[Originally published on 18 March 2015]
In Portugal credit cards (and debit cards) are the main mean of payment. On the other hand, Germans prefer to pay in cash [see “Why Germans pay cash for almost everything“].
People usually are big fans of credit/ debit cards because they are easy to use and prevent thefts. However, and it seems this is the reason Germans prefer cash, if you use these cards you can loose track of your expenses, specially the ones paid with credit cards. If you are not careful you could end up with a lot of debts. If you have cash, you can see the money disappear – literally. Maybe this way you think twice before spending.
Anyway, what is money? Nowadays you are paid through a bank account – so basically the money you own is a number. In a way, it only becomes real when you withdraw it. On the other hand, we have so many expenses per month that not even the number in the bank account is accurate – you have to subtract those monthly expenses. So I guess money is a kind of illusion that makes us use math all the time.
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