How much cash do you have in your wallet? Aussies are ditching physical currency

Cash might be headed the same way as the Tasmanian tiger according to poor money empty pay finance

A recent survey of 1,000 respondents revealed that 23% of Aussies – equivalent to 4.4 million people – no longer carry cash.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said as we become a cashless society, the need for wallets may soon be non-existent.

“Cards are the new cash. With tap-and-go accepted almost everywhere these days, physical currency is no longer necessary.

“Between digital wallets on smartphones and loyalty card apps, there’s increasingly no need for a wallet. Eventually we’ll be able to pay for everything with a smart device,” she said.

The average person has $59.40 in their wallet

However the research shows that some Aussies remain committed to carrying cash, with the average person holding $59.40 in their wallet.

Around 21% have between $1 and $10, while a further 9% carry between $11 and $20.

Millennials are twice as likely (24%) to have no cash on them as Baby Boomers (11%), while men generally carry twice as much as women.

Males carry $74 on average compared to $44.90 for females.

RBA data1 shows ATM withdrawals are also declining nationwide, falling from 51.5 million in July 2017, to just 45.7 million in July 2019.

Browne said that although the amount of cash Aussies are carrying has dropped, many people still like to have a few coins or notes handy.

“At this stage, there are still situations where spare change doesn’t go astray. We might want to grab a sausage sizzle on the weekend or buy something from a cash-only business.

“But it will be interesting to see whether this is still the case in 10 years’ time,” she said.


How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?

Generation Average amount of money in
Gen Z (under 24) $37
Gen Y (24-38) $68
Gen X (39-58) $56
Baby Boomers $70

Source: Finder September 2019 Survey


How to ditch your wallet

  • Make sure your card and device are compatible. Most banks now offer debit and credit cards that are compatible with digital wallets. If your card isn’t compatible, switch to a lender that wallet-2125548_1920offers the technology. Make sure your smartphone is compatible too.
  • Install a digital wallet app. Once you have the right card and phone, download the relevant app (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay), follow the prompts and connect your card.
  • Ditch your cards. If you carry a stack of loyalty cards in your wallet, you can now store them digitally rather than carrying around. Apps like Stocard and Key Ring allow users to add their loyalty cards and keep them all in one place.

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Rita Thomas


is a Property Strategist with an accounting background and over 30 years’ Commercial Banking experience. She is a passionate property investor who enjoys helping her clients create wealth through property investment using Metropole’s strategic approach.

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