I’m sure that if I said that I didn’t have any money then a lot of you would agree with me, particularly at this time of the year.
But I’m not talking about the ever dwindling amount in my bank account, I mean what’s in my purse.
Nowadays it seems that everywhere I go, whether it’s buying a train ticket or a pair of shoes, glass of wine or paying bill, everyone is happy for me to use a debit card.
And as for this contactless, I use it so often that I’m in danger of forgetting what my pin number is!
But it’s pounds and pennies I’m talking about.
These days, they are a dwindling commodity in my purse ... and that can lead to awkward situations.
I went to get my hair cut at the weekend and instead of stopping off on the way at an ATM machine, I knew that in this salon, small though it is, I would be able to pay by card.
Perfect – until it came to the tip. There I was scrambling about for some loose change to tip the junior who washed my hair but when it came to the stylist, I was forced to hand over a fiver.
Now I’m sure that this will open up a whole other can of worms about how much to tip people and we would never all agree.
However, I always take the view that a couple of pounds is fine as my hairdresser is the salon owner so she already gets the profits from my visit. Therefore it was a bit through gritted teeth that I handed over the cash.
But when I was recounting this story when out of friends, one of them accused me of being mean as she ALWAYS hands over a fiver in a tip. However, the opposite was true of another pal who said that she never tips in the belief that no-one tips her for doing her job well so why should she tip others ...
This is digressing from the original point of my dawning realisation that we are very rapidly becoming a cashless society.
Apparently the use of contactless has risen by 14 per cent and in one month alone in the UK there were 426 million ‘tap and go’ payments.
My problem is that it doesn’t seem like ‘real’ money when you use contactless whereas if I had money in my purse I was much more aware of what I was spending.
I remember when my dad used to come home from work on Friday with his pay packet – who still gets one of those? He would hand it over and then my mum would divide it up to pay the rent, the electricity and other outgoings. She would regularly put the same amount in her purse to pay for food shopping – and when it was gone, well that was it. No treats that week but if there was some left over on a Thursday she would buy cream cakes!
In 2019 people just seem to keep spending now matter what the bank balance says or at least they do until the bank says no.
Yes it is incredibly handy and you are never left without money but sometimes it just feels too easy to spend what you don’t have.
Then there are the elderly and vulnerable. If you don’t have access to this sort of banking how are you going to manage as we seem to get closer to a cashless society.
Something to think about the next time you prepare to ‘tap and go’.