The days of coins clinking in our pockets could be numbered, with one in four Australians saying they don't carry cash.
New payment options are gaining traction but they don't always work in consumers' favour.
About 4.4 million people no longer carry cash. However, some of us remain committed to the folding stuff, with the average person holding $59.40. These are the latest survey results from Finder, and as we increasingly become a cashless society, there may be no need to carry a physical wallet at all.
Even debit cards could be under threat, with Reserve Bank figures showing ATM withdrawals are declining. Credit cards are on the wane too. A survey by Illion found the number of cards held nationally fell by almost half a million over the last year.
Already, one in four of us use smartphones or smartwatchs to make transactions. And this festive season plenty of shoppers will turn to buy now-pay later (BNPL) platforms like Afterpay or Zip, which are rapidly replacing traditional lay-by.
Figures from Mozo show as many as 30 per cent of adults have one or more BNPL accounts. However, BNPL can work against you.
BNPL can impact other areas of financial well-being - including plans to buy a home. Some providers complete credit checks on applicants. Others report late payments or defaults to credit reporting agencies. This can be significant if you're a first home buyer.
The bottom line is that the way we spend is changing.
But how we manage that spending still matters. Maybe cash isn't so bad after all.