Have you noticed money getting dirtier these days?

I'm not sure if it's just my imagination (or a cluster of incidents lately), but I'm starting to wonder if money is getting dirtier and more worn out these days. Maybe no new prints and/or people "abusing" cash (lol)?

These bills I've been getting in change (non-bank) are just disgusting recently. A few $20's smelled so bad that I immediately exchanged them. Other bills I've gotten seem to have mildew and/or mold on them. Others have been "sticky." I also received a .25 coin from a fast food restaurant with black and green slime all over it recently. It rubbed off onto my hand (and my skin "stung" ) and then smeared onto my car's coin box.

Are people just nasty with money?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2019 06:53AM by shoptastic.

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I can't remember the last time I used cash for anything. My paycheck goes into my bank via direct deposit. The MS is either by Paypal or check. I pay my bills online. Every purchase is on a credit card with 2% or more in cash back and I pay that every month. So, no cash. My husband still uses cash since he goes to a deli for breakfast and buys lunch, I would never do that.

How much of what you do is cash based?
@RobG wrote:

I guess our money is not being "laundered"!
You beat me to it, Rob! I was going to say that perhaps that is why so many people get in trouble for "laundering" their money...haha grinning smiley
I went to get a cup of coffee, and didn't have 2 dollars on me, so, I use my debit card for everything, or Starbucks app pays or charge card for Macy's, etc....... never carry cash, cash, what's that?

Live consciously....
@Niner wrote:

How much of what you do is cash based?

50/50. I like to always have about $50 (minimum) on me in cash. I have a few credit and bank debit cards as well, but try not to use them unless absolutely necessary.
@RobG wrote:

I guess our money is not being "laundered"!

I wish people literally did. smiling smiley

Banks should WASH our bills...seriously....are they ever cleaned?

An aunt of mine, who worked as a cashier in a bad part of town in her city, said customers often took money out of their socks and breasts when paying for their food. It grossed her out having to touch it after they did that. I think the logic (implied, as she never said why) is that it may be dangerous in these areas and one could easily be robbed. Having money in your socks or breasts probably makes it less likely you'll get searched there or something?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2019 04:59PM by shoptastic.
I recently had some $20's that were pink....God knows what the heck that was....it smelled awful. Like fungus or something.
There is actually a thing called the Dirty Money Project being run by NYU. You don't want to read about it, but here's the link anyway.

[en.wikipedia.org]
Copper has anti-bacterial properties. Bacteria dies if exposed to it long enough. Pennies with significant copper will help kill bacteria. I think the more copper-licious ones are pennies pre-1976.

I like to have copper objects around the house.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2019 05:57PM by shoptastic.
@Mum wrote:

Has anyone seen the "Laundromat" on Netflix?

I don't have a Netflix subscription. Any good?
@Niner wrote:

How much of what you do is cash based?

According to Gallup, people under 35 make the majority of their purchases without cash. With those 35+, cash is still king. That's in the US. Worldwide, it's about 50-50.

We try to use cash as much as possible for personal transactions except things where there is already a paper trail (bills and the like) or for large purchases where I need the AmEx protection. I use credit cards for MS purchases so I can track them. It's nobody's business how I spend my money. Also, people spend more with credit than cash. It can often lead to huge debt.

"Superiority and success doesn't favor good effort or self-esteem. The mentally precise and physically fit win, while the mediocre and obtuse take solace in hopeful cliches." ~Bobby Knight
I never use cash. It's been years. My check is direct deposit at work, I use my credit card, and pay it off monthly. Bills are all online.
The only time I use cash is if a mystery shop requires it. The cash I get from Chase's ATMs are usually pretty clean and new looking. I always use a credit card and pay it in full to reap the benefits of credit card rewards/cashback. I have a credit card that offers 2% cashback on any purchase and have other cards that offer 3-5% cashback for other categories (dining, online shopping, gas, groceries, travel/transportation, hotels, etc.). A lot of my credit cards also have special bonuses and offers for additional cashback for certain brands from time to time. I've earned hundreds of dollars of credit card rewards just from paying for mystery shopping expenses. You miss out on free money by using cash.
Loose change/coins also are annoying. I always either lose it or put it somewhere and never use it.
@iShop123 wrote:

Also, people spend more with credit than cash. It can often lead to huge debt.

That's something I gleaned from Dave Ramsey's talk show. It's one of the Ramsey-isms imprinted on my mind, given his famous rants.

