Opinion: Going cash-free risks landing families in debt

Raelene HallMidwest Times
It can be harder to save money with credit cards. File image.
Camera IconIt can be harder to save money with credit cards. File image. Credit: pinstock/Getty Images

Money, Money, Money

Abba sang about it, reporters write about it and financiers try to explain it, while we mere mortals generally would like more of it. What is it? Money! Supposedly the love of it is at the root of all evil.

But what actually is money in today’s modern world? When I was a kid, money was what I got for collecting bottles and returning them to the store.

Those hard-earned coins then were generally given to the same store in exchange for a big bag of lollies. Money was what I got when my pet sheep was shorn, and Dad took it to the wool buyers and brought me back those amazing notes.

As I got older, money was what I earned in part-time jobs in cafes and chicken shops. It was in an envelope handed to me on payday.

I couldn’t wait to check out how much was in there and dream of what I would do with it.

Money also came in the form of cheques, which you could cash or bank. Watching a bank account grow, in the days of reasonable interest rates, was quite exciting.

Fancy putting $50 in to the bank and, one day, if you were lucky and could resist temptation, you might end up with $100.

It was like magic.

Now credit cards are the new magic money. No need to get notes out of a wallet or purse, just whip out the credit card.

Therein lies the problem. It’s not paid until you pay your credit card bill. If you don’t pay it on time, then suddenly that purchase worth $50 could end up costing you $100 down the track. To me, credit card debt is so easy to run up because it doesn’t seem like you are spending any money.

You don’t have to physically take notes from your wallet or purse and hand to the seller. It isn’t obvious that you had $2000 and now you have spent $500, there is only $1500 left for you to see and count.

The idea of society going cash free, to me, is just another way for people to dig themselves even deeper into debit. It also ignores the problem of technology failing, thus cards not working.

I’m not a toilet paper hoarder but I might just start storing some old-fashioned “moola” under my mattress.

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