How are we going to explain the change jar to our grandkids?
When I was a kid, I had a wallet that had velcro to keep it closed. It usually only had a couple dollars in it, but it started a wallet-carrying habit that lasted until… well… even today. But the key difference is that I don’t really carry paper money anymore.
Now, I know that’s not true for everyone. Depending on what you do for work and how you get paid, you may be more or less likely to carry physical money. But ever since, oh, about 2020 or so, exchanging physical paper with strangers seemed less like a good idea.
But cash is king.
Or is it? It certainly was. I can remember plenty of occasions where a business was cash only. Certain mom-and-pop restaurants, craft fairs, carnivals, kids’ school fundraisers, street food vendors: there was no shortage of places where your credit was no good.
Nowadays? Square/Paypal/Stripe have revolutionized Point-of-Sale (POS) for the masses. Rather than relying on expensive payment processing services from a bank, small businesses and entrepreneurial individuals can take digital payments on their own. Plug a little doodad into your phone, and people can just swipe or tap.
And in response, more and more places are cashless. Even places you wouldn’t expect, like our trip to the ballpark this past summer.
CASHLESS? Heresy! Well, it would have been a few years ago. But that’s the direction things are heading. A decade from now, kids may see a change jar on a counter in some sitcom and have to ask their parents what it is.
“That’s from an era when you overpaid for everything you brought. You gave them green paper, and they gave you back coins.”
“What did you do with the coins?”
“They sat in a jar.”
“Isn’t there a lot of money in the jar, then?”
“Not as much as you might think.”
Truly a lost era.