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Living On Debit

By Staff | Jan 28, 2009

The other day my two-year-old daughter and I were dropping my sister Betsy off at her office after enjoying lunch together.

Joellen said, “That Betsy’s home?”

No, I explained that it was Betsy’s office.

As two-year-olds are prone to do, she asked, “Why?”

I said it was because Betsy goes there to work to make money.

This answer made sense to her. “Aaaah, pop machine.”

“Yes,” I chuckled. “Betsy works so she’ll have money for you to put in the pop machine.”

I smiled inwardly for a few days thinking about how in Joellen’s world the only thing money is for is to purchase a can of pop when she visits her grandmother in the New Martinsville Health Care Center.

But this weekend as we took a short shopping trip, the deeper truth to that childlike observation hit me. Practically the only time Joellen sees actual money is when she is putting it in the pop machine.

In this modern age everyone she shops with uses a debit card. She loves to press the buttons at the checkout as we direct.

Cold hard cash is a rarity in her world, except in the instance of the pop machine.

The toy makers obviously already know this realization that I just now came to. You see, the toy cash register she received from Betsy for Christmas comes with a debit card to swipe and only two lowly coins.

I love the convenience of a debit card, but I think I may have to rethink its exclusive use in an effort to teach some life lessons about money.