It was exactly a month ago the PM Narendra Modi dropped something like a neutron bomb on the cash economy of India, giving a 4 hour notice that notes will not be legal tender anymore.
Before writing about this period , a small background – At our place only 3 folks live, rented place and no vehicle :). Technically we are a SINK (Single Income No Kids) for most of the months and some months where I do Consulting it becomes a DINK.
Pre DeMonetization expenses in cash included payments to maid ,cook, Ironing , Cigarretes and Travel by Ola/Uber and some cash given to Mom at start of Month. Rest of the expenses were either by Debit/Credit Card or Online Transfers/IMPS
First thing after that speech, check was done amount of cash at home in 500s and 1000s. Realised that I had around 3K old notes and Mom had around 5K in old notes.
Luckily we had an ATM in our complex and we could withdraw around 2K in 100 notes, same night as there was a travel on the next day.
Did not find the need to go to ATM as most of the shopping was being done online or from places where card was accepted.
On the next day my wife travelled to Goa on a vacation with her friends, most of it was prepaid for hotels and car. She had some 2K in 100 rupee notes. She returned back with 1600 as most of the payments again were done in cards.
Here was the first major change we had to do, loaded Ola Money and PayTM for my wife’s travel to office and back.
In Goa, she and her friends wanted to do Scuba Diving but the guy did not have a card machine. Problem was solved by transferring the money using IMPS.
Finally on 13th Nov, decided to stand in Q to deposit the old notes and exchange. This was the time taken and got two 2K notes. One given to mom and one to me.
Only time cash payments came into place – payments to maid and cook at the start of the month, December. Withdrew some cash and paid them. Folks can say why not transfer online though they have accounts, I did that so that they need not stand in queue for withdrawing cash as they would have more need of cash than a better off person like me.
Rents, Electricity Bill, Maintenance , Card Payments have all been done electronically.
Only place where is still use cash on a daily basis is when I go out to buy a cigarette 🙂
Except for moving to Ola Money/ PayTM for local travel, our lives have not changed much Pre and Post DeMonetization.
This sort of lifestyle may be an exception rather than a rule.
Stood in Queues post Nov 8th only twice once to exchange and second time to withdraw.
Over the period of one month , after speaking across with various family members and friends, following points did come through.
- Pensioners and Agri Income folks had issues standing in Queues for a long time
- Cash was not available either at banks or at ATMs for some specific banks / ATMs
- Folks who had cash either paid Utility Bill payments or got petrol filled or used at places where old notes were still accepted
- Some Business folks and friends got back their old pending dues, most of them that were written off
Other than opposition making noise, at ground level overall sentiment is this sort of step was necessary.
Overall reactions are now moving towards a good idea but botched up implementation.
Only time will tell how well the people have taken this DeMonetization.
I do have some view points on moving to a Less Cash Economy and Challenges to do that, but they can wait for some other blogpost