Over the last several years I've been dealing with various stages of disability thanks to ALS. My goal is to share solutions and review various products/tools/devices that I have found particularly helpful.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Loose Change and Sanity

Occasionally getting out of the house to maintain contact with the rest of the world is often a good thing. Even if it is just to be around other people. One of my preferred destinations is to go to Starbucks just to grab a cup of coffee.

Now as you may have noticed from previous posts, I like my coffee.
I do have to admit that I have a certain bias to Starbucks. My first serious girlfriend worked as a barista their, so let's just say I  have a certain Pavlovian conditioning to the smell and the green aprons ;-)

One of the problems I tend to have is that for small transactions, you have a tendency to paying cash. It just doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to bust out the credit card for $1.50. This then of course means that you are getting a handful of change back, and with the state of my hands this is very difficult to manage. I usually end up dropping it and if nothing else trying to figure out what to do with it later on… And I can pretty much forget about trying to use it to pay for my coffee the next time around…

Because of this, I decided to start using the Starbucks prepaid card thinking that fumbling with the card from my wallet would be much easier to manage than a whole bunch of coins. For the most part this proved to be pretty much the case.

Shortly after I discovered the Starbucks iPhone app which is really pretty cool. Not only does it have a whole bunch of extra features for things like finding the nearest Starbucks, but you can actually link to your prepaid card/account and then use your phone to pay for your purchase.

For me this is great, it eliminates with all the dexterity issues associated with dealing with cash and coins. Not to mention to a lesser degree, the prepaid card itself. On top of that, my phone is usually in the side pouch of my grab it pack and being much larger it is much easier for me to manipulate. The only pain in the but I would give it is a from time to time I have to re-login and enter my password… Which is now become a bit fidgety to do.

There are a few things about this that I find a particularly cool:

  1. the iPhone app will show you the running balance on your card.
  2. There are several options to reload dollars onto your card either via the Internet or via the app itself.
  3. Starbucks offers a pretty good reward program starting with free refills and syrup, and ending with some free coffee :-)
    of course you can see how many rewards points it accumulated via the app as well.
Now some of you might be thinking "well duh! I've been using prepaid cards for ages". But sometimes we just don't see the obvious solutions that are staring us right in the face, and dealing with ALS a friendly little nudge can be really helpful… More stories on that one later ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment