With all the outrage from consumers, Bank of America announced early last week that it would not be charging a $5 monthly debit card fee. Despite this turn of events, I am still committed to being a cash-only consumer for the entire month.
I experienced some minor setbacks in my usual routine because of the no-swipe rule. On Tuesday, I went to get coffee with my coworker but only had $1, and, although there is an ATM next to the store, my coworker said “forget it” and paid for my coffee.
A similar situation arose last night. I didn’t have cash on me when I went to order food, so my boyfriend paid for it and I agreed to pay him back. Racking up debts certainly was not something I wanted to be part of this ordeal, but at least it doesn’t come with interest like putting the charges on my credit card would have.
Stopping at the ATM held up my roommates when we were going out to watch the Pats’ game, and two of them even offered to pay me $5 to cover the would-have-been-fee if I would “just swipe already!”
I felt that same way this morning when I tapped my Charlie Card at the train station, only to have the machine flash “NOT ENOUGH VALUE.” There were already two people waiting at the ATM and I heard the train screech along while I was waiting to withdraw cash. I was 20 minutes late to work, but my boss understood, given the circumstances.
I learned two lessons from this week: living a no-swipe life means 1) more frequent trips to or more substantial withdrawals from the ATM, and 2) I must always refill my T card before the morning commute.