Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Service of Everyone Has a Price

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Photo: pinterest

I recently heard someone say “Everyone has a price.” He was speaking about an acquaintance of his who was making a chunk of change as one of the masterminds behind the campaign of the current president.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” could be one reason for some to ride roughshod over common sense and decency [though I doubt this was the excuse for the person just mentioned]. I took a job in an industry that appealed to me even though it had warning signs flashing all over it. The business owner was not my cup of tea but I needed to pay the rent and didn’t have the luxury to wait for the right job in the perfect place. There was nothing dishonest about what I was doing: The culture didn’t jive. I stayed the obligatory year. 


Mind you, I don’t begrudge wealthy people whose bank accounts burst with cash as a result of sweat and smarts, choosing a lucrative industry, willing to take risks, folks who may also have benefitted from good timing and a dollop of luck.

Yet countless books and movies describe what happens to those who arrive by selling out. Once they get over the thrill of being rich no matter what I wonder if some regret what it took, especially if  their life falls apart as a result.

I posit that with crucial basics taken care of—enough to feed, clothe and shelter themselves and their families—no amount of money would twist the arms of the people I admire to take a job involving dodgy business. Do you have a price? Do you know folks who turned their backs on their principles, made a bundle and have no regrets?



Service of Cash or Credit

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Credit cards

I used to pay cash for most things when someone pointed out that the most accurate way to track monthly expenses is to pay with credit cards. It’s all on the bill: Food, gas, clothing or gifts. Spend cash and it’s too easy to forget small and scattered purchases.

I’ve only been sorry when a retail operation I frequented was hacked.

I never thought of cash vs. credit/debit cards from a businesses’ point of view and was fascinated to read **Vipal Monga’s story, “Reports of Cash’s Death Are Premature,” in The Wall Street Journal. **The online version of this story is credited to Bruno Mallart, but for the purposes of this article I will quote Monga as I read the newspaper version first.

What was amazing to me was how much it costs a business that deals with the public to get their money no matter how customers choose to pay.

control spendingMonga wrote that customers who prefer cash do so because of convenience, avoidance of cyber hackers and to control spending. I would add that some are paid under the table and would rather not alert the IRS by depositing cash in a bank.

Monga continued: “Paper bills and coins remain the No.1 choice for payments, used in 40% of all transactions in October 2012, according to the most recent study by Federal Reserve banks in Boston, Richmond and San Francisco. Debit cards were used in a quarter of all transactions and credit cards in 17%. Checks and all other electronic-payment techniques made up the rest.” If they spend more than $21–the average cash transaction–most opt to use checks or electronic payments.

CashIt costs $millions for a company to handle cash or credit. Where cash is concerned, costly challenges range “from transportation and storage to theft and loss.” According to a Tufts University 2013 study about companies, they “pay about $55 billion a year to manage currency….Most of it–$40 billion—was due to theft and loss.”

Some banks no longer maintain vaults for cash, wrote Monga, and they “outsource cash storage and use technology to count cash and credit their accounts.”

Pilot Flying JMore than half of the $2.5 billion the 500 Pilot Flying J truck stops pull in is in cash. It costs the company $20 million to manage the cash vs. $100 million for credit card fees that average 2 percent of each transaction. Costs to handle cash includes “the time employees spend reconciling accounts, depositing the money, and performing tasks such as getting change from the in-store safe. The company also pays fees to banks and armored-car companies,” wrote Monga.

Do you prefer to pay by credit or debit card, check or cash? Did you realize how expensive it is for a business to be paid for goods and services?

Pay cash

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