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.