2009: my first year without cash?

2009: my first year without cash?


Paper money

I can't remember the last time I withdrew money from an ATM machine. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used cash. These days, I pay for everything using cards or on-line banking services. It has certainly been months since I last used cash, perhaps even half a year or more.

This year I will pay attention to my payment habits and see if I can make it trough the year (2009) without using cash. This is not a new year's resolution or an active attempt to avoid cash, it is simply an observation to find out if use cash at all during the year - and if so, how many times. If I do use, I'll make a comment every time at the end of this blog posting.

January has passed and it passed without any use of cash. I payed for everything electronically, mostly by using a debit card (bank card). I realize that "paying by card" probably is interpreted as "credit card" by most Americans, but here in Finland it usually means "debit card" unless you specify that it is a *credit* card.

I finally ended up using cash this year: while on a walk last Saturday I passed a small ice cream kiosk and decided to buy a cone. I offered to pay the two Euro for the ice cream with my bank card but the sales person, somewhat embarrassed, told me she could only accept cash. This was the first time this year that I have had to resort to cash instead of an electronic payment. I have bought ice cream in other similar places earlier this spring and they accepted bank and credit cards.
We really are living in a quite cashless society if cash is only needed once every five months.

The year 2009 came to an end and I used cash only once during the entire year: to pay for an ice cream cone at an ice cream kiosk that - unlike other ice cream kiosks - did not accept cards. Thats it.

I am prepared to declare that we now live in a cashless society, you do not really need to resort to cash anymore in Finland.