Law School
Personal Finance

How Much Cash Do You Carry Around?

I like to use cash for most of my expenses. Unlike using a debit card where your money is converted into a bunch of 00110011’s, using cash is tangible. When I spend money with cash, I guess you could say I feel it more when money leaves my pocket. But how much cash should I carry around?

I read some guy wanted to be rich, so in order to get himself used to being rich, he started carrying around big wads of cash with him because that’s what rich people do, I guess. I don’t think that’s such a great idea for two reasons. One, you might be really tempted to spend that money and two, what if you lose it or get it stolen. I remember when I was in Mexico, I had a ton of money on me and got mugged. Thankfully, I was able to talk the guy out of finishing the job. The idea of losing all that money still freaks me out. (By the way, my mugger and I became friends after our initial meeting.)

My philosophy is to only carry around enough cash for what what I need during that day. For example, if I know I’m going to the grocery store, I’ll bring enough money to get the groceries. If I know I’m not going to spend any money that day, I simply won’t carry any cash with me. By using this philosophy, I reduce the temptation to spend money and I don’t have to worry about losing it.

What’s your philosophy on carrying cash?

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