8 in 10 Americans Have Less Than $50 on Them

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A new survey shows Americans' declining reliance on cash for transactions.

How much cash do you have in your wallet right now? If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you don’t have much. Half of Americans say they carry less than $20 each day.

That’s from a new survey by Bankrate.com. It reaffirms what most people already know: Cash is no longer king. There has been a substantial decline in Americans’ reliance on cash, as alternatives like credit and debit cards and mobile phone payment apps have gained popularity.

“If we move to a truly cashless society, it won’t be much of an adjustment for most Americans,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “The vast majority of Americans carry $50 or less on a daily basis, which seems to indicate that it’s more out of necessity than a desire to pay with cash.”

The following results show what you’d find if you opened up wallets across the country:

  • More than $100. Just 7 percent of Americans carry a Benjamin or more on a daily basis.
  • Less than $50. About 8 in 10 Americans carry less than $50.
  • None. About 9 percent of people don’t carry any cash at all.

On average, men carry more cash than women. About 86 percent of women carry less than $50, compared with 70 percent of men.

I’m with the 1 in 10 who carry no cash. I pay for almost everything with my debit card. I also live in a small town, so if I forget my debit card, most businesses still accept personal checks.

How much cash do you carry? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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