Money / Financial Planning
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Some people charge everything to a credit card to rack up rewards points, but that isn’t your style. When possible, you prefer to pay with cash. Maybe you’ve ditched the plastic as a way to curb overspending, avoid credit card fraud or simply because you prefer to shop off the grid. However, despite the many good reasons to pay with cash, it isn’t always the best choice.
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Not sure what types of purchases warrant leaving the cash in your wallet? Here’s a look at seven common payments that should always be made with a different form other than cash.
Writing a check can be a hassle, so if you don’t have the option to pay your rent online, you might opt for cash. However, William Capece, CFP, director of business development at the JS Benefits Group, said doing so is unwise, because it leaves you without a paper trail.
“Too often we hear stories of landlords who evict tenants over unpaid rent, while the tenant swears to have paid,” he said. “Cash leaves no paper trail and thus no proof.” On the flip side, he said landlords should also never accept cash payments for the same reason. “This should be outlined in the renter agreement,” he said.
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Since interest rates are at historic lows, Capece advised against buying a car with all cash. “Utilizing a car loan helps in many ways,” he said. “Dealers make more money when customers utilize debt, so they are more likely to give you a better deal.”
Beyond that, he said paying for such a large purchase in cash limits your ability to invest. If you can swing it, he recommended financing your car purchase and using the cash as the down payment on a rental property. “Use an appreciating asset to pay for your lifestyle,” he said.
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Home Maintenance and Updates
If you own your home, you likely spend at least some money on upkeep each year. Capece said it’s important to have a paper trail for these expenses, so you don’t forget about them when it’s time to do your taxes. “Those expenses could be added to the cost basis of the home or as a write-off against income,” he said.