By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The face of money is changing.

By 2020, Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Tubman will be the first African American on United States paper money, and the first woman on currency in a century.

Smaller changes are also being made to $5 bills and $10 bills.

The Tubman Twenty is big news for many, but it got us wondering: How often do we still use cash?

It is way too early to say cold, hard cash will someday become extinct. But facts show we are using it less and less.

“There’s now 300 million of us in America, and one billion [credit] cards,” said Darryl Dahlheimer, with LSS Financial Counseling. “With plastic, there’s a disconnect between the actual cash leaving. It feels a little magic.”

In 2004, 36 percent of retail purchases were paid in cash. By 2014, that dropped to 29 percent. And experts say by the next generation it could drop to just 10 percent.

“You got to say it’s that heads and tails of the coin. It’s more convenient to use cards, and the flip side is we spend more,” Dahlheimer said.

He says with cash, we can see the $10 bills and $20 bills leaving our wallets.

With check and credit cards, and even phone apps, it is not as obvious, so we spend about 15 percent to 18 percent more than we would if we used cash.

“Americans will always want some cash, or some Americans will always want to use cash,” Dahlheimer said.

And he says cash is used mostly for the little things. This has also become a generational thing. People who grew up knowing cash as their main currency are more likely to continue using it.

Younger generations who have grown up using phones for more than calling people will be using more plastic and phone apps to make payments.

John Lauritsen

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