Easy to Spend Money

Posted September 11, 2015  |  Filed under Buyer Beware

Do you ever think about how easy it is to spend money? Have you realized how this has evolved? Let me give you a little history lesson on spending money.

I don't know if you have noticed but businesses are working overtime to get you to spend your money. And the thing is - they have had a lot of help over time. This help has come from banks and the government. Now, computer and phone companies are getting into the picture. They are doing everything they can to make it so easy for you to spend your money - and this has been evolving for decades. Let's start that history lesson.

As you probably know, money was invented long before any of us was alive. Initially, money was only in the form of coins. You could buy a whole week's worth of food and supplies for just one coin. Then something happened - businesses figured out how to make more money - they raised the prices. This is something we can relate to today in a big way. Soon, it took two coins to buy your food and supplies. Then three coins; then four coins; etc. You got the idea.

The government thought of a way to make this easier for folks by making larger denominations of coins. But the problem is, they could only make so high of a denomination. Remember, back then, the coins were made out of pure gold and silver. The size of the coin determined the denomination of the coin. If you had a $5 gold piece, you had $5 worth of gold. What a great concept!

Well later on when prices were continuing to rise and people's pants started falling down because they had to carry so many coins in their pocket; the government had to come up with another solution. Paper money was born. The government could print any denomination of value on a single piece of paper. It made it real easy to carry a lot more money in your pocket without your pants falling down. And yes, the prices kept rising.

After the prices got to a point that it wasn't feasible to carry all that cash because wallets could only hold so much, and it was dangerous carrying around a lot of money due to robberies, a new solution was needed. The government was out of ides, so the banks stepped in. Hey - you could put all of your money in our bank and when you wanted to buy something all you had to do was write a check. You didn't have to carry any money at all! So people started carrying checkbooks and they were happy again.

But then, people started to get lazy and businesses wanted more. It was too much trouble to get out your checkbook and write a check, plus you could only spend the amount of money you had in your account. When it was gone, you couldn't write any more checks. Businesses were unhappy. So, another solution was needed. Prices were still rising and the government was all out of ideas and businesses wanted you to buy more of their products. So the banks came up with another idea, yes - the credit card was born. Not only did you have extra money to spend, but you didn't have to go through all the hassle to write a check! Swipe the card, sign your name, life was good again.

But businesses were still not happy. Yes, people were using their credit cards, but they were not spending the money they had in the bank - and businesses wanted you to spend that money as well. Plus don't forget, it was so much trouble to have to sign your name when you made a credit card purchase. So banks thought that why don't we make spending money in your checking account just as easy as using the credit card? Yes, you may have guessed it - the debit card was upon us! Swipe your card, enter your pin number, and you were on your way home with your purchase - and you didn't have to write a check or sign your name. Now businesses were happy; you could spend your money in your checking account plus spend money you didn't have by using your credit card.

But they still had to come up with another way to make it easier. Entering your pin number was so much work on your fingers. So the banks and credit card companies got together and came up with a new idea - and yes, to help you spend your money easier. On purchases of $25 or less, you don't have to enter your pin number with your debit card. Just swipe the card, grab your burger, and head home. How much easier could it get? But wait - yes - they wanted more ways to make it easier for you.

It was so much trouble to have to get out your wallet to find your credit or debit card. One idea that didn't take off well was the banks issued you a small special card or key fob that you would put on your key chain. You just tap the card or key fob on the terminal and the transaction was paid for. This idea didn't work so well because people still had to dig out their keys. They might as well have to dig out their wallet for their debit card. Plus, I don't think it had the pizzazz that wowed people.

Hey, wait a minute, what is that thing hanging on the belt of my pants? It's my phone! I bet there can be an easy way to use my phone to spend my money. And yes, since the government, banks, and credit card companies have all ran out of ideas, the phone companies stepped in. Now all you have to do is tap your phone near the terminal and the items you bought are paid for. No writing checks, no pin numbers, no digging for wallets or keys, no thinking. How much easier can it get? Don't answer that question. I am sure they will come up with something.

The whole purpose of this article is to show you what has been done over the years to make it so easy for you to spend your money. Let's try a novel concept, how about saving some money? Maybe if it wasn't so easy to spend it, people would have to think about their purchases and have more money in the bank. Something to think about!

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