Do You Carry Cash?

8 years ago by

Do You Carry Cash?

How much do you have on you?

Me? Probably zero. It’s terrible, but I never remember to get cash.

Right now as I’m writing to you, I’m sitting at the salon waiting for my hair color to set, and I just remembered I don’t have a single dollar in my bag. I probably passed by two thousand banks on my way here, but nope. And at the salon, you leave a tip, in cash.

It’s even worse now that I live in New York and you can pay for EVERYTHING with your card (except when you’re leaving tips at the hair salon or getting a mani/pedi basically), like a coffee to go for three dollars? Get out your card! A movie, a cart at the airport? Card! Even at the organic farmers market, you can pay with a card.

So I do the opposite of what my dad always told me: “NEVER leave the house without cash, you never know what might happen!”

And I find myself unprepared, not chic at all, running through the streets of New York looking for an ATM.

Do you have this problem too? Or are you always super organized? What do you think is the minimum amount of cash you should have on you at all times?

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • Hi! I just went through the same thing today… And at the salon they looked at me like ????.

  • JUNIOR CHARLES April, 28 2016, 12:47 / Reply

    Garance, I just take out 100$ and when it’s gone, another 100$. Ce n’est pas plus difficile que ça! Vivement, the personal assistant!

  • I always have cash, but I am old and old fashioned. I suspect someday in the near future we won’t even need wallets. We will pay for everything with our phones. I keep a couple hundred at least and I’m really anal, I want to have at one 10, one 5 and several ones. Some of my friends travel without cash and that is really a bad idea I think. I bring much more for traveling. Cash has saved me so many times. So many!

  • Violaine April, 28 2016, 12:57 / Reply

    Story of my life…

  • I hate carrying cash. What a waste of space lmao. I don’t do it unless I have to. I usually don’t have a problem with tips when I go for grooming. I can just add the tip with the machine!

  • I’m super organized and always have cash on me – usually about $50. And I mostly use cards for purchases over $20 or any online shopping. It’s funny sometimes when I pay cash in a store, it seems like the person doing the transaction isn’t used to handling money or counting. Maybe one day money will be obsolete !?

  • This happens to me all of the time too!


  • Call me old-fashioned but I feel naked without a little bit of cash. When my supplies hit $40 my heart starts palpitating and I run to the nearest ATM. I am always scolding my friends who have zero cash on them. This habit, though, surely is related to my daily trip to my neighborhood fruit cart that accepts only cash. :) And that is the ONLY thing I buy with cash.

  • martine April, 28 2016, 1:50 / Reply

    Nope. I use cash for almost everything, except for big ticket items. I don’t like to put three buck purchases on there. I am not so wealthy that i can simply ignore how much i spend on coffee( well, green tea, I HATE coffee), movies, and such stuff.

  • Emeline April, 28 2016, 1:52 / Reply

    C’est marrant parce que moi j’habite en Allemagne où on paie encore beaucoup en cash. Quand je sors ma carte pour payer un montant inferieur a 15 € mon mari (allemand) me fait a chaque fois la remarque que ça ne se fait pas, que ça fait pauvre (?). Et encore je ne parle pas des magasins qui refusent les cartes pour des petits montants.
    Bon apres comme c’est le bazar dans mon sac j’ai toujours des pieces qui trainent…

  • laurence April, 29 2016, 11:22

    haha exactement! je vis en Allemagne aussi et c’est vrai, ici, sans cash, on est vite perdu :) même si ça a un peu changé ces dernières années je trouve.
    du coup c’est dur, parce que je suis moi aussi du genre à toujours oublier d’aller retirer de l’argent et à m’en rendre compte seulement quand c’est trop tard – typiquement au café juste au moment de payer, alors que je suis là depuis une heure et que j’ai bu deux thés ;)
    par contre je n’ai jamais entendu dire que ça faisait pauvre??? dans les endroits où il est possible de payer par carte, je ne me gêne pas pour le faire (bon au dessus de 5 euros quand même, en dessous j’ai une “limite psychologique” qui m’en empêche!)

  • Estonia is super digital in every way – card payments, mobile payments, internet payments etc.

    But I do always carry cash. For example I like to go to the farmers’ market and usually you can just use cash there.

