When I was looking through my ‘What’s in my bag’ photos the other day, I noticed that in earlier photographs I had a wallet (mostly Mulberry Darwin leather one in Olive). In later photographs, my personal- or pocket-sized ring organiser was my wallet, holding cards, coins, notes.
For the past four or so years though, I have not been carrying or using cash. As I used cash less and less, my binder held only emergency toilet coins and a one hundred crown note, just in case. Nowadays I don’t even have those anymore. I would be in dire straits if I were unable to use a credit card or our mobile payment system, Swish.
Sweden went very fast towards a cashless society. Many shops are card-only and less than 8% of people now use cash. As far back as 2013, Sweden had the second lowest number of ATMs per capita in Europe. It is very hard to deposit cash or coins, and it feels as though almost all brick and mortar banks have closed.
In the event of a cyberterrorist attack on banks, the electrical grid, or the internet, people like me would be totally screwed.
All I carry with me is my phone, which holds all my cards. If that were stolen, I would be screwed.
What about you?
I hope cash outlives me! I don’t want to replace my keys/light switches/thermostat/TV with apps that might suddenly become outdated or simply unavailable. Cash-free feels too dangerous to me – cash is a readily-usable backup system when the occasional technology blips occur. If the bus ticket app on my phone isn’t working it’s good to know I can dig out my purse and hand over my money and still get home.
I really wish I didn’t have to carry cash because it’s making my whole handbag situation really tricky but Germany still loves it’s paper and metal currency more than cards. Although with the whole Covid and no contact situation, things have changed a bit. Banks used to charge shops who let customers use their debit cards but that might have changed. Before living in Germany, I used to live in England and you could pay for a single stamp with your card. It was a culture shock to come to Germany and have to go backwards.
I just read an article about how to use a traveler’s notebook (it’s always good to go back to basics and get some fresh inspiration) and one recommended use was as a wallet. I had tried it with a wallet insert but because of all the coins and banknotes, it really wasn’t so practical. I may change my mind again seeing as money is not as needed as before…