By Byron Moore, posted September 17, 2018
Originally published in the News-Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, September 16, 2018.
When I was in junior high, my parents thought it would be a good idea to take my three brothers and toddler sister on a European family vacation.
I’m not sure who was more traumatized by the end of those three weeks – my parents or the Europeans. June in Italy was hotter than June in Louisiana and air conditioning was as common as ice water in restaurants….not happening.
This was pre-European Union, so it was every country for itself. Borders were rather porous, so it was not easy for a 13-year-old riding in the back of a VW van to know when he crossed from one nation to another. I recall trying to buy stamps in in a German post office using Swiss francs. I had no idea where I was.
The pudgy Bavarian postal official with a walrus mustache tried to explain to me in frustrated and very broken English, “Here (pointing to the Swiss franc) is not here! (pointing to the ground beneath his feet).
That was when I learned that otherwise perfectly good money is worthless in the wrong situation (or in my case, location). In those days, the Germans were not interested in having me pay them with Swiss francs.
I have often thought of that experience when I see well-meaning clients trying to spend the wrong kinds of money for a given situation. Here are some examples. Can you see yourself?