  • Fortunately, my salon lets us tip with our card! It’s easier for us, and my hairdresser actually prefers it to carrying home a huge wad of cash at the end of the day/week.

    Unfortunately, I live in Seattle, where a lot of small businesses are still cash-only. Any time we try a new restaurant, we always have to call ahead or check online to make sure!

  • Jessica April, 28 2016, 2:44 / Reply

    I try to have 20-40$ on me for those just in case moments, though I do run out from time to time, and yes I’ve been known to pay $1 for a donut with a card… In nyc no one frown at this, in Italy I would’ve be driven out of town!

  • My mother insists that “ladies” should “always” carry at least $100 in cash, in a single bill. Wha-? She is no Emily Gilmore-style snob and I have never been able to understand where this comes from. Don’t know if anyone else’s heard something like this; otherwise I’m chalking this up to the weird 80s.

    That said, once I did pay for condoms at a bodega with the lonely hundred and a cashless bf. Hm, that was a peak douche day. Or also a peak feminine empowerment day? I go back and forth on this.

  • I do this all the time, but I do have cash in my wallet. I always have hidden an amount in my pocket wallet that honestly I won´t use unless it is an emergency. And always, always use the card.

  • therese April, 28 2016, 3:30 / Reply

    I always have cash on me. I hate to use a card for anything less than $10. The credit card processing fees are so high that it seems mean to do to mom and pop businesses. We pay for the convenience of credit cards. Also in natural disasters machines will be down and I don’t want to be caught with no means to buy necessities.

  • I have always at least 20$ with me. When I go to the ATM I withdraw around 200$. I keep 100$ in my wallet and I save 100$ in a box. When I see something that I really like (accessories, jewelry etc.) that is a bit expensive, I think about my box and use it to offer me a really nice gift!

  • I try to keep a 20 folded up in my wallet for emergencies. Some years ago, I read about a guy waiting for the subway, late, alone, and he was mugged. But his billfold was empty and the mugger came back and beat him up for not having cash! So he always kept something on him–worth the price not to get beat up.
    My shopping is mostly at the market, which is cash only, and small bills at that.

  • I’m the same–I neeever carry cash. I’m always afraid I’ll lose it (credit cards can be cancelled, but cash is just gone), and I rarely need it. I try to go to the ATM before I go somewhere cash-free, or before going to the bar (I hate leaving my tab open). Cash is kind of unnecessary most places now, so I don’t run into issues much (my salon takes tips on CC!).

  • I always have some cash $20-$100

  • I always have cash in my wallet – it’s how my husband and stick to our monthly budget! I get out $$ for groceries and entertainment (eating out, misc. purchases) each week for us to use. It’s so much easier to be mindful of how we use it vs when we had cards and would use them for everything!

  • Yes I do… in Greece we still use cash (although the capital control, that force us to use cash cards) lol :)

  • well, I’m a student so I have a very strict budget for every day, so I only carry amount of a daily budget and around $20 just in case. I only use card when buying clothes or transport pass. and, also that’s really good way for saving money!

  • Recently, I run out of cash and had no money for the bus trip back home, so I had to walk 40 minutes. Oh well! At least I got com cardio in, hehe.

  • Oui, je toujours quelques notes sur moi..
    La monnaie aussi…
    Pas grand chose, mais, il m’arrive den avoir là..le moment quand il y en ai nécessaire …
    On dit que ce chanceux tout ce qui y pense. :-)

  • je suis une catastrophe; j’ai grand max 10 euros, quand j’en ai 40 c’est le gros scoop!!! je ne pense jamais à retirer des sous, pareil..

  • Pareil! quand j’ai quelques pièces sur moi c’est un miracle…

  • mademoiselle mauve April, 29 2016, 12:39 / Reply

    tout pareil ! même le conseil de papa :-)

  • $100 – $200. Always. And a bit more “under the mattress.” Look girlfriends, anything can happen… ATMs go down… banks fail….power grids fail …capital controls.pop up out of nowhere.. your car breaks down and whoever doesn’t take a cc…. tornados… hurricanes… anything! You can tell I’ve lived a lot of different and exotic places. LOL. I know this is a frothy fashion blog… .but … why not have cash?

