Letter: We should continue using cash and buying from high street stores in New Forest
Several weeks ago the A&T kindly published a letter I submitted suggesting that people ought to use cash again, at least some of the time, instead of cards because seeing the money slip through their fingers so easily might make them take more note of their expenditure and make an effort to “budget”.
According to the media, increased use of cash IS actually happening and beginning to take effect.
I rather wish that the same change would happen in regard to personal shopping instead of buying online, even thought it might be cheaper. The effect would bring life back to our local shopping centres and businesses.
I’m often asked why, at my age, I persist in trolling through our shops and don’t simply order from supermarkets or (with the help of more internet-knowledgeable friends) use Amazon etc. The fact is that, apart from pushing myself to take the necessary exercise, I need to socialise, make personal contact, meet with old friends and contacts. To shut oneself away without reason is disastrous and inter-action keeps the mind active as well as the body.
Also, it’s an unbelievably small world and unplanned chats with even strangers can evoke memories of people and places. Some months ago, making conversation with a rather lonely-looking lady in a coffee shop, I happened to mention my grandparents long ago owned a guest house in north London close by the once-famous Collins Music Hall – only to discover that HER grandparents lived just four doors away from them. Incredible!
Human contact is vital and rewarding. At this time of year we are encouraged to spread goodwill, meet-and-greet. Perhaps some of that should extend when the festivities are over.