My sister has been harassing me for the last decade to start an RRSP and my excuse of “I live on student loans below the freaking poverty line!” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Since I’ve been happy so far with my dealings with Vancity, and since I knew that they have options for “socially responsible investing,” I decided to start my RRSP with them. So now I have an RRSP. Just like a grown up.
This had me thinking about my grade 4 teacher. I remember, just like it was yesterday, her telling my class that within our lifetimes there would be no more paper money and no more coins. “Everything will just be points,” she said, “and you’ll pay for things with a plastic card and your paycheque will just show up as points in your account.” I remember thinking she was crazy. No paper money, no written cheques… in my lifetime? No way, I thought! Granted, we aren’t quite there yet (e.g., my favourite produce store only accepts cash), but we are pretty damn close. Today alone:
- points automatically went from my employer to my two bank accounts
- points automatically went from my employer to the government (for my taxes, CPP, EI) and to my pension plan
- points automatically went from my bank account to my student loan accounts
- points went from my other bank account to my two credit cards and my cell phone company via online banking
- points went from that bank account to an RSP account
And all of this was done without anything physical changing hands… someone typed something into a computer and viola! – it is done.
And, what’s more, for signing up for a new internet connection1, I got a “100 point” AmEx card. Each point is worth $1, so I’m not sure why they don’t just call it a $100 card. But regardless. I used it to buy myself a bluetooth headset for my beloved Treo. So, yes, now I’m going to be one of those people, walking around with an earphone, looking like I’m talking to myself. On the plus side, when I’m talking to myself, people will just thinking I’m on my phone now.
1and it wasn’t even really a new internet connection. I was just going to change the account from Danielle’s name to mine, but the customer service person said, “why don’t we just cancel hers and start one in your name? There’s no connection fee and you’ll get a free gift and a free router/modem.”