Banks are a pain in the ass. There. I said it. First of all, they’re never open. Second of all, they put you through an obstacle course just to activate your debit card, then you have to verify all this information, followed by a bunch of more bullshit. The Patriot Act really screwed us over. Now you need two forms of government I.D., a driver’s license (which I do not possess), and a social security card (which I also do not possess). It’s not that I really care because I know my money is safe at home, but I find it rather cumbersome to store my money in a place where I could easily access it at home. It’s not like my bank is giving me much interest, less than inflation in fact.
What do I care about money anyway? Sure, it would be nice to have a lot, but it’s not a necessity. I could live perfectly fine on less money than most people make. It’s not like I need a Dolby surround sound system with speakers so loud they would make a deaf man scared (because of the vibration). All we need to do is provide for the basic necessities: food, water, and if you’re so inclined, shelter. Maybe some furniture, a bed even. But you can get used things like that at rock-bottom prices. It’s not like you have to make $100,000 a year just to break even.
Then there’s credit cards. People spending money they don’t have. Isn’t that a joke? Everyone says you have to build credit. Build credit? Pay back what I borrow. My grandfather said that I should use my credit card and then pay it back, even though I have the money for it. He told me if I ever wanted a house and a subsequent loan, I would need good credit. I believe credit cards are one of the worst things ever to hit the free world. It’s the instant gratification that makes almost everything meaningless. Here’s why. If you want something really bad as a child, you would save for it. After weeks or months of saving, you would go and buy whatever it was you wanted. The saving and anticipation is what made the item more pleasurable. Now, with credit cards, you can have almost anything you want, at any time, with hardly and consequences. Sure, you may have to make a small payment on it, but you’re never going to have to pay for whatever is in full.
The only reason I would ever use a credit card would be for an emergency where I did not have other forms of currency at my disposal. It’s a safety net, yet I see so many people buying groceries with their credit card. Wouldn’t you think that groceries are a number one priority, not something you throw on the back burner and use a credit card on. I don’t know how extensive their poverty is and it is a shame if they have no money to buy groceries, but I’m sure most of these people spent their real money on some sort of extracurricular activity, meaning something not necessary.
I am not a big spender. I’m not cheap, either, but I just think there are so many valuable things that are free. If I can get better enjoyment out of reading an online article or getting some exercise, then why would I go out and spend ten dollars on a movie that is sure to be bad? I mean, stockpiling money is not something I plan on doing completely, but it is nice to have extra funds in the bank if I ever do slip up and want the new Aaron Carter CD. At least I’ll know I can afford it without succumbing to the credit card, the leech of life. I may even stop carrying my wallet like Kramer. When asked how he pays for things, he responds, “Oh, I get by.”
I’ll never forget when I tried to go back to college last semester, I was out of money because my financial aid package sucked, so I was forced to use my credit card for books, but my credit card was declined. I waited in a line twenty people long to be told I cannot buy these pieces of paper held together by a “spine.” I was mystified that my credit limit was only $250. Now it’s higher, but it was funny how useless it was there, just sitting in my pocket.
For the most part, I use cash. It’s the best way to pay. There is no tracking by the government, and there are certainly no problems with activation. I just give it to the cashier and I get change back. I store the change in a jar on my dresser. Eventually, I’ll cash it all in at the bank. I just don’t want to have to roll them all myself. I’m certainly not going to a Coinstar. I don’t want 8.9 percent of my hard-earned change being taken away. I’ve been picking up a lot of change lately, that I’ve found. And on the manifestation front, a woman gave me ten dollars for helping her catch the guy who stole her purse. So doing good does pay, sometimes. I’m thinking of placing an “I work for tips” sticker on my shirt when I go to work, even though they have a strict policy against tipping. I still take what people give, though, because I deserve it. If I didn’t deserve it, then they wouldn’t be giving it to me.
When and if I ever get my own place, I’m pretty sure I’ll give the banks the snub. As it is a safe place to keep my valuable, I can think of an even safer place: my home in an undisclosed location, kept away where no one will ever find it, except me. The coolest thing I’ve ever seen used as a piggy bank was a Barbasol can (shaving cream), and it was specially made just to conceal money in it. The only real problem with that is if I’m living with other people, someone may throw it away by mistake, and there goes my fortune. But I’m not that concerned about it anyway. It pales in comparison to the fortune in my head. There is no bank that could contain that information.