How To Live Without A Bank Account

by Alli on October 1, 2016

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

how-to-live-without-a-bank-account In this day and age, it’s almost crazy to think about living without a bank account. What is almost scarier is that bank accounts seem to be the life blood for the American people. It’s where we keep our everyday money and our savings as well as a lot of trust. That said, many people are actually ditching the traditional atmosphere associated with banking and choosing to live without a bank account. You may not think it’s possible, but it is! Here are some ideas for how you can live without a bank account in today’s world.

Cash Always Wins

One of the main reasons people are deciding to go without a bank account is that cash wins, every time. When it comes down to it, there are no strings attached to cash like there are with a debit or credit card. You don’t have to worry about all of the crazy stress that comes with a bank account like fees or minimums. You pay your cash and never look back.

Get a Good Safe

One of the first precautions you should take when choosing to go without a bank account is deciding how you will keep your money secure. The most logical thing would be to get a good safe. There are so many money safes that you’ll need to peruse a bit before making an actual purchase. Find one that works for you and your money needs.

Get to Know How Money Orders Work

If you are going to live without a bank account, it only makes sense to get to know how money orders work. Money orders are usually under $1, but are a safe way to pay bills and you don’t need a bank account to obtain one. You buy them at places like your local gas station, banks or even Walmart. Just make sure that you fill out the money order correctly and keep your receipt to protect yourself.

Keep Things Organized

Living without a bank account is easier if you can keep yourself organized. Having cash flying around is not the best way to handle things, so if you don’t tend to be an organized person, think twice about not having a back account. To get yourself started organizationally, use envelopes and/or binders to distribute cash to the appropriate places and keep them in your safe. Keep a single envelope with your “allowance” money (for things like coffee, going to the movies, etc.) and keep yourself in check. When the envelope is empty, you have to wait until next week!

Decide How Much Cash to Carry on You

One thing to keep in mind when living without a bank account is how much cash to carry on you. It can be scary to carry a large amount of cash, which is why you need to be extra thoughtful in this area. Typically, you should only carry what you need at that moment or for that day. As sad as it is, carrying a lot of cash on your person is just not a safe thing to do anymore.

Find an Alternative

Choosing not to have a bank account is a wise decision for some people. The great news is that there are some similar alternatives that won’t hold you to the same restrictions. While you may not want to have a bank account, you can sign up for something like PayPal. This will allow you to keep your money in one safe place and would then make it easier for you to pay bills online.

Buy a Pre-Paid Credit Card

Places like Walmart sell pre-paid credit cards so that you can have some convenience in your life. The best thing about these pre-paid cards is that the money is already on the card; you don’t have to worry about going into debt. Use it to pay bills, make Amazon purchases or anything else where you’d like a little added convenience.

Learn to Pay Your Bills Otherwise

You don’t need a bank account to pay your bills. In fact, there are many ways you can pay them. One of the easiest ways is to pay directly at the location. If you live in a small town, it’s usually easier to pay your bills in person at customer service. As mentioned earlier, you can also send out money orders, use cashier checks or you can pay through your Paypal account.

Realize the Money You Will Save

When living without a bank account, it’s important to remind yourself of the perks. A huge perk is realizing how much money you will save over time. When you pay for everything in cash, you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees, bank fees or lines of credit costing you money in the finance department. You only have to worry about those envelopes being empty.

When you’re questioning whether or not you’re making a good decision about having a bank account, look back at some of the perks of not having one. Overall, there is a lot less to worry about and you don’t have to be concerned with fraud potential. While living without a bank account may not be the easiest thing you have ever done, it can absolutely be rewarding. Have you ever tried living on a cash only basis? What has made it work well for you?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

cheyenne October 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

what terrible advice…. if your money is in your house and there is a fire, it is NOT covered under insurance! safes are somewhat fire resistant, but a house fire can burn for hours and NO safe is that good. Get an account at a Credit Union… and use a checkbook register! so many people do not balance their checking accounts… THAT is why they get fees !!!


Alli October 2, 2016 at 8:54 am

You are absolutely right and I appreciate your mentioning that. Not everyone has been able to get an account with a bank or credit union, so I wanted to address some ideas for those people. Thank you for adding this!


cheyenne October 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm

You are a classy lady, and give lots of good tips. I did not realize that this was only meant to be an optional idea, for a specific few; and that you were not suggesting that everyone ditch the banking system. my apologies


Alli October 7, 2016 at 7:49 am

No worries at all Cheyenne. I appreciate your comment! 🙂


Lilac October 1, 2016 at 7:40 pm

But with a bank account, you chose whether or not to allow “overdrafting” or not. Another thing with a bank account is FREE use of a debt card. FREE use of their bill pay.
Money orders cost you money. Pre paid card cost you a monthly fee.
How are you saving money?? Not a wise choice to go without a bank account.


Alli October 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

Thanks for your comment! I totally see your point. I put this together because I was asked to address the issue by a reader. Just provide some information. But I hear you and absolutely get what you’re saying.


Ron March 2, 2017 at 9:03 pm

A fireproof safe


Ron March 2, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Another advantage of not using a bank is that you have more privacy. A bank will report info like interest paid to you, which gives government agencies some idea of your balance.


Ron March 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm

If you keep you money in a bank, your money can be frozen by a court or even taken to pay a debt.


Ron March 2, 2017 at 9:11 pm

You can always keep a bank account with just the minimum amount. In case you want to cash a check and want to avoid fees from the issuing bank or a check cashing place.


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