2009 comebacks: Cash is king

Uncle Sam at the ATM
Uncle Sam at the ATM

For awhile, cash looked doomed. Some businesses, like A&TT Wireless Store, have been known to tack on an extra charge when their customers pay their bill with actual dollars and cents. Almost everyone seems to use a debit card these days. For years, critics have wanted to abolish the penny, and there's even been some not-so serious discussion about the merits of getting rid of the nickel and dime. And, for what it's worth, I thought cash was losing its luster in the world; I wrote about cash's likely demise for CreditCards.com almost a year ago, talking about how the lack of cash was hurting professions like street performers.

But then the economy tanked, and everyone's rethinking the idea of just going around willy-nilly with a debit card and making purchases and then later, tallying everything up and seeing what's left in the bank account. I know I've been using cash more and pleased to see all of my old friends. George Washington is still on the $1. Good ol' Abe Lincoln's on the $5. Alexander Hamilton is on the $10. That's President Andrew Jackson on the $20...

Apparently I'm not alone. Suddenly, according to a lot of speculation in the media as well as corporations stating it as already happening, it's looking as though in this budget-conscious economy, more people than ever will be using cash to pay for their purchases.