Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cash only, please!


(concept & practice proposed by Ivo Adam, 16 OCT 08)

Here we all are, passively awaiting the media-reported financial tsunami that will engulf the world, being told a recession is almost upon us, but definitely not a Great Depression. No, they say (so far) that it’s just a credit crunch; credit is hard to get: banks won’t lend to each other, so people & companies can’t get necessary credit from any bank. Credit is just drying-up.

What can we personally do about it? Get a little saner, quickly. Stop using such tight credit beginning with one day a week. The amount of credit available will increase that one day's worth, while the bank consortia that are behind American Express, MasterCard, and VISA, etc. will suffer the loss of that one day’s carrying charges. If you roll that one-day-per-week from Monday to Sunday & back, it will strike rolling terror into the consortias' fiscal hearts as their constant cash-flow income becomes less & less predictable.

What does this do for you? If you are living too much on credit, you now have taken one credit-day off a week to try to come to your fiscal senses & spend cash or spend nothing at all, one day when you say to the spending world “(I) Pay in Cash Only, Please!” (as some Chinese restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown say every day.) Just after WW2 cash (or a valid personal check) was really the only acceptable medium of exchange; credit cards did not yet exist. People were very selective, super-cautious about what they bought, continuing a wartime habit of making things last longer: they darned their sox, rather than discarded them, etc. Ask your mom or grandmom who will (no doubt) remember.

Celebrate this truly liberating Credit-Off, Cash-Only Day totally alone, or with your friends, or in small Cash-Only clubs. Your reward is saving everyone all carrying charges. Savings should gradually begin to increase. Our sense of being out of fiscal control should begin to end as we shed excess-debt weight. We will begin to feel we're in fiscal trim - again.

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