I told myself I was going to blog every day, tens of hilarious stories about my trials and tribulations living in a cash-constrained world. But the truth is, all the trials and tribulations were mundane inconveniences, causing me to walk further, wait longer, and buy later. I avoided short rides on the T without access to my Charlie Card. I stood in line to pay at the register instead of using automated machines. I delayed buying books that cost twice as much in the bookstore as on Amazon. Or, as was the case on more than one occasion, I thought about how I would have to endure those costs, made a mental image of my suffering, and then pulled out my credit card. Fully believing that I was capable of going cardless, and also believing that I truly understood the costs, I lost all motivation to go through the actual motions. (Note to self: next time, take the cards out of the wallet!)
A couple failed attempts:
- Buy a book at Porter Square Books: I discovered my desired book (The Power of Habit) cost $28 in the bookstore and a mere $14 on Amazon! I support local businesses, but I am trying to maintain a student budget… I waited until Friday at 10:05 and ordered it online.
- Buy groceries with checks: An early success at TJs made me think I had this in the bag. But both Shaw’s and Market Basket rejected my personal checks because they don’t have an address on them. Credit card time, I didn’t want to put my groceries back on the shelf!
Additionally, I have a debit card that refunds transaction fees—so I’m never short of cash. It’s easy to withdraw. However, I definitely prefer not to carry large amounts of cash, both because it’s easier to misplace, and much easier to spend.
After this week, I maintain my conviction that going cardless for real, or for any extended period of time would multiply the little inconveniences of life. I’m glad to have my plastic back!