The sad truth is that most Americans have no choice but to use the financial system. To do things like make mortgage payments, pay your taxes, or collect your salary or payments for business services, you need to use the banking system.
The days when the average person could get by on a pure cash basis are long gone. Sooner or later, the average person will have to use the financial system whether he or she likes it or not. But can you use the system without being tracked by big government or big business?
The answer to this is no, but you can make it a lot harder for people to track you. If you limit your use of the financial system, you can create a much smaller profile to track.
Use Cash as Much as Possible
A good basic method of limiting tracking is to make as many purchases as possible with cash. Use cash for such purposes as buying groceries, gas and survival supplies. Cash is still the only method you can use that does not leave an electronic trail or a paper trail directly connecting you to purchases.
Readers of financial gurus like Suzie Orman know that using cash can help you save money by reducing your spending. Studies show that people are less likely to make impulsive purchases and more likely to limit their spending when they use cash.
Try returning to the old-fashioned method where you get a specific amount of cash out of the bank each week to pay for what you need. There still will be a record of the bank transaction, but not of the actual purchases.
The advent of the ATM makes it easier than ever to get cash, so there’s no excuse not to use cash for most retail transactions. If you can get into the habit of using cash, you can make it easier to budget and make it far harder for banks to track your transactions.
Checks and Bank Accounts
If you use a credit card, a debit card or a check to pay for a purchase, you can be tracked. All a check is in today’s world is an authorization for somebody else to withdraw a sum of money from your account. If you don’t want to be tracked, you’ll have to limit your use of electronic payment methods.
Use electronic payments or checks only to make those payments for which cash cannot be used. This might include utility bills, phone bills, mortgage payments, rent, insurance payments and car payments. The cheapest and easiest means of paying these is directly off of a checking account. Unfortunately, that can be tracked.
Even alternative methods of payment, such as money order and wire transfer, keep electronic records.
If you don’t want to be tracked, you might have to give up some of these services and the benefits they provide. There are some ways of getting around this; you can buy a prepaid cell phone for cash instead of regular phone service, and you can generate your own electricity.
Cashing Checks and Accepting Payments
The biggest problem you’ll face may not be making payments, but accepting them. Most payments in today’s world, such as salaries, government benefits, investment proceeds, payment for services, etc., are made electronically. Even if they send you a check, it’ll create an electronic payment when it is cashed.
There will be a record of such payments even if you go to a check cashing store or cash the check directly at the bank. They will ask for your ID, so there will be a record of it and the amount of cash you get.
If you have to accept electronic payments or checks, your best bet is to maintain a bank account. There will be a record of the money that goes in and a record of your withdrawals, but you will at least have a means of converting the money into cash that cannot be tracked easily.
If you use a bank account, you at least can avoid having to pay the extra charges associated with money orders and cashing a check at a store. Of course, there’s no law that says you have to keep all your money in the bank. Nor is there any law that says you have to put any cash payments you receive in the bank.
Cash and Tracking
If you revert to a cash basis for most purchases and only use your bank account to make those few payments that cannot be made with cash, you can limit your electronic profile. This will make it difficult or nearly impossible to track your day-to-day movements by monitoring your purchases.
When you do make purchases, you will have to avoid the tricks stores use to track you. That means you should cut up your store loyalty card, because the chains use that to track you. You also should avoid club stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. The membership cards allow the stores to track customers’ movements.
Use an Agent
Another interesting method that you could employ is to use an “agent.” Find somebody else who has a bank account, credit cards, etc., and let him or her cash checks and make purchases for you. That way, the electronic data trail will lead to that person and not you. You’ll have to find somebody you really trust for this method to work. The agent also should be somebody who is not easily connected or related to you.
Serving as an agent might be a good part-time business for preppers or members of a prepper community. One person could serve as the community’s agent, accepting payments, etc., and then distributing funds to everybody else. Such an individual also could make purchases for the community. An agent could also make online purchases for preppers and do the shopping at stores like Sam’s Club.
It isn’t possible to avoid the financial system entirely in today’s world, but it is possible to limit your contact with it. Simply doing things the old-fashioned way by writing a few checks a month and paying cash for everything else is the easiest way for the average person to do this.