It's perhaps a little controversial - as a prescription to use cash - but I've tried using exclusively cash (up to the point until I'm not able to when it comes to paying certain things that have to have credit card), because of his numerous rants on cash vs. credit/plastic.

On average, people spend 12-18% more on their purchases when they use credit cards. Ramsey views that as an impulse tax essentially. Studies of the brain have shown that when we pay with credit card, the pain sensors in our brain are not activated - whereas, they are with cash.

Lots of interesting psychological theories as to why that is...but, his point is that biology is against us when we use credit cards. People impulse much more than they do with debit cards (mild impulse spending) and cash (the least overspending). His favorite example is that when you're at a fast food place and paying with credit card, you're more likely to Super Size the order, get dessert, pay for the guy's meal next to you, etc. When you're using cash, it's the dollar menu and water. smiling smiley McDonald's numbers bear this out and why they were so happy to let people start using credit cards back when it was not popular.

Credit card companies know all this and spend billions to get people to use cc's. Businesses know it too. They are happy to implement credit card payment options at any chance. Studies show that sales increase dramatically when credit cards are accepted.

Some of the push back I hear is that a person with great self-control can get around this and successfully use a credit card probably and:

a.) get a "free float" on the bill
b.) maybe get rewards points***

***Ramsey frequently rants against those airline miles offered, b/c he says:

i.) something like 95% of all miles accrued never get used
ii.) people overspend often to get them (justifying it in that they're racking up miles) or just subconsciously overspend for psychological reasons (no matter how disciplined you think you are), so it might leave you worse off (esp. if you're spending 12-18% more)

I actually DO NOTICE that I spend less when using cash. I have more guilt. Part of the psychology is that you see your cash leaving your possession. It causes instant pain and triggers your senses on what your budget is, what the value of the money is, etc. When you pay with credit card, it's like money in the ether. Your brain doesn't register pain sensors when you charge it up. And you don't pay until later. So much psychological research has gone into this. It's possibly similar to a person gambling at a casino using chips. The chips dissociate you from the value of money that is there with actual bills. Instead of throwing three Benjamin Franklins in the middle of the craps or black jack table, throwing three red chips is so much easier on the mind. We supposedly feel much worse losing 10 physical $100 bills than ten red chips - despite them carrying the same value.

Having said that, I've been grossed out by physical money lately. Possibly got a rash from some and that's making me think twice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2019 04:55AM by shoptastic.
@shoptastic

Dave Ramsey's credit card advice makes sense for his general target population: People who are in serious debt and lack self-control with spending. If you're in debt, you shouldn't be using a credit card at all.

I definitely don't agree with his counterpoints about not using a credit card for personal expenses if you aren't in debt and set a strict spending budget/track every expense.

However, I don't understand why you would not use a credit card for mystery shop expenses. It is something that you are required to spend and you will later be reimbursed by the MSC. You are spending money on something required and thus are not overspending. You're missing out on credit card cashback for all your mystery shopping expenses. I've earned hundreds of credit card cashback just from mystery shopping expenses.
@azncollege wrote:

@shoptastic

However, I don't understand why you would not use a credit card for mystery shop expenses. It is something that you are required to spend and you will later be reimbursed by the MSC. You are spending money on something required and thus are not overspending. You're missing out on credit card cashback for all your mystery shopping expenses. I've earned hundreds of credit card cashback just from mystery shopping expenses.

I actually sometimes use cc's for mystery shopping, azncollege. I like the record keeping.

Forgot to mention that.

I don't have one with cash back, however. Sometimes I am reluctant, due to feeling uncomfortable with workers having my name and possible "backlash" against me for a negative report. Possible paranoia, I'll admit, but I've had reports that had "fire-able" offenses before.

And there are other times I just don't want my identity known for certain types of businesses and employees. So, it depends. smiling smiley Maybe I should look into a cash back card, though, just for ms-ing.
@azncollege wrote:


Dave Ramsey's credit card advice makes sense for his general target population: People who are in serious debt and lack self-control with spending. If you're in debt, you shouldn't be using a credit card at all.

I literally do not know anyone who fits this demographic in my life. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have a credit card. My richest friends have Am Ex cards with no limits and use those rewards for first class airfare all the time.

My children both got credit cards at 18 and have had no issues whatsoever.
Credit card (one) is necessary at least for an emergency, and helps build credit...some cases it works while traveling, a credit card without interest for a year helps buy things and of course rewards points, but yes, you do need control. I do use my debit card for 90% of my purchases. I just saw an amazing buy on a new T.V., and glad I had my credit card on me with no interest for a year, purchased it and saved a cool 150.00.
p.s. what on earth is "pink" money from dirt?

