Daily Prompt: It is only paper

Money

I suppose it depends how you look at it. That is the contents of my purse today: approximately 114 Swiss francs and twice 2x Cumulus points with 25x points if I happen to buy Farmer’s Best deep frozen vegetable, which I do now and again if it has to be quick and I run out of ideas. It is not a fortune, but it is enough. The real money is in the bank – we all have our own systems. The Cumulus points are a supermarket system and I am sure that your supermarkets also have their own system. They are not really giving anything away, because at the end of the day it is all calculated. I have discovered that arriving at the cash desk to pay the bill is becoming a financial puzzle. We would lay down the money and the assistant would give us the change, like real money that would jingle and make your purse bulge.

Purses now only bulge with some bits and pieces, but mainly credit cards and now the lady at the cash desk asks if you have anything to redeem, meaning those points you have printed on a cash receipt. You get 2x Cumulus points if you add one of these receipts to the money, meaning that you will have double the normal points on your balance. At the end of the month the supermarket sends you cheques based on these points which you can use as money in your supermarket and we are all convinced we are getting someting for nothing. We are getting something, but not for nothing, because we paid at the cash desk to let the points add up, thus known in our market as Cumulus, they cumulate. If you do not have these magical 2x receipts, then you get them all the same, but only 1x.

Recently they have began to issue these points 25x for certain items. This now means that shopping is not only a financial puzzle but a question of logistics, organising what you buy, because it depends on whether you get apply an extra 25x cumulus points receipt if you buy the right thing. Are you following me? No, it does not really matter, because I think most of us have lost the thread on the way. I often lose it at the cash desk. You used to choose the goods, pay and go. Now you are confronted with searching through your purse, or perhaps your jacket pockets to see what other special extras you might have (apart from being given the special sticky stamps for your card if you are collecting teddy bears – Christmas thing). You no longer need a purse and money, or even credit cards, but a mini computer to be able to sort it all out.

Fortunes have become digital. I do not blame my dad, who was a centenarian, and kept his money (real money) in his pockets or in a box. One of his main statements was “I don’t want a bank account” as if it was the crime of the centuary. “I don’t want a cheque book” was another phrase he used. He was sure that a cheque book was a fiddle, a scheme where the banks were cheating you.  I do not blame him. His whole life was based on cash and a weekly wage. His pension was paid into an account, but he would have it collected in cash. Sometimes he lost count of how much cash he actually had at home, but he knew what his fortune was. It was in paper and coins. We have moved on of course. Modern day life is all money shifting by digital methods.

We have made progress,  until the day when the computers die.

Daily Prompt: It is only paper

7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: It is only paper

  1. Goodness! I never knew shopping could be so complicated! I try to avoid coupons and loyalty cards as much as I can. Perhaps we should go back to the days of keeping our money under the mattress……..

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    • You never get anything for nothing, on the other hand, you get what you pay for if you do it. Prices are all calculated to include the extras you get at the end of the month. there are always customers in the supermarket that say proudly I don’t have a card and do not want one. They are the losers eventually, because they are paying for our benefits on the prices they pay. I take it all, knowing that in the long run I have paid for it. That is how its done today. No-one is Pestalozzi.

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  2. It’s really not much different here in the USA, if you choose to cooperate. You can get cards that give you special discounts on the sales of the week, and cheap gas after you accumulate so much credit. I have a discount card for only one store, where I do the bulk of my shopping. I would need an attache case to carry around all the cards I’m offered. I hate to shop, do so only out of necessity. I tried to give a cashier (note the spellling: CASHier) some actually money the other day, and she stood there looking at me as if I had a booger growing out of my forehead. I even reached up to wipe it off, but of course there was nothing there 🙂

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    • I believe it all began in the states. I remember some years ago my one and only visit to New York and everything was done by credit card almost. People were even not happy about taking notes in big denominations as there were apparently many forgeries. Our supermarket does not give out a card, but you get the extra perks when you buy something with accumulating points for the end of the month payout,and of course there is an app on the iPad to keep track on it all. We also have a section where we do not need a cashier, but can do it all yourself, providing you pay with a credit card, meaning even the cashiers may become a thing of the past. I once had a kid in front of me paying with a card for just a couple of francs for some sweets. I suppose training early might have its advantages. One thing I noticed is that real advanced golden oldies like my dad will be having a problem. He had no idea of credit cards and even my mother-in-law had a special arrangement with the postman with her pension money, because she did not want it paid into an account, although both of them are no longer here to have to deal with it.

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      • Yes, we have self-checkout options as well. People who are in a hurry and don’t have a lot of purchases use those. We do use a bank, but my husband is old school. He does what his parents did–even uses their old safe, where he stores a supply of cash 🙂

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    • I think Fidel Castro had the idea of abolishing money in Cuba, but it never worked. I always have some money in my purse, but rarely use it. Life today is just not suited to real money. I noticed that when I was in London dealting with my dad, he only had real money which meant running round in circles to pay the bills.

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