By March Twisdale
Awhile back, I began to question my credit/debit card habit. It felt like a convenience – with a hidden cost – and I wasn’t the only one to notice. “Keep Cash Alive” and “Cash is King” have entered the public sphere, along with several reasons for returning to good old-fashioned paper money. For me, two primary reasons motivated me to intentionally change my habits.
Cash feels real. We are a tactile species, and there is a concreteness to physical money that isn’t matched by glancing at numbers on a screen. Knowing how much money is in my wallet when I walk into the grocery store keeps me on budget. It reduces impulse purchases. I find myself adding up what I’ve spent as I walk through the store, leading to better price awareness and overall care in my spending.
Hidden costs exist. Every time we buy or sell something – with a debit or credit card – there is a fee. I call these “bank taxes,” and I’ve spent the past few months exploring how they hurt both business owners and consumers. The only way to eliminate them? Use cash.
I’m 50 years old. For me, there is a nostalgia to cash. It’s how I grew up, and it’s how my parents lived. I know it can be done, and it’s been surprisingly enjoyable to transition “back” to cash. As I head out the door, I find myself checking my wallet. When I arrive in town, I stop at my preferred ATM in preparation for my day of shopping. I feel more mindful, grounded, and in control of my spending. That feels good.
The Vashon Loop Editorial Team will continue to explore this important issue all summer long. We are deeply grateful that the Vashon Island business community welcomes cash everywhere on the Island. Now, it’s time for a summertime revival of spending cash on our Island! We’ll see you at the ATM.