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Why More People Should Carry Cash: 12 Cash Only Experiences

Why More People Should Carry Cash: 12 Cash Only Experiences

cash only experiences

There’s no denying that most of the modern world has heavily digitized, and finance is one of the leading industries in which we’ve seen this shift. Credit cards, debit cards, bitcoin currency, cash apps, online banking, and Apple pay are only a few examples of the many ways we’ve become used to, and some might say reliant, on accessing our funds digitally. It makes sense, the digital options now available are convenient and easy to use, and provide multiple ways of completing transactions if you accidentally left your flat wallet at home. 

So does that mean cash is now irrelevant? We were surprised to discover that cash is actually still a very popular, and often preferred option!

The Paperwallet team surveyed 962 people, asking about their most common wallet tendencies. One of the most interesting discoveries was that 87.94% of respondents said that they typically carry cash in their wallets. Additionally, 19.95% of respondents didn’t carry any cards in their wallet at all- only cash!


carry cash graphics - cash only experiences


Cash seems to have a few allures to it that cards and other methods just can’t satisfy. The first, sticking to a tight budget. For people who are looking to be more financially responsible, many budgeting methods often suggest dealing in cash only. That way you’re more tangibly aware of what you’re spending. Another perk of keeping cash in your wallet is being prepared for the unknown emergency situations. If your bank account funds get frozen, or you get a flat tire on a road trip and need to pay a tow truck, you’re likely to find yourself in several cash-only situations.

The final commonly cited benefit of cash is the convenience factor. Those little cash-only moments can add up, and rather than delaying your plans to hunt down an ATM, it’s easier to keep cash on your person. 

Need more convincing? Read on for 12 times in life you’ll need to be prepared for cash only experiences. 


Cover to Bars

Nothing is more frustrating than having your exciting night out on the town with friends delayed because you don’t have cash for the cover fee to a bar or club. Since the beginning, bars have had a consistent cash only policy on cover, so you’re unlikely to have the option to use a card or app service. While your friends may be able to spot you, the other alternative is getting out of line and finding an ATM. Keep your big night out fun; carry cash.


Highway Tolls

We all assume we’ll remember to plan ahead for tolls when traveling by car, but this pesky fee is often forgotten about! Most tolls will accept coins or cash, so consider keeping a special stash specifically for tolls in your vehicle. Carrying cash helps avoid those toll penalties arriving in the mail and keeps your stress levels from spiking. 



If you’re using valet for your car on an evening out with a special someone, or while staying at a hotel, you’ll find their cash only policies to be mostly universal. Valets make most, if not all, of their wages from tips so plan accordingly and make sure you have sufficient cash for tipping them in your wallet.


Neighborhood Treats 

Most of us have fond memories of the sound of the ice cream truck making the neighborhood rounds. Remember begging your mother for a few dollars and sprinting outside to order your favorite frozen treat? Whether you’re hoping for a sweet bite from an ice cream truck, wanting to sponsor a neighbor’s lemonade stand, or grabbing a snack from a vendor at your local park or sporting event, you’re going to need cash on hand!


Parking Fees

If you live in or visit any sort of city, parking fees are almost guaranteed. While many newer centers have been updated with the option to use a card or app option, there are still cash only parking meters as well. Plus, what if the card or app option is malfunctioning or it’s a coin meter? Having cash ready to go is crucial to a smooth and stress-free parking experience.


Cash Only Restaurants 

Though it may seem unusual in this day and age, there are still some restaurants out there that only accept cash. While many of these establishments make it very well-known about their cash only policy, sometimes you may not realize until the end of the meal when the check arrives! To avoid an awkward situation after a great dinner, keep some cash in your wallet.


Fairs or Carnivals

Many cities have annual fairs that pass through town, offering games, shows, and food for your friends and family to enjoy. Many schools and charities will also host carnival events and fundraisers. More often than not, these types of occasions are cash only affairs. Avoid waiting in what’s sure to be a long line at the ATM and keep the fun going by arriving prepared with cash ready to go.


Avoid Card Minimum Policies

Nothing’s more frustrating than hearing an establishment accepts card payment, but only over a certain amount. That can put you in a tough spot if you were only interested in purchasing one drink or a small bite to eat. You’ll find situations like this commonly at bars, restaurants, comedy clubs, or other staged performances, often as a sly trick to make more money. Keeping a bit of cash with you helps you outsmart the rule and save your dollars for something you actually want to buy.



Those who haven’t worked in the food service industry often don’t realize that most servers prefer cash tips over adding the tip to the card you’re paying with. This is because they will only actually get to keep the full tip if it’s cash. The tip added to a card is further parsed up to the restaurant - cutting down what your hard worker server gets in the end. Be kind to your servers, carry cash!


When You Have Children

Having little ones changes a lot about the way you think about money, particularly in the moments when your kids aren’t with you. If your child is going to a birthday party, sleepover, or want to get an after school snack, they’ll need to have some money on hand. Of course, they can’t bring your credit or debit card with them! So the only alternative is cash. Keeping cash in your wallet is another way to make sure your kids are ready for anything.


Vending Machines

You’d be surprised the number of important moments you’ll be relying on cash for a vending machine. Whether you’re at the hospital, airport, gym, or university campus and in desperate need of a cold drink or snack, many vending machines still only accept cash. Do yourself a favor and carry cash for those unexpected moments in life. 



The most important instance you’ll need cash is in emergencies. Whether your cards have been cancelled or stolen, or you have a flat tire on a road trip, having $100-200 hidden away can really save the day. While you may not choose to carry a high amount of emergency cash money in your wallet every day, it’s good to keep in a safe place in your home. Keeping $50-100 in your wallet for emergencies out and about town is never a bad idea. 


Carrying Cash With Ease

See? Cash still comes in handy- even in the digital age. Now, many people can see the value of carrying cash, but also are wary of the concerns that can come with it. One of the advantages of cards is being able to call the bank and close down your card if it gets stolen. Unfortunately, cash doesn’t have a protection method like this. If your money is stolen, in most cases you won’t see it ever again. 

While we sincerely hope you don’t find yourself in a situation like this, we suggest having a small amount of designated “mug money”, a $20 bill you keep on hand to throw at a potential thief. That way, if they run off with your $20, you still might retain your wallet filled with more cash, cards, and other valuables. Another tip is to disperse your cash and only bring what you need with you. Keep that $300 envelope of emergency cash locked in the safe at home and only take the $50 you need for the evening with you. A minimalist wallet can help you keep just the right amount of cash on hand along with everything else you need.

At the end of the day, whether you primarily use cash or cards, the best idea is to have the option of using both. Even if you just keep a few bills in your wallet, your servers, valet, kids, and friends will be glad you have them!

Need a thin, yet spacious wallet to store your cash in? Check out our Slim Wallet collection.

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