The Greek economy is grinding to a halt and with the capital controls in place restricting consumers to less than the equivalent of $70 a day, it does create an appreciation for more stable payment environments. Debit and credit cards are still allowed to be used for purchases, but many merchants are concerned that banks will be unable to settle and are demanding to be paid in cash and cabbies are asking for payment up front. As this article illustrates, it would be very difficult for most Americans to survive on such a restrictive budget.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report on U.S. consumer expenditures, American households spent an average of $140 per day in 2013. Indeed some of these costs could be eliminated more easily, like leisure ($6.80) and cash contributions ($5.02). But Americans’ three highest daily costs — housing ($49.98 per day), transport ($24.67) and food ($18.09) — aren’t just harder to cut down on, but also far above the $67 limit already.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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