BI Intelligence recently surveyed 1,500 millennials and found that, when it comes to spending, 40 percent are ready to get rid of cash altogether.
This isn't any surprise.
We use credit and debit cards, we share money on digital wallet apps (like Venmo) and products — like Apple Pay — are cutting into our cash-in-hand mentality.
More often than not, the only cash I have in my wallet comes from my grandma's "we miss you" cards in the mail. Otherwise, I usually swipe.
But what about the rest of the millennials who are still into holding on to cash? Are they apprised of something that the rest of us are eager to do away with?
I think they are.
For the most part — the most important part — cash gives us an ability to understand spending. By visibly watching dollars dwindling out of the pocket, it's easier to slow down how much is being shelled out. Swiping a card really does create a disconnect with how much is being spent, and how much money is really left in your account. (Plus, cash has the convenience factor that can get you out of restaurants faster — just slap down a $20 and be gone.)
Another benefit cash holds over plastic is when it comes to identity theft and security. It seems nowadays thieves can steal your card info out of your wallet, online or through credit card skimmers. Plus, cash has more influence — from a first date to a car dealership — and pulling out a wallet full of bills leaves a big impact. It's as simple as that.
So what about ATMs?
If millennials — the largest living generation, with an ever-growing consumer market share — purge cash from their spending game, then over time less people will be hitting the machines to withdraw money. And without millennials withdrawing cash, the simple math shows that there won't be many people left using those darn things.
According to BI Intelligence, and using some common sense, fewer people using ATMs translates to higher fees for those who do use them, fewer machines on the streets and, overall, the inconvenience of having to go to a bank every time you need money.
Which means that population will probably start using cards.
So as you can see, we have a surmounting cycle here that seems to lean towards more plastic usage in the end, no matter how much we try to advocate cash.
But millennials, here's what we can do: When grandma mails you cash in a card, don't go and put it on your card. Let's at least try to keep those two cards separate.
Stay balling, spenders.