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Give up cash?

I have found that I am using my credit card more in recent weeks – at least the pile of receipts that I collect each month makes it seem that way.

Could it be that I am losing interest in using cash and checking the change I get in return?

I have to admit, airline miles are a nice little bonus on my credit card.

Or is it simply the fact that I have now given up saving nickels and cents, something I had done for years after the rising price of copper and nickel made the coins worth more than twice face value.

So many people were doing the same thing that the Treasury banned melting the coins in late 2006.

When I turned my accumulated nickels in, I wrote about it. Now the melt value of a nickel is just over half face value.

Even more recently, in April, I have given up saving copper Lincoln cents. I had turned in between $6 and $7 worth of them a couple of months ago.

Now the melt value of the 95-percent copper cent is 1.37 cents. That is still over face value, but not by enough to offer much incentive to save the coins.

And there is still the matter of melting being illegal.

Suspiciously, it was about the time I turned in that little cent hoard that I began charging more.

I told myself I was smoothing out my monthly cash flow. I was saving myself an extra trip or two to get walking-around money at the bank – as if walking by the bank building every business day on my way to lunch makes getting cash a problem.

I still check my change, but I have to admit that I have much less change to check, though I haven’t given up on spending cash.

But I guess for the moment, the siren song of electronic payments has gotten stronger for me.

How about you?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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