No, not because of being a doley again (fingers crossed). But, having just, for the first time ever, completed a whole cashless week I can see a time in the relatively near future when carrying cash will seem as quaintly anachronistic as writing cheques. It won’t necessarily be down to choice – I ended up putting even little purchases for a couple of quid onto a card last week because, being stranded 3 days a week in an office in the Slough of Despond with no amenities except a couple of depressing retail parks and an M&S there was literally nowhere to get cash out from. I knew I was fated to remain cashless when on my way back to civilisation I stopped at a service station on the way out of Slough and the ATM was broken. Using my debit card to get cashback seemed to be not really playing by the rules.
I can’t quite see myself transferring cash by mobile phone (I’m not a nomadic African herdsman) but when the only thing that required old fashioned cash money in a week was the a round of ice creams from a van at Roundhay Park, the time for cash is surely dwindling. Which would be a shame as jangling change in your pocket and being able to see a physical manifestation of what you have available to spend and how much individual purchases deplete it is very helpful in getting a broad feel for your finances. If money becomes merely a set of numbers to you then it would be too easy for it not to have any reality in your mind so that you don’t treat it sensibly. The unreality of money that makes it easy for traders to watch rows of millions whizz past their screens shouldn’t come into our personal finances. Except, it probably has, at least for those who budget on being able to meet the minimum monthly repayments for credit rather than on the basis of how much they have earned and how much of that they can spend.