Daddy Cash

“I want jeans like yours, Dad. They’re cool.”

We’ve gone cash only. Yes, no credit cards, just cash.

Almost.

We’re trying. It’s our aim to pay for everything from clothes to food and health insurance for our family of five with what we earn and without borrowing from credit cards at outrageously high interest rates.

This will be my first cash-only lifestyle since university when credit cards were as easy to get as sand on a beach. Anything could be mine as long as the purchase fit on my card or could be spread out between several cards. Charge it, pay later. Have it now. Choose payment plans. Choose designer clothes, long holidays, plasma TVs and stereos. Choose to swipe it and live.

I did.

But that was then, and for many years.

Now we’re going all cash, just like when we were kids. You want something, you save up for it. You got cash, you buy a surfboard or take a ski trip. No cash, no stuff. And no traveling.

That’s how we’re trying to live again by paying in cash or with the debit card. In it goes, out it goes. When the bank’s running low, limit your purchases. If it’s empty, uh-ho! That means we went over budget and well, that’s tough luck.

I’m enjoying our new lifestyle. I’m keeping my purchases to a minimum. I’m washing my own car and keeping my wardrobe in shape so it can last.

The latter seems to have put me up in the world.

Ask my eldest daughter.

The eight-year-old came up to me and said, “Dad, I like your jeans.”

They are the same jeans I’ve had for the last three years.

“They’re cool,” my daughter said. “I wish my jeans had rips in them and those worn out bits. I like them.”

I smiled, cautiously.

And then thought, cool or not, my aging jeans could go against my cash-only plan. A hole is widening in my wallet-pocket and it could very well leave me cashless.

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