Money, Money, Money

In just eight months in Japan I have seen more money than in my entire life. The reason is not that I earn more money now than I ever have, it's that Japan is a cash based society. Unless it is set up as a direct debit from my account, I see the money pass through my hands. I bought my car using cash. My new couch, my monthly rent, fuel, food, insurance, all cash. Anything I want, need, have bought or will buy, you guessed it cash. Drawing $300 out of an ATM is not a big deal. In fact, I very rarely would draw less than that out. That is generally enough to cover one bill, with some remaining for everyday expenses.

Most people will tell you that you need at least $200 for 'walking around money.' That's probably a fair amount in my experience. It used to bother me, having so much money on me. Even if it was only for 5 minutes while I walk from the ATM to the bank teller, it would make me sweat. What if I loose my wallet? What if I get mugged? In the end you realise that you have no choice. Eftpos or card facilities are pretty much non-existant around here. Add to that the limited ATM hours, where you can only access your money from 9am to 9pm, and you are walking around with some cash. And trust me when I say, if you find yourself wandering around at 9:30pm at night because you dont have enough money to get your car out of a paid parking lot, and there are no ATMs open, you will learn to carry cash pretty quickly.  

So stock up and cash up. And get ready to feel like you never stop spending money. Cause thats the real beauty of using cash, you can literally see where your hard earned money is going.


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