Hot-cross buns! Hot-cross buns!
|Back deck with new bistro set covered, snow|
dusting overnight March 19, 2016
The other day walking, I thought about my late aunt Jinx and a gallon jar filled with coins that she left behind with the label, "Money we have found walking." When we cleared her house after she passed in 2009, we found her jar pushed back on a closet shelf with over $300 assorted coins, apparently found here and there by herself or late Uncle John, her husband on their walks or in parking lots, or wherever. I too used to find money frequently sometimes even currency. And somehow I began to think that today in all the miles I walk I never find money, none, not even a penny. Was it that long ago that I would stop and pick up a loose penny on the ground, recalling, "a penny saved is a penny earned." as others might just walk by, leaving the copper coin there.
This reflects how rare use of cash is today. While Jerry remains "old school" and likes to pay with cash, I seldom carry more than a couple dollars, instead use my handy ATM debit card. That was another annoyance in Europe to be using different cash currencies in the different towns. Last October in California at a restaurant with cousins and aunt, Jerry pulled out cash to pay the bill to the astonishment of my 80 some year old Aunt Pearl who asked wide eyed, "Do people still use money today?"
Think about it, cash is rarely used. Many are addicted to "points" they accumulate from charging everything on plastic cards. They consider accumulating points wise, a rebate, a bargain, I find them annoying. For example our Verizon points, over 300.000 and not a thing worth our cashing them. Most of their offers require additional cash for something we would not buy anyway. So the Verizon points sit and pile up, useless. We have used some points on other cards for cash yet the $100 or even $10 is not nearly what we have spent.
We have never been charge card type people, which has likely given us a much easier lifestyle today in retirement. Often we hear these adds about consolidating debts, stretching the finance payments out and I am grateful that we never got into that lifestyle. Other than our home mortgages, we did not owe payments. If we charged anything it was paid for fully the next month when the bill arrived. We were frugal, savers, we did not waste our hard earned money and did not live beyond our means. How different were we from others? Yet, our frugality has afforded us a debt free retirement, a nice life style.
We used to save spare change, coins that accumulated in purse and pockets went into a basket and then periodically Jerry would roll them up into the distinct paper coin wrappers and take them to the bank. Today that basket takes longer to fill, as I mentioned I admit to seldom using cash so I have less change to dump and Jerry often leaves his along with the tip at the restaurant, or spends it. Not too long ago when he took the last stack of rolled coins to the bank, they had to open each and dump into the coin machine to count, a sign of the times. The teller said it was now the policy because some unscrupulous people used to plug the rolls with fake currency.
Money, yes, I always stooped to pick up a penny, coins. And yet today, no spare change drops from pockets. It's probably a good thing people do not drop their plastic cards, that would be a terrible find in the hands of the wrong person. How different life is today from when we skipped along chanting and holding up and down our fingers,
"Two shiny quarters,
One bought a sucker,
One little quarter,
"I'm going in the piggy bank