I could possibly have saved this for a Sunday morning post.

I picked up my wallet this morning and, for some reason, looked at it carefully. I have a habit of taking out the exact same money each time from the ATM so that I could easily determine if someone had hacked me.

My last visit to the ATM was last February. I haven’t been to one since then. And, I still had that last withdrawl complete in my wallet. For the length of COVID, I haven’t spent any actual paper money!

I started thinking and I did spend some coinage at an air pump. I have a flakey tire. But that’s it.

It has actually had some benefit. Our bank advisor had encouraged us to get a Visa card with some impressive benefits for using it. So, using it, we have been. For the most part, before this, we did try to use the card as a last resort and saved the card for gas and major bills. Now, it seems to be the way of doing business.

These days, it’s used for everything. Even something as simple as a couple of coffees at the drive through as we take the dog for a walk on a lonely stretch of beach. It might be more if they only had maple dips …

The big advantage for safety is that everywhere seems to take tap any more rather than forcing a swipe and then keying a PIN. There were a couple of hold outs but they have seen the light and switched. The Canadian Tire gas station now takes tap at the pump which is so easy – except that it doesn’t seem to like Visa. So, I pull out Mastercard which works every time.

Of course, I’m not the only one. Debit and credit seems to be the popular choices by most people these days as we look around.

All of this comes as the government is working to determine who will be on the new Canadian five dollar bill. I kind of wonder if this exercise will be less than game changing. We seem to be setting up for the rest of the year as being precautionary. I know that we’ve changed our philosophy about carrying and using cash. Would we go back?

I’m not so sure.

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is created by me at the keyboard or as a result of an aggregator of my daily reading under the title OTR Links. On Fridays, look for my signature post "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" where I try to share some great writing from Ontario Educators. The other regular post appears Sunday mornings as I try to start a conversation about things that have gone missing from our daily lives.

3 thoughts on “Money

  1. Good morning Doug!

    When I read the first paragraph, I was intrigued with your anti-hacking strategy. However, I also found it interesting in that I rarely use cash anymore and so I was somewhat surprised that you continue to do so.

    However, upon reaching the second paragraph and learning that your last visit to the ATM was in February, things fell into place! You are living in a cashless society just as I am.

    I have taken to doing the watch-tap at the drive-throughs, or the phone tap if my watch is out of power or on the charging stand. Friday, as it would turn out, my phone was out of power when I went to pay (Oh! Those missing optimum points!), but my watch wasn’t, so all was good.

    It always startles me when I actually open my wallet and see that I have cash sitting there. My bank notes don’t go back to February as yours to do, but mine do extend back to mid-October when I put some cash in my wallet prior to travelling back from Vancouver after helping my brother move. I thought I might need it en route — but no, everything has remained cashless.

    Now that I think about it, I know that the money would well survive either a washing with soapy water or a generous dousing with hand sanitizer, given the physical composition of our current Canadian bank notes. It would be interesting to know if the printing of replacement Canadian bank notes has decreased since the arrival of the pandemic. I’m sure banks must have some statistics reflecting a decrease in the actual circulation of currency since March. I wonder if those statistics might be a clue/proportional correlation across the provinces to the relative implementation of lockdowns and distancing norms. I bet it would make for an interesting paper if someone had access to the data and wanted to do a comparison.

    As for coins, I’m thinking the last times I would have handled with those would have been in January and February of last year. In January I would have had some Australian coins that I put away following my return, and in February I would have had a few American coins after a trip to Dallas. Since then, no coins.

    Tap. Tap. Tap. That is the way.


  2. Doug, I actually do use real money at the gas station. It’s a full serve station, and I’ve never pumped my own gas. Not so sure I know how. The gas station had some debit issues years ago, and I got used to using money there after that. I use a card for everything else, but I don’t have tap. I’m worried about fraud. Maybe I need to get over that. So, in other words, I do a lot of sanitizing and washing before purchasing. That said, the virus has changed how I buy things. Never have I done more online shopping. There might be a Sunday post in here too. 🙂

    On a different note, I think about some schools that I worked at in the past. Having the luxury of a credit card (or even a debit card at times) was not one that many families had. Most families only used cash. I know that downtown case numbers are higher than some others in our city. Does using money increase the spread of COVID? Is this practice contributing to some higher numbers? Hmmm … you have me wondering. It might not be the only factor, but is it one?

    Curious to read more about other people’s money experiences.


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