Get Your Aging Parents to Stop Using Cash

Cash should be handled differently by your aging parents. Get your Mom or Dad into the habit of always using their credit card- even for fast-food coffee and toast or soup with friends. Then they carry less cash around.

I hardly use money any more for myself. I carry it for emergencies (and in case I ever get held up and can at least give the thief something so they’ll go away without getting too angry- though it's never happened to me).

I am encouraging my Mom to “get out of money”. This way she won’t be carrying much money. There is less chance of losing it (and of being cheated out of change because she can't see well, or being robbed of it).

And don’t pay a bill with a check either. We have helped Mom put as many as possible of her monthly bills onto automatic credit card payments. Though some merchants won’t take cards and she has to pay by check.

Instead, I would like her to use her credit card everywhere. Just about everyone takes credit cards these days- they have to in order to remain competitive.

And it used to be that you had to charge more than $10 before they would accept it. Not any more. Now even all the fast food restaurants and many corner stores take credit cards- and businesses take them for any small amounts.

I find this great for my own purchases. Like, I can pay with the credit card for a small birthday card for $2.19 plus tax. And I don’t finish the day with a pocket full of loose change.

Its hard for Mom to get used to the idea of using her card to pay for a coffee with her friend in Mickey Dee’s or Tim Horton’s still, but I think she’ll start doing it more often.

Then she only has to pay once a month- and maybe use the ATM only once a month too. So much easier.

Plus, if she has a credit card that offers money-back, say 1% or more of purchases- there’s a small incentive bonus.

Top of page

From this "no cash" tip, return to the Elder Care Costs page