Thursday, September 17, 2009

For years now, there has been talk of moving to a cashless society.

In some ways it makes sense. After all, as my grandmother used to say, money is very dirty, you don't know whose hands have been all over it. My dad, a doctor, thought his mom was crazy for believing that, then saw a study done that showed all the bacteria and drug crystals on paper money, and realized that this was one of those "old wives tales" his mom got right.

In other ways, I don't want to see it happen. Money is called currency because it flows from hand to hand. I earn it, I save it, I spend it, it moves.

When it is just electronic, and we don't see it, it is not real to us. Seriously, studies have shown that people spend more when they use plastic than when they use cash, up to twice as much. It doesn't register to us as a real transaction the way pulling bills out of a wallet and paying does.

I find this to be true in my own life. I decided several months ago to simply cash my paycheck each week and get whatever else I need for the week out of the checking account at the same time, and when the cash is gone, nothing else gets bought. This is what gasses the vehicles, buys the groceries, gets Sweetie's one meal a week he buys at work, or anything else we need.

When the cash is gone, it is gone. It makes me stop and consider every trip every place. It makes me look twice at each purchase. It makes me realize that the money being spent is finite and real.

Using a card at the gas pump and the store and every place else never did that. Only having a limited supply of it on hand did that.

Yes, it is easier to pay some bills online. Yes, I have lots of stuff set to automatically debit from our account each month.

For the gas, groceries, clothes, lunches, kids buying sno-cones, etc., when I see the cash dwindling, and know there is an end, I am more careful how I spend each penny.

I don't want to lose that element of how cash makes me think before spending to the ease of a cashless society.

Today is:

Citizenship Day

Constitution Day

Feast of the Pilgrims, Villers-Perwin, Belgium

Festival of Min Kyawzwa, Burma (god of drinking and fireworks -- should they really be mixing those two?)

National Apple Dumpling Day

National Student Day

Stigmata of St. Francis' Day

St. Hildegard's Day

St. Lambert's Day (patron of children, nannies)

VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day

Birthdays Today:

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, 1951
John Ritter, 1948
Ken Kesey, 1935
Anne Bancroft, 1931
Roddy McDowall, 1928
Hank Williams Sr., 1923
Jerry Colonna, 1904
Samuel Johnson, 1709

Today in History:

Arabs conquer Alexandria, and destroy its library for the last time, 642
Netherland sailors discover Mauritus, 1598
Massachusetts Bay Colony gets a new charter, 1691
Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain, 1776
US Constitution is adopted by the Philadelphia convention, 1787
Sprinkler system for extinguishing fires is patented by Phillip W. Pratt, 1872
The first transcontinental airplane flight, from New York to Pasadena, is completed after 82 hours 4 minutes, 1911

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