Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Will Miss #448 - cash-based culture

Every several months, applications for automatic payment of various utility bills were put in my mailbox. Every several months, I recycled the forms. Though the Suica and Pasmo pre-paid cards are changing, to some extent, the amount of cash used in Japan, it is still largely a cash-based culture and I prefer this. It's not that I like handling money and I do realize that electronic handling of funds has many benefits. However, I think that the further removed we are from the experience of actually paying for things, the more likely we will be to lose track of our finances. I think that using credit cards in particular contributes to the culture of debt that America has because we don't conceptualize money in the same way once it becomes about numbers on statements rather than notes in wallets.

I'll miss the simplicity and awareness that comes along with being in a largely cash-based society.