Cash is the most popular way to pay in UK shops according to the British Retail Consortium. So do you prefer to flash the plastic or stump up the cash when you’re shopping?
The new research looked at 10bn retail payments made last year, and found that just over half of all transactions were made in cold, hard cash.
Personally, I almost always pay for things using my debit card – the second most popular payment type accounting for 30% of transactions.
But this is mainly because I’m just not in the habit of going to a cashpoint. I don’t feel comfortable carrying more than about £20 in cash, and £20 definitely wouldn’t cover a weekly shop at my local supermarket.
That said, only change will do for the local corner shop. When I’m picking up a pint of milk (and the odd packet or two of Jaffa Cakes), my local shop has a minimum card limit of £10. The change in question tends to be kept in various pots around my room from where I’ve emptied my purse out periodically. And this brings me to another bugbear of using cash – it can be heavy!
Can cash and cards help you budget?
I suspect that most people have a primary preference for using a particular payment method. But of course, there will always be occasions when you need to be flexible.
I’ve seen friends try to be careful with their money over the years, often by trying to limit their spending to one payment method or another. For example, one friend likes to set themselves a cash budget for the week when times are getting tight, leaving the cards at home to avoid temptation. This works for her, but personally, if I’ve got a purse full of notes, I automatically feel richer than I really am. And this can only lead to trouble.
Another of my friends likes to pay for all their food shopping and socialising expenses on one credit card, which then gets paid off at the end of the month. This means it’s easy to see at a glance how much has been spent on non-essentials, and can work to scare you into spending less. I’m planning to try this one soon myself.
I also have a friend whose boyfriend puts her credit card in the freezer so it has to be defrosted before use, making impulse purchasing impossible. A novel idea, but I’m not sure it would work for me.
What is your preferred payment method? Do you find that paying a certain way makes it easier for you to budget effectively?
What is your preferred payment method for shopping?
Plastic (credit or debit cards) (78%, 320 Votes)
Cash (21%, 87 Votes)
Other (tell us in the comments) (1%, 3 Votes)
Cheques (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 410