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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: Money is terrifying


I spent all summer saving up my money through my internship and working at my local farmers market, yet it all seems to escape quicker than I can make it. Over the past year, the fear of money has grown substantially. I spent months on the phone with Chase Bank due to errors regarding my debit card getting hacked five times and my credit card getting hacked once. They kept canceling my cards and sending new ones, but nothing was stopping the continuous charges on my accounts. The new technology to improve the hackers' abilities has made the world of money unsafe. I try to take every precaution to avoid places where my card could get hacked, but the internet is an unavoidable trap.   

Skimmers, which take the form of fake keypads on a credit card terminal or an accessory disguised as a credit-card slot, have popped up across our world, even in Bloomington, and are mostly found at ATMs or gas stations where many people use their cards. I was one of the many who fell victim to the endless scheme of hacking. Simply cancelling your card doesn’t prevent some hackers from finding your new card. The people with my card information ended up continuing to make purchases across the country. I am terrified of using my card and uploading my card to any application. The cycle is toxic, draining and makes me feel that all my hard work for the money I have made is simply taken away by those who have access to technology. Every day, there are new advances in protecting ourselves online while hackers are finding new ways to access our information. 

Recently, I have turned to using more cash when I can, only withdrawing money from my account in a bank with the help of employees, paying for gas for my car by going inside, etc. Any precaution I can take, I will. The internet is constantly evolving, and the public has yet to catch up to it. Hackers take advantage of the students who are newly independent in the world. College campuses are a popular target to get card information.  

Even when your money isn't being stolen, you still don't have enough. I try to save as much money as possible for once I graduate. The graduate workers at Indiana University joined other students across the country on strike for better wages. Since 2011, property values have doubled and are still increasing every year. Inflation has caused the decrease of pay for graduates and the increase of prices for almost everything else. Some students are blessed now to have their parents support them through their academic career, but once we graduate, where does that leave me and everyone else? Every transaction I make causes me a little bit more stress knowing that I could have fallen for another skimmer or hacker, and every cent spent now, I will not have for once I need to pay for any property I may purchase. 

Money goes hand in hand with survival. Without money, there is no way to pay for the necessities we need such as water, shelter and food. The fear doesn’t need to be triggered by extreme situations like debt. I feel it any time I spend my money now and think about what the unknown future entails. Sometimes I think to myself what the world would be like if we never turned to debit or credit cards and were left with cash and coins or even if there was no money in our society at all. The world seeks money in every aspect of life and works towards enhancing the use of it. In some ways, it may seem simpler to not have money at all, but society is filled with greed for riches and belongings.  

The world of money is complicated, filled with many endless cycles of scams and riches. An irrational hope I have is that one day some of these endless cycles will cease to exist. As I am halfway through my college career, I slowly realize how much closer I am to living on my own in a world where that isn’t possible.  

Anna Siver (she/her) is a sophomore studying public relations.

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