  • Mary Roberts April, 29 2016, 6:05 / Reply

    More years ago than I care to remember and well before cards I got stranded with no money. A waiter at the restaurant where my date left me gave me the cash to get a cab home and prof erred this advice “hide $20 in wallet so you’ll forget it’s there but you’ll have it in an emergency”. I heeded his advice and now always have a £50 note in my wallet. It’s saved me at least thirty times.

  • I had that exact same issue until I moved to China, where cash almost doesnt exist anymore. We pay absolutely everything with our phones through Wechat pay or Alipay. To split the bill at the restaurant, to pay at the convenience store, to pay my rent to my landlord, for all my bills, for online shopping, in the taxi, from QR code on adds in the metro… It’s a bit tricky not to spend money all the time because you actually always have money on you. I think that is basically what Apple Pay is trying to do. Not to say it’s doomed in China, they just arrived 5 years too late. The other day I was buying a snack at the vending machine with coins and one of my coworker told me “wow, you’re paying with coins! so old school!” (People usually just scan the QR code on the screen to pay).

  • Great post! As always ;)


  • Maintenant que j’habite à Londres, c’est incroyable de pouvoir tout payer avec sa carte, encore plus avec le système contactless ! Cest un truc tellement bien mais aussi tellement dangereux d’un point de vue dépenses. Londres est chère et je ne m’appelle pas encore Crésus alors parfois je sors sans ma carte et me contrains à ne dépenser que ce que j’ai retiré en liquide comme ça ça m’oblige à mieux gérer mes sous. Maintenant que je l’écris ça serait bien de le faire tout au long de l’année, je suis sûre qu’à ce rythme je deviendrai Crésus ahaha !

  • J’avoue être très vieux jeu : j’ai toujours de l’argent sur moi. Cela m’a sauvé tant de fois, mais mieux encore j’ai pu aidé autrui grâce à cette habitude. Et non content d’avoir de l’argent dans le portefeuille, j’en ai aussi ailleurs pour les “au cas où” (qui n’arrivent jamais car ce que j’ai dans le porte-monnaie suffit).
    De plus, je trouve qu’avoir de l’argent sur soi ET ne pas le dépenser est un excellent exercice de self-control. On apprend réellement à se détacher des achats impulsifs et vains.

    à bientôt :)

  • I know perfectly what you mean. I’d be happy to live in a society with no cash, but there are certain things that you cannot be without a couple of dollars in your pocket. The minimum of cash? $20 The maximum of cash? $100

  • isabelle May, 1 2016, 1:46 / Reply

    nous,en grece,on a un plafond au distributeur pour chaque semaine.Ca rend les choses delicates.Je prefere payer en liquide,je sais mieux ou j’en suis.Cela dit,on ne voit plus beaucoup de liquide circuler et,en tout cas ,pour ici,ce n’est pas la meilleure chose pour les personnes qui doivent freiner leur consommation!

  • Yep – I always forget to get cash before I go to the hair dresser…if I’m lucky, I have just enough to cover the woman who washes my hair and then I have to put the rest on cards.

    and YOU ARE RIGHT – it feels really un-chic to put the tip on a card.

  • vanessa la belge May, 2 2016, 6:26 / Reply

    C’est marrant, je suis sortie (enfin, “sortie”, on a eu plusieurs dates) avec un Norvégien qui me disait exactement la meme chose. Alors qu’ici à Bruxelles on paie encore souvent en cash (plein de boutiques facturent un supplement si on veut payer par carte un montant inférieur à 15 ou 10 euros) ! Du coup, non, je ne sors JAMAIS sans au moins 10e sur moi :-)

  • OMG, I sell those little leather trays in my store, nobody likes them, and now I see them in your blog! wow, thanks, I feel really good.


  • Je vis à Montréal. Souvent, les marchands acceptent les cartes mais pas toujours. Ici à Montréal, il est donc conseillé d’avoir de l’argent sur soi. Pour payer les parkings, c’est que par carte de crédit ou argent. Il y a des marchands ils acceptent la carte seulement s’il y a achat de plus de 5$. Présentement, j’ai 30$ dans mon portefeuille.

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