“Can you pay with card? Otherwise I’ll have to go down to the register.” This was the response I got the other day at the hospital when I wanted to pay in cash. “Does no one use cash anymore?” was my response. And they said (with a smile) “Yes, no one really uses it anymore.” Without any further resistance I made the payment by card. After a while I had to make another payment in the same hospital for seeing a different doctor. I handed the assistant the piece of paper that I still believed was money. When she and her colleague began scrambling about trying to figure out what to do with this unidentifiable object I had just burdened them with, I finally said, “I guess you don’t have any cash either, ok I’ll pay with card.” I think that was the best thing they heard that day.
Is money no longer money anymore? Have we gotten so used to the fact that the only way to purchase something is through the use of a plastic card? To spend money that’s not our own and to avoid eye contact with our own money?
I’m not in the finance sector and therefore won’t present statistical evidence regarding the positive/negative effects of credit card use on the nation’s economy. But just as a consumer I can list the benefits that using cash rather than a credit card has had on me.
*I changed my relationship with money from intangible to tangible
I used to be unaware of what I earned and spent. Ever since I began taking those bits of paper in my hand, I’ve created a much more meaningful equation with the concepts of income-value-need-want and have been able to save money.
*I began to earn before I spent
While I spent before I earned during the time I used a credit card (such as still making those payments for my vacation months after the fact) I now enjoy the things I buy more— whether it’s a vacation, an outfit, or a meal—because I’m paying with the cash I earned.
*I felt more liberated
To freely make decisions without the weight of shackles has been the most precious change. The feeling that I have control over my own life, rather than some set of systems, is irreplaceable.
Apart from those who’ve suffered the woes of credit card use, there are others who believe they use it consciously and benefit from points and reward systems. I recommend that all of you give cash a chance and see how this relationship can flourish. I’m convinced that using cash will bestow you with more happiness than that plastic card ever can. If you end up not liking it, don’t be sad, the banks will always be happy to welcome you once again.