I have started using cash again for as many transactions as I can. I’m doing this as a rebellion against the system. I know, I know. I’m a male, middle-aged, white, middle class Chartered Accountant and rebelling against a system that so obviously works in my favour is faintly ridiculous. That’s not going to stop me. My rebellion is against big data and the fact that electronic banking means that my every payment is known, analysed and in theory at least, can be used to monitor me and sell me stuff. I don’t like it.
It’s a small step and I do understand that even my phone tracks my every movement. There are many, many ways data is collected on me. But the transition to a cashless society is a transition to serfdom I choose to rebel against. To put it another way, in a cashless society you are completely economically dependent on your bankcards working. No bankcard, no food. I’m not happy about the amount of my economic power that gives away.
I’ve been surprised by the result. I spend much less money. When I paid by card, my mind did not really register the difference in price between £25 and £100. The tap, tap, tap, sap, sap, sapped my account. But when I’m peeling off £20 notes the difference in price is very visible and tactile. I can see and feel the money in my wallet diminish. It has changed my spending habits and made me more aware of what I spend. I’m a competitive soul, so when I take the same amount of cash out of the bank each week I compete with myself to spend less.
I think I’m pretty good at living within my means so it really took me by surprise just how big an effect reverting to cash made. If you are still paying for Christmas it might be worth a try.