The Case for Cash


As the old proverb says, "A fool and his money are soon parted." It couldn't be more true in today's digital age, especially when money is becoming more virtual than tangible. The acceptance of credit cards is reaching an even deeper level thanks to apps like Square, which allow you to charge simple things like the locally-grown produce at a farmer's market. Meanwhile, services like Google Wallet and PayPal allow for easier exchange and management of currency without you ever having to take a glance at an old-fashioned checkbook.

Which is precisely why I think it's still a good idea to carry some cash. Back in high school, there wasn't anything quite as satisfying as laying down a long-saved stack of bills for a purchase I really wanted. It's hard to explain, but there's just a certain masculinity attached to knowing you've got some green in your pocket—something numerous rap songs can attest to.

Besides, at events like flea markets and places like vintage shops, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to haggle. Not to mention that living in a city, places from the neighborhood bodega to the corner coffee shop often serve as the last bastions of commercial society where plastic is currency non grata.

If budgeting is not your forte (like myself), nothing helps you curb spending quicker than paying for purchases with cash. I find myself asking if that afternoon coffee is really necessary, how often I'll wear that shirt or if I should really be taking a cab when I have an unlimited subway pass. Besides, tipping my barber, barista or server is a lot less complicated when I just fork over the cash.

So while I appreciate the technology and convenience of credit cards, I'm just not ready to let go of my cash just yet. After all, what's the use of having a nice bi-fold wallet if all I'm going to keep in it is a bunch of plastic?


Published on

August 13, 2012

Written by

of Valet.