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Like pretty much everyone I know my age, I am one of those millennials who absolutely positively abhors carrying cash at any point in my life.
I hate going to the ATM, I hate opening my wallet and finding random singles in there and I absolutely HATE when I get advice about how I should carry cash for tipping while traveling or in cases of emergency or how cash is easier to split checks with.
No, it is not. And here’s why:
Carrying cash is a huge pain in the A any time of the day, any day of the week, any week of the year. I hate the way cash smells, the way it dirties my finger tips and, worst of all, the way it seems to disappear almost the minute that I take it out.
Paying with cash is never easier than paying with my debit card or credit card. And splitting the check is definitely NOT easier. You know what’s easier? Charging exactly how much it is that I owe at dinner and including my own tip – maybe I want to leave 20% and my friend wants to leave 12%. I shouldn’t have to follow their lead, and I definitely don’t have to when I can just pay for my own damn self.
The cash that I occasionally have to take out seems to disappear as easily as I get it. Sometimes I take out $40 and, before I know it, I seem to have spent it. Man, what did I spend it on again? A soda here, some gum there, the impulse purchase at the gas station… Over and over again, I find that carrying cash always leads to purchases that I would not otherwise make if I actually had to pull out my card.
If I don’t have my card when I want to purchase a couple sticks of incense and they don’t want to take my card… Well, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
Also, what kind of fool doesn’t take cards these days?!
I hate cash.
I’ve always hated cash, really. I remember back in 2004 when I first moved to NYC and had to carry cash whenever I went out. I needed cash for the occasional cab, for buying dinner with friends, for getting some drinks, EVERYTHING. It was a pain because if I didn’t have enough, I was bummed and if I had too much, well I ended up spending it all anyway.
These days, it’s much simpler. I don’t have to worry if I have enough money because it’s all right there on my card. If I need $26.70 to cover a really nice lunch or $19.95 to buy a skirt, I don’t have to have exact change and I don’t have to – EVEN WORSE – get change back.
Because let’s face it, we do NOT do anything with that change anymore! This is no longer the time when we need quarters to do laundry or buy a gumball. Nope! These days I either have access to a home laundry machine or I can (GASP!) charge it. And I’d rather not buy the gym anyway, thank you very much.
Having cash around serves absolutely nothing. Sure, maybe tipping waiters would be a little easier… But what we need is a simpler system at restaurants instead of a dependence on cash. And I get that some people prefer to carry it, but these are not my people.
I can’t stand having cash in my bag, whether I’m just running errands at home or traveling. The only time I’ve honestly found cash useful is when going to the farmer’s market or a food truck.
But that is the ONLY TIME that having cash is acceptable and necessary, as far as I’m concerned. And if I were honest, when I didn’t have cash and a food stand didn’t take my card, I simply shrugged and moved on to someone who had an iPhone and the smarts to buy one of those charging attachments.
Life, for me, is just simpler this way.
After making any kind of purchase, I can log into my bank app and see exactly how much money I have left – and how much I spent and, most importantly, if I am going over my budget.
So maybe you’re still “old school” and prefer to carry cash all of the time. But I prefer to keep my money right where I can see it, in my bank, on my app and out of my pocket where it’s easily squandered. Don’t ask this millennial to change, because I can guarantee you’ll be fighting an uphill battle with me and most of my peers.
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