September 03, 2011
A couple months ago I stopped spending cash on any transaction. I found constantly fetching cash from the ATM (it started spewing useless $50s too), getting rid of change and restocking my wallet to be a waste of time. It's also a reflection on the times as nearly everything and everywhere has changed to accommodate plastic transactions. The laundry system in my apartment was one of the last regular transactions that required cash, but has since switched to a smart card restocked by plastic. While I'm giving up some anonymity, I'm simplifying my life a bit. It makes tracking transactions a little easier and I don't have to deal with monitoring my cash supply anymore. I can also rack up a few more rewards points on my credit cards. In the months since I've stopped, I can recall only one or two occasions where I still used cash and only because that appeared to be the only supported payment method.
In an effort to simplify, I changed my requirements for buying something new. One of my friends says: buy what you need when you need it. I added to it that it has to do what I want out of the box. No future updates, no alterations, no 3rd party additions. What is the point in spending money on something that needs extra effort just to make it work. Plus, future updates may never arrive, alterations may not work now or in the future, same goes for 3rd party stuff. Future-proofing, as it goes, is some what of a good idea, but all too often, things move so fast that any upgrade room is quickly obsoleted by rapid progress. While these general rules don't always work, in hindsight, following them wouldn't really ever lead you wrong. But sometimes you might want to ignore them if there is a value argument and you are willing to sacrifice to meet it.
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