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    By: Destiny Breniser   What if you had the chance to live another life instead of the one you are currently living? This story turns the idea of a multiverse on its head centered on what happens when you die.  This book was published in 2020 with its genre being science fiction. The place you go when […]
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The ups and downs of having money on my BG1 Card

I have a BG1 Card. Everyone on this campus does. Consequently, everyone on this campus (myself included) carries his or her meal plan money on said card. That means approximately $1,300 in digital currency (we’re talking about the Bronze meal plan here) is stored on each and every card, at least for the beginning of the school year. With so much money stored on such small a card, it seems strange knowing that such a colossal amount of cash can be digitally assigned to a dinky piece of flattened plastic with a magnetic stripe running down one side.

Based on my history of using this fancy-schmancy debit-card system (a paltry three months), there appear to be a number of pros and cons attached to this method of meal plan distribution and payment. For some instances, it’s so much easier to use the BG1 Card, but other times, paper money really shows its merits.

For one, debit money is too easy to spend. Although this tendency may vary from person to person, it really shines through in me. With paper money, I have a resistance to spending it because it’s real to me; by “real,” I mean tangible. It’s something I can feel, it’s something I can count and it’s something I have to dole out to a stranger in a Dining Services uniform if I want to buy that dual-scoop cup of BG Batter ice cream from the Falcon’s Nest food court.

See what I mean? Since paper money and coins have a distinct (and literal) “feel” to them, I tend to be more wary of spending them, lest my wallet shrink down to the size of a shriveled-up piece of dry leather. Furthermore, printed money is a tested-and-true method of payment. Coin money has been around for ages, and paper money has proven its longevity as well.

However, one of the greatest attributes about payment with paper is its anonymity. Barring the nitty-gritty of forensics and serial codes, paper money is inherently much harder to trace and track than digital money, unless you’re working for the F.B.I. (which most of us aren’t). With debit cards and credit cards, purchases can be tracked back to their buyers. Plus, the risk of identity theft is always at play when paying digitally. Social Security numbers are tied to credit cards and bank accounts, making it possible for them to be stolen.

But I’m getting off track here. You can’t really worry about someone stealing your identity when you’re paying with BG Bucks. And although its importance justifies keeping a close eye on it, there’s always the possibility of losing the card. I have actually picked up one of my dorm neighbor’s ID cards that was lost in the hallway. It may not happen very often, but people do indeed lose their cards (but people lose paper money too).

Paper money: It’s old-school, it’s reliable and it’s an all-purpose method of payment which works well in almost any situation.

Of course, I cannot do this column justice without mentioning the advantages of digital money. Although, I may be caveman-tech by heart (I still don’t own a cellular telephone), digital money can be extremely convenient and has multiple advantages over traditional paper money.

As I stated earlier, it’s supremely convenient and quick for me to pay for my daily junk food run to Chily’s with the simple swipe of a card. Speed, efficiency, and reliability are the attributes about payment with my BG1 Card that I admire.

Also, a card is much smaller and easier to handle. No need to carry around a myriad bundle of random assorted dollar bills, or to fumble around with loose change; the exact cost of my purchase is deducted from my account whenever I buy something. As much as I don’t want to sound trendy and hip about ways that I pay my grocery bills and buy my blue books for exams, there really is something great about the speediness of a debit card payment system. Now the only thing the University higher-ups need to do is to bump up our initial Flexfunds accounts a little higher.

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