Good Question: What’s In Your Wallet? Cash Or Plastic?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ten years ago, 36 percent of retail purchases were paid in cash. Today, that’s dropped to 29 percent, and if this trend continues over the next generation, it could fall to 10 percent.

“I think we’re a long way from a cashless society, but we are trending generally away from cash,” said Matt Schulz, a senior analyst. is part of an online credit card marketplace and allows people to compare credit cards online.

A recent survey from found 1/3 of people use credit or debit for purchases under $5. That number jumps to more than half for people between 18 and 29 years old.

“Using an app to buy Starbucks, all of these things are replacing cash and will do more so in the future,” Schulz said.

Experts say more people are moving towards cards due to convenience, rewards programs and marketing by credit card companies. Schulz says his survey found more young people using debit over credit.

“It’s important for me to not spend any more that I owe later,” said millennial Taylor Nikolai of Stillwater.

According a study from, 40 percent of people carry less than $20, 29 percent carry between $20 and $50, 2 percent carry $0 and 9 percent carry more than $250.

Bruce Mortenson of Minnetonka is one of those who carries cash.

“I’m old, it’s a sign of age,” he said.

Schulz says cash simply hasn’t been a big part of the lives of young people who were even used to pre-paid debit cards to pay for school lunches.

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