1. Travel On the Edge

    As a guy who believes in keeping at least $50 in cash on me (plus the usual credit and debit cards) whenever I’m out and about, I simply do NOT understand why anyone would GO TRAVELLING WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CASH ON HAND.

    And yet, in the auto-service business, I see people doing this fairly often. Typically it involves someone’s vehicle breaking down, leaving them stranded — at least for a while — somewhere far from home. When this occurs, what are they carrying in their wallet or purse?

    A driver’s license, a debit card, some photos … and that’s it.


    Can people just NOT think ahead at all? Does anyone play “What if?” before heading out across the state?

    What if you’re 500 miles from home, and, for who knows what reason, your debit card doesn’t work? With no credit cards in your wallet, and no cash, what will you do then?

    As I’ve said for years, debit cards are often NOT your best friend. I love my debit cards, but they’re certainly NOT a foolproof payment method when travelling.

    (And no, I don’t care what Dave Ramsey says about “All you ever need is a debit card.” I, for one, try not to live my life at the mercy of my bank’s change-on-a-whim debit-card policies.)

    Big Tip: Always Have More Than One Way To Pay

    As I mentioned in a 2007 post, I consider it vital that we ALWAYS have more than one way to pay. Whether “Plan B” is cash, credit card, or debit card, I don’t much care. I just make sure that there always IS a Plan B. And that goes for quick trips to the corner store as well as cross-country jaunts.

    So much that happens in life is out of your direct control. Doesn’t it make sense to exhibit some control where you can, and always have a backup method of payment?

    It sure does to me!

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  2. 2 Responses to "Travel On the Edge" ...

    1. On June 27, 2011 @ 4:35 pm,
      Mike wrote:

      I think we’re in agreement 99.9% of the time. But I’m not sure why you would get all UPPERCASE when it comes to not carrying cash. I actually do carry cash… until it runs out – and then – I don’t. My version of a budget. I often have a week or more at the end of the month with no cash and only a debit card (for emergencies) in my wallet. I think you’d be amazed how many tragedies I’ve never had. Ever.

      Maybe I don’t know what kind of travel you do. Maybe its some hair-raising stuff. But just as a mental exercise, if my debit card wasn’t accepted somewhere (has never happened to me) I would walk to an ATM and withdraw the cash I needed. If that ATM didn’t work I would walk to the next. If that didn’t do the job, I would call my nice local bank – who recognize my voice on the phone and tries hard to always help me out (no I’m not being sarcastic). If that didn’t work I could ask a friend or relative to wire me some money.

      Preparedness is a matter of personal taste. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would fault you for carrying only 50$. There are also people who might challenge you: what you would do if you lost, or someone grabbed, your wallet. There are people who don’t feel comfortable going out of the house without a hidden money belt, and a concealed handgun.

      With all these hypotheticals at some point you have to say you would rely on your wits, make do, and hope for some kindness and compassion. And I suggest the there is simply NO WAY YOU CAN AVOID THAT.



    2. On July 6, 2011 @ 11:47 pm,
      Eric wrote:

      I always have a $20 on me and that’s about it. I personally prefer to use my debit card as I can track my spending that way plus it has a 1% cash back on it when I use it without a PIN.

      I had an uncle who pretty much carried his whole paycheck around with him in his wallet. I would never do that, especially if you have a decent bank. My debit card got stolen in Las Vegas 2 years ago and my credit union cancelled it and had another card in my hand before the trip was over.



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