When you don't have the "money"

First I feel like I should preface this by saying: what we are discussing here is paper money, dollar bills, cold hard cash. NOT the availability of money as in a bank card, or the chance to borrow money as a credit card. Cash!

One day back in the fall, I had some running around to do  which led me past a road side nursery stand that happened to still be open. What luck! Everyone else here in chilly Pennsylvania had closed down for the winter months. Maybe they will have the elusive Pear trees I'm looking for. I pulled in and got out of my truck. As I walked toward the door I noticed a sign "Fall closing sale....CASH ONLY" I froze. 

I usually have at least a few bucks but just that morning one of the kids had informed me (as she was running out the door for school and didn't have time to wait for me to write a check) that she didn't have any money left in her lunch account. So I handed her all the cash I had in my purse to put on her account and out the door she went. Unfortunately between then and now I didn't stop at the bank. I had to get back in my truck and go on my merry way without my pear tree.
carrying cash with you

I did some more running around and decided to stop at the Butler farmers market. Maybe they will have a pear tree? I know they take credit cards! Just my luck, they do not have a pear tree. They did have some yummy looking jelly pumpkins! Only $1.66 for a container full......oh yes, I have to have them! I keep looking and find a plant that had gone to seed for $ .50! Might as well try growing these next year....into the cart it went. Can you believe, I could not find another thing to buy? I couldn't buy anything perishable because I was going to the dentist and it would have to sit in the truck for over an hour. Of course I couldn't charge only $2.16, so back on the shelves they went and out the door I went.

Now normally this doesn't happen to me. If I'm going to a farmers market or flea market I know to take cash with me. Most of them don't even have electric, let alone a credit card machine at their stands. Of the two I went to today 1 did take credit cards, the other one normally did but I suppose at their rock bottom sale prices they didn't want to share a % with the CC companies. Can't say that I blame them! 

Unfortunately we've been brainwashed by the bank and credit card companies to think as those little plastic cards as 'the same' as cash. In many instances they are. In fact they are better than cash for 2 reasons. The first being that I when I use the card instead of cash I don't end up with mounds of change sitting in the bottom of my purse that I now have to roll and take back to the bank. The second being if your bank card is stolen, you can get the cash back! You really can't beat that. 

However, many times they aren't 'the same' as cash because when it comes down to it....it's just a plastic card! You can't hand it to the neighbor kid to swipe after he mows your lawn or shovels your snow. Or the guy at the roadside corn stand. Or the Amish people that sell pies by the highway. 

When it comes down to it the convenience of credit cards can't be beat, but sometimes you just need cold hard cash!


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