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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default No bank account?! What would you think of this?

    A friend of mine got married a bit over a year ago - I believe she was 23, he about 36. He's divorced and has a couple of pre-teen/teenage boys. It all happened pretty fast. She always dated guys who were much older than her and I had the impression she was looking for a father figure - unfortunately her dad left when she was about ten and was an utter loser. I was a bit worried about the whole thing.

    I live on the other side of the world and just hear from her occasionally. She no longer lives in our home town either and I don't think has kept in touch with a lot of mutual friends (though we did have a lot of mutual friends and I'm in touch with some at least). I thought they might have been struggling in some ways at least financially...I knew he was self employed in some trade, they're in small town Canada, living in a trailer, she works at Starbucks, etc. But overall I didn't think things sounded too bad.

    Here's the thing. I finally sent them a wedding gift of sorts (I know, extremely belated), just a cheque. I thought it was possible there might be problems with cashing it because I live in another country, but in Canada I'd never had problems with cashing foreign cheques, not even commission or whatever. She emailed me and thanked me for the gift and said she'd asked the bank and it should be ok to cash it.

    But...today I got an email from her saying she couldn't cash it. Not because it's foreign. I made it out to her husband's name - I just thought it likely he was dealing more with the finances than her. But she tells me she can't cash the cheque...because he doesn't have a bank account, only she does.

    I just wrote back and said no problem, I'll just send her another one in her name, and she can destroy the first one. But my reaction...WTF? A grown working man with no bank account?

    It just really worries me...I wondered what others thought. My gut reaction is that a self-employed adult with no bank account is either doing some dodgy tax thing, or is a paranoiac who thinks the government is out to get us, or both...I cannot really think of any good reason.

    I really hope she is ok as I have known her much of my life and she's like my little sister! This just freaked me out. And I needed to vent.

    Why would this guy not have a bank account??
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Maybe he doesn't make much money in the first place.

  3. #3
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    I know a lot of people who don't have bank accounts. I didn't use to either, not until my mid-20's. For a lot of people, it's just not a necessity, they prefer to deal in cash for various reasons, including:

    - distrust of banking profession
    - lack of self-confidence, they don't trust themselves to run the account without getting into debt
    - fear of getting into debt
    - fear of bank charges
    - desire for privacy and anonymity that's eroded with the use of cards, etc
    - people who are just old-fashioned
    - cash in your pocket is a lot easier to keep track of, to know how much you've got and when, than bank accounts are for some people

    But mainly, distrust of the whole profession of banking and the institutions themselves. A lot of people have had bad experiences with banks levying high charges on them for what amount to small miscalculations of mere pennies on their part, or perhaps of themselves not having the self-discipline to avoid getting into serious debt. It could also be because they've been bankrupt in the past or have a bad credit history.

    I don't think this is anything to be "worried" or judgemental about. If they are happy and managing fine, then leave it up to them how they manage their financial affairs and just accept that everyone's different, and not everyone shares your assumptions about what's normal or necessary.
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  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    I know a lot of people who don't have bank accounts. I didn't use to either, not until my mid-20's. For a lot of people, it's just not a necessity, they prefer to deal in cash for various reasons, including:

    - distrust of banking profession
    - lack of self-confidence, they don't trust themselves to run the account without getting into debt
    - fear of getting into debt
    - fear of bank charges
    - desire for privacy and anonymity that's eroded with the use of cards, etc
    - people who are just old-fashioned
    - cash in your pocket is a lot easier to keep track of, to know how much you've got and when, than bank accounts are for some people

    But mainly, distrust of the whole profession of banking and the institutions themselves. A lot of people have had bad experiences with banks levying high charges on them for what amount to small miscalculations of mere pennies on their part, or perhaps of themselves not having the self-discipline to avoid getting into serious debt. It could also be because they've been bankrupt in the past or have a bad credit history.

    I don't think this is anything to be "worried" or judgemental about. If they are happy and managing fine, then leave it up to them how they manage their financial affairs and just accept that everyone's different, and not everyone shares your assumptions about what's normal or necessary.

    You could be right, I actually hope you are. I know my first post probably sounds a bit judgmental, but I just found it really weird as I automatically assume everyone I knows has a bank account (if I'm giving them a cheque, or whatever) and I've not run into something like this before.

    I think it was also coupled with the fact that they got married very fast (hadn't known each other that long and then were engaged three weeks), she was also telling me about how his ex-wife is nuts and is causing them nightmares... etc. Hopefully all is ok.
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  5. #5
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I actually don't have a bank account because mine was hijacked by a stranger over a year ago and emptied! Since then, I haven't felt particularly secure using a bank for anything
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I actually don't have a bank account because mine was hijacked by a stranger over a year ago and emptied! Since then, I haven't felt particularly secure using a bank for anything
    That's horrible, sorry to hear

    But doesn't it make life difficult in a lot of ways...so much is dependent on being able to use plastic for certain things at least, having an account to pay into if you are a salaried employee, being able to buy things on the internet, getting a credit rating, ID, etc etc.

    I guess it partly struck me as weird that this guy has no account because he's not even in his late teens or early twenties or something...he is in his late thirties, has been married before and has kids, etc. Even if nothing remotely dodgy is going on and I'm just being paranoid about that, wouldn't it be a big handicap in loads of ways?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    It could be a lot of things. He could also be hiding money from his ex if the divorce was messy.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It could be a lot of things. He could also be hiding money from his ex if the divorce was messy.
    That did occur to me too...

    I guess it all just sounds messy and I am worried about her, but what can you do, they're all adults...
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  9. #9
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It could be a lot of things. He could also be hiding money from his ex if the divorce was messy.
    This seems likely.

  10. #10
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    That's horrible, sorry to hear

    But doesn't it make life difficult in a lot of ways...so much is dependent on being able to use plastic for certain things at least, having an account to pay into if you are a salaried employee, being able to buy things on the internet, getting a credit rating, ID, etc etc.

    I guess it partly struck me as weird that this guy has no account because he's not even in his late teens or early twenties or something...he is in his late thirties, has been married before and has kids, etc. Even if nothing remotely dodgy is going on and I'm just being paranoid about that, wouldn't it be a big handicap in loads of ways?
    No it isn't really. You can get those pre-pay Visa cards nowadays to use for anything that NEEDS plastic. And almost nobody doesn't accept cash
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