October 25, 2021

Bucks Blog: Cash and Debit Prevail This Holiday Season

Holiday shoppers in Boston.Associated PressHoliday shoppers in Boston.

The holiday season is one time when my credit card gets a heavy workout, and this year is no different. But I’m apparently an outlier, according to a survey of holiday consumer spending.

Roughly three-fourths of Americans are buying gifts with cash or a debit card this year, according to a survey from ING Direct. And 63 percent are spending the same on holiday gifts as they did last year.

The finding dovetails with reports finding that consumers are better managing their credit card debt.

I consider myself a responsible credit card user — I always pay my monthly balance in full. But it’s true that paying with cash or a debit card can help you stick to a budget and force you to consider whether you really want to spend money on a given item. Perhaps a little cash-only experiment should be added to my growing list of New Year’s resolutions.

The fourth-annual national survey of 1,000 adults was conducted by both landline and mobile phones by ORC International on November 23-25. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points. (Online bank ING Direct, which is now a division of Capital One, will be re-branded next year as Capital One 360.)

Have you been relying more on cash or debit card spending for holiday shopping this year? Has it helped you keep the lid on spending?

Article source: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/cash-and-debit-prevail-this-holiday-season/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economix Blog: Unbanked America

CATHERINE RAMPELL

CATHERINE RAMPELL

Dollars to doughnuts.

Lately you’ve probably heard a lot about bankers. What what about the bankees?

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, across the country 7.7 percent of households don’t have a checking or savings account (that is, they are “unbanked”). Another 17.9 percent have checking or savings accounts, but they still rely on alternative financial services like check cashing, payday loans and pawnshops, which typically have very unfavorable terms for borrowers.

The Pew Charitable Trusts has put together state-by-state information on what share of people use the traditional banking system, shown in the interactive map below.

Click on any state to see what share of its households don’t access the traditional banking system. You’ll also see how much it costs to maintain a checking account and make an overdraft transfer in that state.

As you might expect, higher fees discourage families from using banks. As the Pew study cites, the 2009 F.D.I.C. National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households found that 31 percent of households that dropped a bank account said they did so because of service charges, minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees.

Mississippians are most cut off from the traditional banking system: 16.4 percent of households in the state do not have a checking or savings account. On the other hand, almost every household in Utah uses the traditional banking system; just 1.7 percent of households there are unbanked.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=03904dcfa702edba68f44e608ca93e5d