Each era had its specific ways of storing value and using it in exchange for goods. From the gold and silver coins used since antiquity to checks and credit cards, people have always looked for the easiest and safest ways to carry around large amounts of value. With the emergence of new payment methods, some of the old ones were discarded, while most survived alongside new ones. Here is a recap of what are the best tools for each type of transaction.
Even if we are in the digital age, cash is still one of the dominant ways to make transactions. In some parts of the world, it is still the first choice. Always carry an amount equal to the estimated value of your purchase. Even in top location software failures of the POS can leave you in uncomfortable situations. When traveling abroad, it’s best to get some local currency as soon as you arrive, from an ATM. Don’t purchase it at home as you’ll almost certainly get a better rate from the foreign bank.
Checks were bills of value and before cards became fashionable were the easiest way to pay without carrying cash around. A bank issued these, and the carrier received the amount of money stated on the bill in exchange for the check.
Although it seems obsolete at this point, a certified check is still an excellent paying instrument for amounts which are too large to be paid by a credit card. If you don’t know where to get a certified check, you‘ve come to the right place. Don’t be afraid to ask your bank for one if you intend to make a substantial acquisition; you are not nostalgic.
The necessary evil of our days, the credit and debit cards are the most widely spread current payment method. This comes as a combination of convenience, traceability and credit institutions’ desire to have control over transactions.
We encourage you to use them responsibly, pay at least the minimum amount each month to help build your credit score and stay away from impulsive shopping. The funniest control method of these is actually to freeze your card to prevent spending.
- Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
At this point it might look like cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology are just another passing craze. These can offer safe, transparent and fast transactions which can also be anonymous if the user chooses a network which emphasizes this dimension, like Monero. Right now the cryptocurrency market is considered a risky investment, but we can expect a time in the future when digital currencies will be as regular as state ones.
We live in an excellent moment in time when value comes in a lot of interconvertible types. The most important thing is to select the right one for each transaction and to store your wealth in a way that is liquid enough to use it, but not susceptible to make you spend recklessly.