides a variety of benefits itself. Benefits of increased cash flow include prevention of overspending, increased chances of remaining debt free, preparation for emergencies, and more.
In a world that heavily depends on digital payment, it is wise to reduce the risk of data breach, increase cash flow, and save money by simply choosing payment with cash. After all, this is a very easy way to save a few bucks every day.