If someone came along and invented cash money today (with credit and debit cards being in such wide use) it would probably seem like a crazy thing. How to instill a sense of value in hand-exchanged notes and coins? But I’ve really been enjoying cash more than ever recently. A lot of it has to do with being able to better track my spending emotionally — parting with paper money still means something to me. And I’ve been talking with Ivan, Josh and others about the problem with Wal-Mart and the benefits of local economy and local joints. Nothing too new here, but I do notice that a few of my favorite local joints prefer cash as they don’t get hit with credit/debit card processing fees. It does a small part in evening the playing field between the big and small players. Staying more local-focused in my activities feels right when I walk to a place, spend cash and feel good about immediately supporting my local hangouts without burdening them with processing fees. Example: some coffee stands near my house either don’t take credit cards or add on an additional fee for charges under, say, $5. It’s expensive to process those cards when people are buying a $2 drink from you! Also, the other night at Town Hall I handed over a $5 bill and the line moved right along — no credit cards makes for an efficient line. One fella was insulted that they don’t take credit cards. I say keep it that way! It’s easier for Town Hall to count the money at the end of the night, the line moves fast and the price point can remain at a comfortable $5.
I don’t know if tracking all my small, local purchases online is really that helpful to me as much as seeing the money in my pocket and feeling the value as I hand it over. Long live green.