Monday, 16 January 2017

Do You Have HIDDEN Money?

So much Pizza dough - gonna try freezing it.


Yes, we pretty much all have hidden money.

In an increasingly cashless society it is now 100% normal to never have to pay cash for anything. In fact, Australia is apparently one of the leaders in emerging cashless societies. I know that it is 100% possible for me to never need to have cash on me and this was the way I lived for many years.

Being cashless however hides our money....or to be more exact, it hides our spending. Zip, zip, zip as transactions silently slide from my account to whoever's, deliciously intangible and non emotive. Cashless transactions have no feelings, there is no tangible exchange, no physical letting go of something, no real-life hand to hand exchange, no looking down into our wallets to see less money.


Paper cash partitions now in use in my wallet


Cashless transacting is like a drug - it removes the pain of a situation, numbs it, trivialises it.

Once upon a time it was gold, silver and brass coin that physically was worth something in its own right and was exchanged for goods....then came paper and alloy coinage which were simply representations of value and of little intrinsic value themselves. Now it is just numbers on an electronic ledger stored as a tiny piece of memory in a random unidentifiable computer/s....hidden.

I've returned to start doing cash again after years of being cashless in an attempt to reawaken the emotion of spending money.  Cashless for me is so smoothly painless - I really now need to feel the exchange, the loss, the hand to hand human exchange.  I need to look in my wallet and see that I only have $20 petrol money left - I need to see the full or empty pockets in my wallet envelope. I want to reconnect visually and emotionally with my money.



Salads made 90% from the garden


Hidden money, hidden transactions, hidden consciences, hidden actions, surreal purchasing encounters and hidden consequences are the ploys and tactics of a cashless society. I am slowly becoming more and more disobedient to this consumerist regime.

Have you ever thought that your spending has been pretty OK and then opened your online banking statement and stared at the long list of tiny transactions relating to coffee and the like.....it makes me want to turn my head away in denial when I see this on my statements. Bringing my money out of hiding as cash is helping this weakness of mine.


Remember June he clucky hen?
After months of her being unbreakably
clucky, I simply turned her
nesting box to face the sun. Cured.


Cashless is so, so sinister.  It is a bit like feeding a bad habit on the sly.....cashless makes it so impersonal, disconnected, non judgemental and easy-as-heck to feed the addiction that is spending. It hides what's happening with our money, it hides the normal physical motion of paying money, it hides the realities if we can't really afford it , it hides what money we are actually dipping into, it hides a destructive habit.

Bad things happen in dark and hidden places. It is time to get our money out in the light, making the transaction real, meaningful, observable and emotive.


Bread making. So satisfying and
frugal at 80 cents per loaf.



Take care folks and stay nice.


Mr HM

22 comments:

  1. I totally get what your saying. Years back, if you only had a $50 note in your wallet and the cost of an item was $53.75 - you couldn't buy that item without getting more money out of the bank. Now, with a card attached to your savings account, its easy to buy that $53.75 immediately.
    A very thoughtful post!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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    Replies
    1. there is certainly time and place for the plastic.....but for those trying to claw back from financial ruin stepping back to cash works pretty good. It also set good examples for the ever-watching eyes of children and grandchildren.

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  2. I agree very much, there have been times when working with cash has been an absoloute saver for me.

    My problem seems to be that in my desire to support ethical, small family owned business for gifts/clothing etc I can often only do this online, there is not a huge amount of choice locally. But I do find that having to switch to paypal a stopper. That and to postage, you haveto REALLY want something to fork out postage fot it, and I find myself considering a purchase over a couple of days now. Which is very helpful. But when I take into consideration the petrol I would pay, the lunch I would buy and the fact Im supporting a small business, the fact Im not getting distracted by other things that might otherwise fall in my trolly. Well I reckon I am still coming out well ahead. And we own a post office so processing parcels is our business. ;)

    xx

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    1. That's why I have a credit card too, but it is locked up. I never carry it with my - I'm not that strong yet.

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  3. An informative post as usual Phil.

    I use cash mostly, but the card still gets used too. I think I might go back to the cash system too, as you say it is a much better way to go.

    If in need of something, we save up for that item instead of using credit. If we haven't got the money we don't get it.

