That should read “same higher price, cash or credit” since most people seem to use some type of plastic these days and the merchant has to pay someone to process that transaction. What got me started on this topic? I sense you asking. Well, it was Linda. Linda G. Hill, the lovely woman who hands out bonus points instead of cash, has given us a few options today:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “cash.” Use it in your post as a noun or a verb… or a name! Enjoy!
When I first looked at the prompt on my phone, I only saw the noun or verb thing. The voices started contriving all manner of cash stories, but now that I pasted this in to this post, I noticed the name option. Oh my, “Cash” as a name, well it can only be one. Of course the one that it can be is actually two, and then there’s a third. I’m talking about Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and Rosanne Cash. I love their music, and I’ll scare up a couple of my favorites to stick at the end of this post.
Yes, yes, I know, you have all those cash quips and stories. Fine, the floor, as it were, is yours.
Cash is one of the things that makes me feel old. I still use cash, and I remember being taught how to use cash. It didn’t matter whether the cash was going in my wallet, the cash register at the bowling alley my dad managed or the pay envelopes that the pin-boys got every Saturday. The paper money, was in order by denominations (larger bills on bottom) and it was “faced” so that all the presidents were looking at you and none were upside down.
After graduating from a weekly pay envelope to a paycheck, I would take that paycheck to my employer’s bank and cash it. Why not just deposit the check? Good question, but I didn’t have a checking account. At 16, I was old enough to work, but not old enough to have a checking account. In any case, the teller would count the money out to me: “20-30-35-36-37-37.25-37.50-.60-.61-.62” if I asked, they would put it in an envelope for me.
$37.62 might not sound like a paycheck, but it was a part-time job and minimum wage was $1.65 an hour. By comparison, gas was about $0.37 a gallon. A six-pack of beer was under $3, not that I could buy one, and you could buy a nice house for about $25,000. Not that the only things you needed in life were a house, some beer and gas in your car, but this isn’t a financial history post.
I started realizing that working with cash had become a lost art while I was in the drive-through at McDonalds back in the 90s. Our local Mickey D’s had added a feature called “Face-to-Face” where they stuck a kid in a small booth in the lane, next to the menu board. They did this because they were having problems understanding the orders. The kid would take your order and your cash. My order came to $7.45 and I gave him a $10 bill.
“Do you have anything smaller?”
“Well, I don’t have an eight.”
“No, I mean… I don’t have any ones.”
“Oh, I see. Here, take three ones. Give me the 55 cents and a $5 bill.”
“Does that work?”
“Yes. $13 – $7.45 is $5.55.”
“Are you sure?”
“Would I lie to you?”
Management replaced him with a better microphone.
I do think that using cash is costing me more than using a credit card, at least at Dunkin Donuts. As I mentioned, I pay the same price as the guy who uses a credit card. That’s probably 2-3%. Then, there’s the tip jar. I usually drop some or all of the change in the tip jar. The credit card people just take their coffee and go. Let’s say me and CC McCoffeeBuyer order the same thing. Let’s also assume Dunkin Donuts has a sweet deal with VISA and only pays 1.75%. Let’s further assume that I and CC both have to pay $3.65. Dunkin Donuts makes (roughly) $3.59 from CC, and $3.65 from me and I toss $0.35 in the tip jar. My breakfast? $0.41 more than the other guy. Maybe I should stop using cash.
My favorite song with John and June
A newer song from Rosanne Cash, but one that I like a lot.