Bienvenue à la société sans numéraire, ou pas

20161114_2151161It would have once upon a time been seen to be something impossible, a society without cash. Now times have moved where its feasibly possible that in the next 2-20 years we could see a cashless society.

There are many businesses that seem keen to push for cashless alternatives. A handful of years back this was relatively minimal but its increased in the last few years with the likes of PayPal advertising is services as “new money” in its most recent round of advertising.

While I admit there could be some benefits to not using cash there are also some potential pitfalls.

As a 27-year-old I easily got lulled into not having cash or a minimal amount needed (example: for a taxi fare) but I’m going to change my practises due to the fact that I could be “helping to usher in a cashless society”.

So what could go wrong in a cashless society that I need to be aware of?

Your bank has a system fault While the problem would likely be minimal due to the fact that banks have I.T departments to resolve this and allow you to make and receive payments.

Your bank blocks your account for an indefinite period This sort of thing is more common than most would think. Usually its due to overzealous application of money laundering regulations. While it seems harmless on the surface I’ve heard of stories where mothers have struggled for money to feed  their children as thier bank account has been blocked even when there are ample funds in the account. While I can understand the need to fight against money laundering criminals it has been known that upstanding people have had thier bank accounts blocked for days without explanation due to overzealous application of the rules. In cases like this cash can be a godsend while waiting for banking facilities to come available to you.

You could in theory spend more money To part with cash creates a psychological feeling of parting with something you’ve hard-earned. To pay by card or swipe a phone does not produce the same psychological stimuli.

Financial privacy would be a thing of the past While it’s great that it would make it closer to impossible for financial criminals to operate, it would essentially evaporate any privacy as to your financial dealings.

Negative interest rates This is the one that could be the most concerning of all. At the moment interest rates on savings are at an all time low in many countries, they could even be set to get lower in the next handful of months to two years. There’s one thing that’s relatively unlikely to happen all the time we have cash in circulation and that is any interest rate below 0%. Should central banks try this before cash is abolished it could lead to a bank run.

Bail ins These are a new concept but has been used in Greece. Effectively during times of financial hardship in the banking sector the banks own customers lose some of thier savings as these are “taken” by the bank instead of it being funded by the taxpayer or the government. Any cash you have that is not in the electronic banking system will be outside the checks and balances should a bail in ever be considered.

All in all I reject the cashless society, sure I can see how it’s portrayed as “the next generation” of money, but when my options are known I’ll stick with using notes and coins into the future.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable


The gem might be the rejection

20150806_204829Rejection. We have all experienced it, in fact we know it well. There are many avenues where we can come across rejection that include social, financial, places at college or university and the working world to name a few.

I’d suggest that while it can be gut wrenching at times I’d suggest that there is a lot to gain in many cases from it. No doubt we have all felt like were in a tough patch after a rejection in a key area and it can suck to know that the bills won’t pay themselves

So how can there be benefits?

Use your rejections as learning points Not everything you are rejected for is related to something you did or did not do, some others are. The key to this point is to figure out whether this rejection is in relation to something you have done, have not done, or could have done better. Sure we all forget key pitches in job interviews from time to time, it happens.

It can create a healthy sense of determination So you’ve found a job you want so bad its unbelievable. You get chosen for the interviewing process and there was one point you didn’t do as well on (for whatever reason). If you have identified what the learning point is it will give you time to rethink how to improve yourself in this area and even look at options for extra training or mentoring should this be the best plan of action. By the time you see that role advertised (even if with a different company) you’ll have a better chance of bagging up this dream job of yours.

What about things that don’t fit us but we didn’t know at the time Weve all chased after something as we thought it was right for us when it wasn’t. A rejection in this sort of time can be a godsend. It give us time to think about other options. So you applied for that credit card that’s got a 34.4% APR rate, and you were rejected. We’ll never mind there’s a better one offering cash back and that’s the one you’ve now got eyes on.

We have all had that one job that simply doesn’t suit our talents one bit. Sometimes getting fired from that job can be a godsend as “you know you’re on borrowed time anyway and it was inevitable”. The key here is to try to open your eyes and see what else is about.

These sort of times are fantastic times to be as curious as you can be as to “what else is out there”

How you deal with rejection As we age we gain life experience, one of the ways that we grow our life experience is through how we actually deal with rejection, how to cope with the initial news and how to move on and change direction if need be. This is something that comes with age and grows with years. Any positive memory of having successfully bounced back after a rejection is invaluable. A confidence can grow over time and a moderate number of rejections can aid in character building.

A way of keeping our empathy fine tuned One way to take the initial sting out of rejection is realising it happens to all of us, there is no better a way to remind ourselves of this then to aid a friend that has recently been rejected or empathise with them. There is less of a sting when you get stood up on a date when you allowed your friend to share their emotions with you when it happened to them two weeks ago.

It makes acceptance even more sweeter So you got accepted into Cambridge University first time or got the best mortgage deal first time round, Great! Rejection helps us appreciate all these moments of unwavering acceptance. You have to experience some potholes to know what a smooth road is like, and more importantly to appreciate it.

Some of the stories can be funny later on If you have recently been dumped you can be sore about it in the earlier days. Once the initial hurt is over you can laugh about you ex, after all they weren’t very romantic and the bare-faced cheek to tell you “it’s over” on the phone out of the blue. What a tool! In time some of these rejection stories can be great to share with a friends for a few laughs.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable