Why do I still have to carry cash?
Photo by: Andrew Ciscel
I’m trying really hard to stop using cash. But it seems no matter how hard I try, I run into some situation that requires cash. Some weeks back, we decided to take a ride on the new light rail system our city recently built. I did all the research online on where the stations were located, how to get there, and even how much it would cost. On the price page, both the Visa and Mastercard logos were prominently featured. Great, I can just use my debit card.
We gathered (pun intended) the kiddos together and headed to the station. We arrived, walked up the station and over to the fare booth to purchase tickets. To my surprise, they didn’t take debit cards yet, and won’t for a few more months. There we are, train is pulling up and me with no cash. Kids are yellow “Dad! Dad! The trains coming, hurry up!” I looked at the lady in the booth, “Is there an ATM here in the station?“. Thinking surely there would be. “No, sorry.” she replied.
I looked at my wife and kids and said, “Well, I’ll be back in a few“. Off I headed to find an ATM, thinking there would be one right outside the station. Not! I ended up having to drive a good 10 minutes up the road finally finding on one at a run-down convenience store, which of course had a $3.00 ATM fee! We ended up being able to catch the next train and had a wonderful time, but my trip for cash was an unexpected surprise.
I continue to be surprised at the number of places that still don’t accept debit cards. Granted, it’s getting far better, but we still have a ways to go. Ironically enough, I work for a bank and the cafeteria in the bank building where I work only takes cash. Now fortunately, being a bank there are plenty of ATMs, but I wonder, how hard would it be to take Visa or Mastercard??
I don’t like cash. It makes my wallet thick, my pockets heavy, it smells funny, and frankly is kinda gross. Have you ever considered where that money you’re carrying has been and what it might have been exposed to? I’m not a bacteria or germ freak, but I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on the bacteria count of a well used $1.00 bill?
I would be just fine only using my handy little debit card. It’s small, payment is easy, and the transaction is automatically logged for me so I don’t have to keep the receipt or even type it into YNAB. I just download and import.
Why can’t we just get rid of cash all together? We would save trees, reduce government costs for making money, and thin up millions of wallets around the world! With today’s technology here in the US and other modern countries, everything should be able to take debit cards right? So why do I still have to carry cash?
How about you? Do you prefer cash, credit card, or debit card? Ever been in a situation like mine? Can we get rid of cash? Share your story and perspective and add a comment!