    Have a great week,

    xTania

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  4. Mr HM, your blog makes me hungry whenever I pop in with photos of yummy pizzas and homemade bread and that delicious salad (I could live on salad!). I think you are right about the lack of connection to our money with cards - it's so easy to lose track, to click for instant gratification, to spend beyond means when there's no actual money in your wallet. It's too easy to think, "I'll pay for that later." And a lot of the time, when later comes, there's no money then to pay it back. I'm glad I don't live that way because it must be very stressful when the total bill finally comes in. Meg

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep Meg....way too many irrelevant food photos - ha ha!
      I do have a credit card - it is locked up in my cash draw at home - I dare not carry it with me as my addiction is conquered but not cured.

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  5. I've been thinking about this for the past few years. As I see my young friends and daughter always waving the card, I wonder if they keep track of their spending, and I know that answer would have to be No. We're paid in cash for our farm-gate sales so it makes sense to use that cash, reserving the credit card for on-line purchases and utilities payments. It's much easier to keep a track of our spending this way, although sometimes a little inconvenient, when I don't have cash with me, but then I have more time to think about that purchase, and do I really need it?

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    Replies
    1. Yes Sally...waving the card indeed - and now it is just 'tap' the card too (even easier)

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    2. So many times I miss out on buying at your stall, Sally, as I never have cash! But I now have an envelope that I am filling with cash for such purchases!
      -Kelly B

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  6. Each Friday I take out cash for the following week, just for personal use, and most weeks I have money left over, which I save. I spend much less and often have enough saved for a treat. Good post, like so many aspects of our lives, things are just made too easy.

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  7. i tried to do the cash in purse thing & their partitions not long after i 'met' rhonda but i spent way too much like that, i do better, much better if it all stays in the bank. i do all my banking online, where i can see where it's all going, i have a little spending money for the fortnight.
    a good thought provoking post
    thanx for sharing

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    Replies
    1. If you have it figured out in a way that suits you best - then stick to it Selina :-)

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  8. I have an account that has no card attached with it and this week had to draw out $60 for petrol, birthday present for grandson and a few groceries and I fought it and fought it for days as I did not want to go into the bank and take the money out. You are right about cashless purchases not having the same sting as paying hard cold cash for them does. I did the cashless purchases for a while but it made me feel uneasy really so now am back to cash again.

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    1. My mother in law still uses a bank book. She believes that she saves more by using cash than the fee for the teller is so she is ahead. Good to hear from you Karen.

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  9. This is a thought provoking post! :) I never really thought about using cash as opposed to a card in this manner too much at all...if ever. But what you are saying is so very completely true! I love it and have printed your post to show my Husband. Maybe I'll even print one out to give to our grown kids.
    Thanks HM --- this is awesome!
    ~Sue

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    1. Give it a shot Sue and see what you think. It can be a bit challenging at first.

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  10. I agree - the card is a dangerous trap to fall into. I used to do the envelope system a long time ago and I've been thinking it may be worth going back to it. If it is actual cash, we tend to much more careful and thoughtful in our spending. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Jayne, I remember years ago at my consumerist worse saying to one of my children that I did not have the money to pay for (I forget what now) and her just saying "....well get if from that hole in the wall machine Daddy". Even at my worst I instinctively knew this was a bad perception for my little child to have.

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    2. Thanks for the laugh, Mr. HM --- that is too funny!:) "....well get if from that hole in the wall machine Daddy" It's a good thing your children no longer think like that now. :)

      But you know, I think that is how a lot of the new generation thinks, in today's world.
      My husband likes to say, "money doesn't grow on trees!" :)
      ~Sue

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  11. I do agree with you, Phil. Money feels more real when we can touch it, and forking it over physically does make me think twice whether I need the item or not.

    I switched to cash briefly and used the envelope-in-wallet system shortly after I 'met' Rhonda. It worked for me the time and cured me of the spend-o-nitis. However as I went further along I found that I had difficulty with the few dollars/cents in my hand. I was not comfortable putting it in a spare change jar because that meant it was money I saved and therefore I can spend it wherever I liked. I never really knew how to manage that.

    We have had a zero-balance budget for many years now (for me that means every cent has somewhere to go, at the start of each month before the money is earned). We have many debit cards, 1 for daily expenses, 1 for our entertainment/book/anything fun card, for example. I have the account balances set up on the ipad and if there is no money on the card, then we cannot buy something... Lengthy post but I guess I just want to show that plastic (debit, not credit) can also be a good thing.

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  12. I so love your posts where you ask questions:) To be honest I've never really thought about this as I've just gone with the flow. When I first started work I was always paid in cash. Then along came cheque books so it was cash and cheques, then debit cards, then the dreaded credit cards and internet banking which I said I would never use, never say never as I use internet banking to pay for 99% of things. I never leave the house without some cash, even $10 in coins just for an emergency:)

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