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Opening Arguments

Debit of gratitude

The State Fair is joining the cashless society:

Whether it's buying an elephant ear or tickets for rides on the Midway, visitors to this year's Indiana State Fair will have more opportunities to use their credit and debit cards. Fair officials say after listening to customer feedback, they've added more ATM locations around the Fairgrounds and more vendors will accept credit cards.

I resisted using a debit card for years; I had visions of losing the receipts or just forgetting to enter them into the checkbook. Then I'd end up with much less money in the checking account than I thought and write a check that would bounce. There'd be an embarrassing confrontation, and I might end up on Judge Judy or, worse, Jerry Springer. After being humiliated nationally, I'd have no choice but to . . .

. . . Where was I? Oh, yeah. My sister pestered me for years to use the silly thing, but I resisted. I finally gave in a year ago and discovered what she'd always said: It is an incredibly more convenient way to pay for things. And I just put the receipts in my wallet behind the debit card. When one more won't fit, I take them all out an update my checkbook. Once upon a time, I felt naked and unprepared for the world if I didn't have a certain amount of cash in my pocket. (ATTENTION, WOULD-BE MUGGERS WHO MIGHT BE READING THIS BLOG) I no longer f


daron aldrich
Thu, 08/07/2008 - 1:16pm


You shouldn't even have to balance your checkbook or write your receipts down. Online banking takes care of all that for you. I worked at a bank for years and balanced my checkbook tot he penny as soon as my statement came. I haven't done that since 1998.

Does your sister need to introduce you to online banking?

I just convinced someone I work with to start using online banking...she thought she would hate it and now doesn't know how she got by without it.


Harl Delos
Thu, 08/07/2008 - 3:14pm

I don't write even 25 checks a year; the debit card clears within a day or two, and sometimes checks take a month or two, so it makes it easier to keep track of how much I *really* have.

However, I wrote a check at Weis supermarket earlier this year for my gas bill, and they took the money out of my account TWICE - once as a check and once as en electronic funds transfer. It'd have been bad enough if they credited my gas bill twice as well, but they didn't.

After I found their mistake, they'd already had my money for several weeks, but it took me almost a week to get the supermarket to refund my money. You'd think they would balance their cash drawers at the end of a shift, but if the drawer is over, by nearly $200, they ignore it.

And interestingly enough, if you write a bad check to the supermarket, the prosecutor is quite happy to send you to jail for it. If the supermarket embezzles your money, however, the prosecutor doesn't give a damn.

William Larsen
Fri, 08/08/2008 - 10:53am

Actaully, I have gone the other way, pure cash. The reason is simple; Years ago I got a statement from VISA identifying all my purchases into catagories. This is information is sold to telemarketers as well as junk mail senders. Since I did away with all cash, I get nearly no junk mail and few telemarketers.

As for balancing a check book, budgeting and the other math involved, if you do not use your brain to do math you will loose the ability to it at all.