Many years ago, a gorgeous friend of mine, Dutch back ground, owed me $20. I wasn’t terribly worried about it, but she really wanted to pay me back this particular day. So, she suggested that we head to ‘ze bank in ze wall’ to get my cash out.
I think I looked at her blankly for a moment before realising she meant an ATM and I loved it, and the name stuck… for my family anyway!
Tho these days, we don’t even need ‘ze bank in ze wall’ terribly often. A few dollars out to cover the rare occasions that I need cash is accomplished during a grocery shop. According to some futurists, the ATM’s days are numbered… but others disagree. So will it survive? or thrive?
And how the use of cold hard cash has changed over the years! In the early 90’s I assisted in a payroll office for a large Gold Coast cafe and remember stuffing envelopes with the exact amount of cash required in each staff member’s particular packet. Things then progressed to electronic transfers directly into our accounts, and then we had to withdraw what we needed to cover ourselves each week – especially for those using the ‘envelope system.’ Seems like a hassle now!
Today, it’s rare that I carry cash. My sister tells me I’m classified as a vagrant as I don’t often have 40c for a phone call (do they still cost that?) but who needs 40c when I’ve got a mobile? And seriously, if I can’t tap and go, you’re unlikely to get a coffee order from me.
So, our children have grown up as the Invisible Money Generation or Gen Z (born post 1995) or even Gen Alpha (the wee bairns.) Well, my 2 have anyway… and what does the change mean for them?
We’ve understood the value of money all our lives. We’ve seen it, touched it, saved it and spent it – the real stuff, that is. But things can be a different story for those who’ve never understood the real value of cash and used the real McCoy. Although the young these days are ‘digital natives’ many parents are too stressed to talk to them about money as they’re battling financial issues themselves. And chances are, their parents never spoke to them about money either.
I remember a friend often being told by her son, ‘just put it on Visa, mum’ and I’m sure he had no concept that mum needed to repay Visa, with interest.
If you’d love to know more about the Invisible Money Gen, how to talk to kids about money, pocket money, work, find out your money personality and so much more, please feel free to download your copy of the FPA’s Share the Dream Report here.