Are we becoming a NO CASH society?
This summer I’m commuting to the city for my job as Director of Alumni Programs at Camp Broadway. The mornings that I commute, my mom drives me to the train, and every morning it’s the same. We get there, say goodbye, and as I’m stepping out, she shouts, “Sarah, do you have cash?” “No,” I reply, “I’m gonna use my card.” Immediately, she goes frantically digging through her purse and pulls out $40, “Take this, you should ALWAYS take at least $40 with you into the city.” She went on to explain her logic as what if there’s an emergency and all the credit card machines and ATMs are down, what if a place doesn’t take credit/debit (gasp), or what if I need to get home asap and don’t have time to stop.
I noticed this also when Will told me a similar story about his mom borrowing his debit to get cash out just in case, as he has a similar conversation with her about cash vs. debit. Instances like these have really made me wonder, are we a becoming a no cash society?
It got me thinking even further about how abstract the money on debit cards actually sounds if you think about it too much. It’s not as if you have your entire balance sitting in a box for you at the bank. So once you use this theoretical money it’s transfered into another account. Anyway, getting cash out always seems to add an extra step and could cause problems with certain purchases. For instance, last summer my mom purchased a bathing suit for our vacation to Aruba, and decided to pay cash instead of using her Macy’s charge. However Macy’s had left the censor on! She couldn’t find the receipt, called to explain herself and they gave her instructions on where to go in the store to have the tag removed. Once at Macy’s, they accused her of stealing the garment and took it back from her. If she had used her charge, the item would have appeared on her statement, which the staff could have easily looked up in their computer system.
On the other hand, I went to dinner last night at Water Moon in NYC with four great friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in ages. Usually when it comes time to pay we each throw in 5 debit/credit cards and give the waiter our instructions to pay. To my surprise, we ALL had cash, making the end of dinner so much easier to manage.
So I’m asking, do you use cash? If so how often?
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Tags: camp broadway, cash, credit, debit, macys, millennials, Sarah Hutton, shopping