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I bought a few things while I was out today.  Didn’t spend a lot… but here’s a picture of what my items cost:


Many of you out there will tell at a glance that I spent $17.30.


I can also tell you that of the exactly $40 I started my day with I still have $22.70 in my purse.

Yesterday I did my grocery shopping.  Used my debit card for that… not sure just what my total bill was. 

Took my clients out for lunch while I was gallivanting: used my credit card for that… can’t remember the amount of the bill, although I do remember being embarrassed that I didn’t have any cash on me, so had to put the tip on the card too, which means our server has to be completely honest come tax time because there’s a record of my generosity (or lack of same).

How about you?  Last time you bought a coffee out, or a new pair of shoes, did you pay cash or use a card?  Can you tell me the amount of the expense and what the balance of your bank account was after the transaction?

Some Surprising Statistics

I found a 2013 article that quoted some statistics that I found truly surprising!

“Cards make up 68% of all non-cash transactions in Canada, compared to the global average of about 40%, according to a 2011 Royal Bank of Scotland report.”

“Since 2005, Canadians have made more than 240 million transactions with their MasterCard PayPass — the highest of any country in the world.”

“Seventy-one percent of Canadians are comfortable with never handling cash again (up from 27% in 2011), says a Leger Marketing survey for PayPal Canada.  Almost three-in-ten women (28%) say they rarely or never withdraw cash (22% of men say the same), a 2012 RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart poll revealed.”

“Average consumer debt, excluding mortgage, is more than $27,000 and Statistics Canada says that about one-third of retirees have debt. Just the mere sight of a credit card or a credit card logo prompts people to spend more, studies have shown.”

The whole article is truly eye-opening and I hope you will take the time to read it:

Here’s a newer article:

Cash or Credit?

Do you carry and use cash for purchases?  Do you find it easier to buy things with a debit or credit card?  Do you know what your bank charges you for this “convenience”?

Personally, I dislike putting purchases of less than $10 on any card.  As I often don’t carry cash, this does slow down my spending on impulse buys like coffees or magazines.  It does mean that if I run in to the store on the way home for a loaf of bread, I will often buy something else.  I justify the extra item(s) saying I’d need them soon anyways.  Would I?  Hard to say.

Where do you stand?

Where do you stand on the whole cash/credit/spend-ease subject? 

In mid-life, we have probably started thinking seriously about retirement… and most people have reduced income so where it goes does become a consideration.

I’d be curious to know your thoughts in the Comments.