Cash and Carry

By Erin Lozano

Paid cashWith the onset of hard financial times, “budget” is no longer a bad word, and the concept of “cash flow” is making its way into people’s minds. Everyone is clamoring to understand the ins and outs of their money flow.

It is continually amazing to me that the simple calculation of “income minus expenses over time” can bring such a calming sense of control to personal financial matters.

What is maybe more fulfilling is that the positive conversation around women and money is expanding and gaining ground. Everyone in a recession is forced to face their finances. We’re all getting creative together, trying to squeeze the most out of every resource. Getting to know one’s own finances is the first step, and cash flow is pioneering its way into the everyday lives of single women.

Spend Cash

While we’re talking about pioneering concepts, here’s another radical new idea. What if the next generation of money consciousness is cash-and-carry? What if we regularly only spent money with the cash in our pockets, and did away with our credit cards and debit cards?

What if cash became a daily part of our lives, and when did we start believing collectively that if we don’t spend on a particular day, we are not participating in the world?

Did you spend money today? What did you buy? How about yesterday? Do you remember everything you purchased 12 hours ago? Do you, like most of us, have a formidable stack of receipts from purchases as part of your daily living?

It’s clear that I map my road trips around where there’s a Peet’s Coffee Shop. I have a coffee maker at home. I have a French press I love. But if I don’t wake up and go purchase my morning coffee at Peet’s, I don’t know what to do wth myself. The habit is engrained after 19 years of doing it the same way every day.

New Money Habit

That is a foreign concept to my parents. They can easily go several days without spending money. They don’t relate to the deep, unspoken feeling that they won’t exist in the world if they refrain from spending for a day.

Here’s another radical idea. Maybe not spending every day is more an act of participating in the collective than spending daily, considering our country’s collective ache in the financial parts.

What did you refrain from buying today?

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