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2019 04:29PM by Irene_L.A..
@SoCalMama wrote:

I literally do not know anyone who fits this demographic in my life. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have a credit card. My richest friends have Am Ex cards with no limits and use those rewards for first class airfare all the time.
Two of my brood eschew credit cards. They do have debit. Both have excellent credit and a substantial amount of $ in the bank. It's a decision they made on their own (or with their partners). I can count a dozen people offhand that don't have credit cards. Partially it likely depends on where you live and your circle of friends.

Personally, I'm now at a point in my life where I *use* debt. If I'm paying 3% on a long-term loan, but investing that money where it's making me closer to 8%, I'm ahead of the game. When I was younger and less able to keep a firm handle on it, debt was poison. Everyone has to make their own choices and live with the consequences of whatever that is. Nobody's choices will be the same. It's about personal responsibility.

"Superiority and success doesn't favor good effort or self-esteem. The mentally precise and physically fit win, while the mediocre and obtuse take solace in hopeful cliches." ~Bobby Knight
@SoCalMama wrote:

I literally do not know anyone who fits this demographic in my life. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have a credit card. My richest friends have Am Ex cards with no limits and use those rewards for first class airfare all the time.

My children both got credit cards at 18 and have had no issues whatsoever.

Believe it or not, there is a kind of Dave Ramsey "movement" that totally ditches credit cards. As I said earlier, it's controversial and up for debate whether this "philosophy" works and is the most optimal or not.

But:

a.) DR is the most watched/listened to financial host in America
b.) a big portion of his audience follows this mantra

The one thing I find totally fascinating is the psychological overspending part. A person might be fine to not get in trouble having an unpaid balance that accrues interest penalty on their cc, but that's just one way you can lose money. The other, as said earlier, is we can overspend. That's harder to measure. You KNOW if you have an unpaid balance getting interest penalty. But, do you really track meticulously and HONESTLY know if you're overspending with a credit card each time you use it?

I like one of DR's examples, where he says (paraphrase): "Look, I teach this stuff for a living. And even I get caught overspending with a credit card. We took our granddaughters to Disney World and were having a good time and charging up $6.00 ice cream cones and buying $40 t-shirts. Afterwards, we saw the bill and were like 'What on Earth happened there???' That's what happens when you use credit cards. It's okay. We're rich. We can afford it. And we'll probably do it again. But some recent college grad with student loan debt, who is making $30,000/year can't!"

Even debit cards are better if you MUST use plastic from a statistical behavioral standpoint. People overspend less with debit than with credit. I think even though you don't have physical cash, the fact that you are taking money out of your banking account directly when you charge with debit triggers those pain sensors in the brain absent with credit card.

You get the bill later when using a credit card and it takes a while before you really "feel" or see it leave your bank account. Lots of psychological studies show how powerful that dynamic is in messing with our impulses and perception of our own spending.

If anyone doubts how powerful this is, here is an absolutely brilliant 10-minute piece with a Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics discussing this phenomenon:

[www.youtube.com]

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2019 11:03AM by shoptastic.
Not applicable to me at all. I have 0 debt. The house is paid for and so is my car, and I never carry a balance on my cards. I get so much free stuff, including gift cards, free hotel nights, free flights, and more that it would be silly to use cash or debit. Plastic is also easy to sanitize.
I have found so many good deals on gift cards lately. Yay!


@JASFLALMT wrote:

I get so much free stuff, including gift cards, free hotel nights, free flights, and more that it would be silly to use cash or debit. Plastic is also easy to sanitize.

Kim
Discover has a bunch of great giftcard deals. I can use $40 of my bonus money to trade in on a $45 or $50 card.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

p.s. what on earth is "pink" money from dirt?

Not sure if this was referring to my post on "pink" colored bills, but I did some research and apparently a pink coloring is sometimes used to "mark" money that's been stolen. Let's say a person robs a bank. Well...sometimes they have these booby trap devices that will spray the money with a coloring. Pink is apparently one of the more common ones. *shrug*

BUT,

Pink mold/fungus is also something that exists too. It can be found in the shower and other surfaces.

I've recently had pink bills given to me that smelled awful. I wondered what on Earth was that smell? Possibly mildew/mold/fungus *shudder*
I've been carrying around the same $80 or so in my wallet that has been there for a few years...no odor but I know it's still gross. It's not colored any unusual color.
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