Sales Tax and Money Troubles

After being back in the U.S. for a couple of days, I needed to get my laptop looked at. The technician told me on the phone that it would cost $25. So I immediately bristled when charged me $26.50 at the store. And then I remembered: right. This is how things work here.

So many monies, and so much to get confused about. Image from

So much money. And confusion. Image from

I’ve gone back to relying on my credit card more than I really need to, and imagine that sales tax is one of the (many) reasons why Americans so readily charge their purchases: it’s nearly impossible to provide exact change if you’re not gifted at calculating 6.25 percent tax on the spot. And if you do try to go for exact change after dealing with euro coins for a couple of years and while still in a jetlagged fog, be ready for some embarrassment. My apologies to the cashier at TJ Maxx. I’m not really sure where I thought I was going to come up with a 20-cent coin.

2 responses to “Sales Tax and Money Troubles

  1. Haha, that can be confusing indeed! Upon arrival in Seattle, I was always frantically crunching numbers, and since everything is on sale the whole year round, it got even more confusing with deducting the discount and then adding the taxes. Then I got so used to it (just have your cc handy is the smartest solution, I agree!) that whenever I went to Germany, I would wait for the cashier to tell me the final amount.
    Apart from the currency and tax confusion, I hope you are readjusting well!

    • Thank you! It’s funny how we get stuck in these mentalities about little things – and then don’t even realize until we’re in the moment of some awkward interaction that should be totally simple 🙂

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