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Quick! Cancel the Credit Cards!

     I canceled every last one of them. The credit card, the debit cards, the ATM card. I lost my wallet, so I quick called and canceled all the cards because that’s what everyone says you should do.

     Speed doesn’t pay.

     The bank rep told me the new credit cards would arrive in eight to ten business days. Meaning two to three weeks. And I thought being without a cell phone for one day was tough! Living without plastic took me to entirely new levels.

     At home, my guy and I counted up our cash. Actually, he counted his cash. I didn’t have any. He had about enough to get us through the weekend but if we needed more, we figured we could drive over to the ATM and get some.

     No we couldn’t. ATM card’s canceled.

     Oh well, we can go buy something at the supermarket tomorrow and get extra cash back at the checkout.

     No we can’t. Debit card’s canceled.

     Boy, I’ll tell you - life without plastic requires a whole new way of thinking. I scrummaged around the house and found a checkbook. There were still checks in it and the address was current and I hadn’t canceled our checkbook, so I carried it around with me for the next two weeks. Never used it, but I felt better.

     Filling up at the gas station without a credit card’s a real hassle. You know how you just slide your card in the slot, press the cheapest gas button and fill up? Without plastic, I had to go inside the Food Mart and wait in line to give money to the cashier who wanted to know which pump I was at and of course I couldn’t remember so I had to go back outside and look at the number up above the pump and when I got back there was a longer line and I had to stand at the end of it, repeating, “pump eleven, pump eleven” over and over so I wouldn’t forget which pump my car was at before I got to the cashier.

     After I gave the cashier three twenties, I went out and filled the tank and then I had to come back and get in line again to get my change. I remembered the pump number this time.

     Shopping without plastic is almost as bad. You have to remember how to count money. Easy enough to hand a piece of plastic to the store clerk and let her figure it all out. Not so easy to figure out how many fives and how many ones and is it two quarters or three? Plus all the money falls out onto the floor when you’re trying to separate the fives from the ones.

     Gee! I use plastic for everything. A bunch of our bills are paid automatically by a debit to our credit card. But now, no credit card, no payment. All I could do was wait for the new card and change the VISA number online.

     Our replacement cards finally arrived last week. We got all excited - until we realized there were no PIN numbers with them. At least we could use the VISA card and we did, with great glee.

     The next day I went online to change the old VISA number to the new VISA number. Three hours later I gave up. They’ll take your VISA, but they sure as heck won’t let you change it.

     Speed doesn’t pay. Wouldn’t you know? A couple of hours after I canceled those credit cards and debit cards and ATM cards, someone found my wallet. Not a single card was missing.

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