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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > Pay With Cash the Right Way

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pay With Cash the Right Way

By Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

Paying with cash is a common practice that people choose for a variety of reasons, including the desire to enjoy the benefits of using cash or the lack of a bank account due to low income or other personal circumstances. For example, recent immigrants may hesitate to open bank accounts due to unfamiliarity with the U.S. banking system, mistrust of banking systems (because of negative experiences in their former homelands), or lack of English language skills.

Whatever reason you may have for paying with cash, you should know how to conduct financial transactions in order to keep your money safe.

When you buy products and services or pay bills with cash, it’s essential to obtain a sales receipt as proof of payment. Receipts should include the amount paid, the name of the product or service received, date, and name of business.

Never send cash through the mail to pay a bill — cash may easily be destroyed, lost or stolen before reaching the recipient. Instead, obtain a money order to pay by mail (or to make large purchases in person).

You can obtain a money order, for a small fee, at various locations, including post offices, banks, and some retail businesses. Money orders for U.S. transactions are issued for up to $1,000, while international money orders are limited to $700 for most countries.

For more information, see our related web page, Payment Options: What’s Right for You?

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