Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cash or Credit?

This time of year I almost always start digging in my purse before I get out of the car. I hear the signature bell of a cold holiday worker saying hi as people try not to make eye contact. I almost always search for whatever change or cash I have to stuff some into the kettle. Call it Christmas Karma or the fact that I remember more than one Christmas where my mom made my brother and I pick out Christmas gifts for a less fortunate family. Whatever the reason, I always like to toss some change in the bucket.

However, in the last couple of years, I've begun to notice something. I don't carry cash and rarely do I have any change except for the odd penny that's been tossed in my ash tray because I can't find any other use for it. Anything that I need can be bought with my debit card.

Lately I've come to notice that I'm not unusual. Most people don't carry a lot, if any, cash. So, how does that affect donations? Apparently it made them go down enough that the Salvation Army is testing using credit card donations at some locations this year. They're also doing a texting donation pilot as well.

It's weird to think of how things we get used to have a trickle-down effect on other aspects we never think about.

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