Cash Only

We’re going to be talking all about debt for our June 18th show, so to hear more about my situation, be sure to check it out!

<Shameless plug over.>

I don’t have a bank account. Or a credit card.

I use cash and I have an American Express debit card which I’ve put exactly zero dollars on.

In some ways, it feels great. I know exactly how much money I have at all times and when it’s gone, it’s gone. I’ve never been able to budget in my life, but when you have nothing to fall back on, figuring out how to manage is an exercise in survival.

You have no idea how many times I’ve had to just suck it up and wait for the bus because I couldn’t just flag down the next available cab. Or how a day/night out will come to an end because I didn’t bring enough money with me. I’ve walked into a restaurant, assessed I couldn’t afford lunch and walked out.

I can’t use Uber. I can’t open a tab at a bar. I can’t buy anything online, or reserve hotel rooms or purchase plane tickets.

I can’t rent a movie from Redbox. I have to carry seventy-two quarters with me if I borrow my roommate’s car and need to park.

But I’m never bothered when a place is cash only. It’s not hard to deal with a group check. I can typically make change for a $20.

And as much as I loathe Ventra, it is a bit easier being able to load cash on to a machine instead of buying passes at a currency exchange or grocery store.

Overall though, it feels a little too off the grid sometimes. I’m not the sort of person who thinks we should all stuff our money in our mattresses (well, maybe I am). And credit, as evil as it is, is the only way to prove I’m worthy of renting an apartment, buying a car or getting more credit.

I suppose this will have to change if I ever get a job where I get a real paycheck.

IF.

-Carly

 

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2 Comments

I did not have a bank account for like two years. I totally understand and get where you’re coming from. Thankfully during that time, I was in a relationship so I had someone to lean on a little bit. Just got so sick of banks and their stupid fees and whatnot. After 2 1/2 years, I finally dug myself out of the hole. Though, I won’t lie, I still get the occasional collection letter from this bank or for that old credit card company. Things that were just easy to just forget about or just under the rug.. There were definitely times it was great living off grid. But there were other times, times when you wanna do something like a buy a plane ticket, etc., that I just felt like shit. It’s a double-edged sword I suppose. But the way the monetary system in this country works, it’s pretty much stacked against those of us who don’t live perfect financial lives.

I’ve always had a bank account, but I’ve been functionally cash-only many times in my life and still do better when I operate as if I were cash-only.

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