My errands for the day included a trip to the farmer’s market for strawberries and the barber for a haircut. For both I would need cash, so my first stop of the day was the ATM.
Cash? Oh, yeah, I remember cash. Paper money, green ones, fives, tens and twenties. I have a place for them in my wallet, but rarely is that place filled. I hardly ever have cash. And neither do many of you, I’ll bet.
I pay for everything with a credit card that I pay off each week. Gas for the car, food at the grocery store, restaurants, dog food, big box home improvements, coffee shop, prescriptions, car repairs. I give to my church online, pay all my bills online, and do most of my shopping online. Why carry cash? For strawberries and a haircut, and a few boxes of girl scout cookies.
When I have cash in my hand, the money feels real, the transaction feels real, the expense feels real, the product feels real. Electronic banking, giving, buying, investing, paychecks, and bill pay seem surreal. Like it’s not even happening. So much of what we give and pay for, by and receive is virtual, a service, and not even tangible. It’s a strange world, isn’t it?
Cash is for babysitters, tree trimmers, churches I visit, Christmas and birthday presents, a roadside fruit stand, a football team fundraiser, and a kid’s roadside lemonade stand. For all the things that are real.