I will refrain from commenting on the goodness/flaws of India’s demonitisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. I will however share some ideas that may get us through the next few weeks.
1. If you are reading this, you have an internet connection and probably a smart device. This means you have options. Use credit cards, debit cards, netbanking and mobile banking wherever possible.
2. Delay non essential card purchases to save your credit limits for important things. It’s temporary. You can probably do without that new jacket or rare book or cool gadget for the next month.
3. Avoid COD for ecommerce. Let the economy use Rs.100 notes for vital things that do not have other options.
4. Reduce cash spends on commuting. Avoid buses and autos. Use trains and metros because these accept payment by card.
5. Avoid thronging banks and ATMs. Let their cash reserves be used by people who don’t have digital/plastic options.
6. Pay your service staff (watchmen, drivers, maids etc.) advance to help them get through this transition period without having to compromise on essentials like food.
7. Pool cash purchases with neighbors so you can transact with the Rs.2000 notes and reduce the pressure on the Rs.100 bottleneck.
8. Pay contributions to group activities by online transfer rather than cash. Netbanking has no lower limit so you can even transfer Rs.20.
9. Be prudent with payments at metro stations, airports and utilities still able to accept old notes. These enterprises would also have certain upper limits so let their cash transactions happen with people who can’t pay by other ways.
This is temporary. Let’s try and get through it without panic-mongering. The experience might even benefit us all.