People have been debating for quite a while now, since the onset of the credit card really, about just how far away we are from reaching a totally cashless state in our day to day business.  The fact is that despite the people who might want to resist it, we are getting closer to that mark every day.  In fact, it is entirely possible for an individual to go cashless without even any inconvenience to themselves.

When you start dwelling on the nearly universal acceptance of various forms of plastic you start to see how this is possible.  Cashless operation was possible with the credit card only, but what about the onset of the debit card?  Think about how you can pay right at the gas pump with a card or self checkout aisles for credit cards in supermarkets and large department stores.  You can tip electronically, negating the need for cash in a restraint.  It’s not even a strain to imagine this cashless world; it actually exists for someone who prefers to live that way.

Just like with anything in live you have ups and downs to the options of being a cash user or non-user.  The downside to cash is that you have to be there to give it someone.  You can’t fly someone cash over the internet or send it in the mail, (unless you’re willing to have it stolen).  However, with cash, you retain a degree of control over your own life beyond the credit card user.  Your purchases are not traced, information about your spending habits is not being distributed, and perhaps very importantly, you are not subject to becoming a victim of identity theft, which is becoming a growing concern.

Going plastic can be convenient, but if you’re talking about a credit card you have to be careful and smart in its use.  Too many people get the blank check mentality when they have a credit card with a high limit and tend to overreach their bounds.  This is easily circumvented by a little planning and a budget, but if you don’t do those things watch out!  It’s very easy to become one of the statistics as someone with a debt load that is too high and damaging their credit and finances because of high interest rates.  However, when you have a credit card you are protected much better against your money being stolen.  Most credit cards have liability clauses that ensure you won’t be held responsible for charges made on a stolen card.  However if someone steals the $500 in your money clip, you are never going to see that money again.

Make sure to weigh your options carefully as you make the decision whether or not going plastic only is the way for you.  You have to be very careful when using your credit card to not overspend.  The problem is that if you do, you will become saddled with interest for as long as you carry a balance on the credit card, and this can add up to very large amounts depending on the amount you’ve spent and how long it is before you can pay it off.  If you don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off each month, the credit card gets on even footing with cash, and the decision on whether or not to go cashless becomes a matter of personal taste and convenience.

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