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Old 01-28-2013, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about Canada but the majority of the major US bank's and credit companies no longer have embossed numbers on the cards. Those machines have finally met their end.

Cash is king.

Carter - I generally try to keep enough cash that I could pay the bills and buy a pile of ramen noodles if it got really ugly. The trick to not spending it is to make it disappear. I may have a little better discipline with my cash than most due to the fact that I have had a "rainy day" cash pile since I was a kid, and have been dealing in mostly cash transactions whenever possible since then as well.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about Canada but the majority of the major US bank's and credit companies no longer have embossed numbers on the cards. Those machines have finally met their end.
Yup, was going to say exactly that. Only 1 of my cards still has embossed numbers on it, and I'm due for a new one this year, and I'm sure that one will be gone too.

Those things are dead...

I agree with you on the cash amount. I figure enough for bills and emergency. It may seem like too much, but we're basically trying to plan for things you can't plan for.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yup, was going to say exactly that. Only 1 of my cards still has embossed numbers on it, and I'm due for a new one this year, and I'm sure that one will be gone too.

Those things are dead...

I agree with you on the cash amount. I figure enough for bills and emergency. It may seem like too much, but we're basically trying to plan for things you can't plan for.

Agreed. I wouldn't keep enough cash in the house that you would be completely SOL if you were robbed/fire/natural disaster. However, cash is fairly easy to hide and very easy to remember.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I pay cash for pretty much everything so always have several hundred either on me or with me. I keep about $500 locked up at home, always in small bills. I figure if the power goes out for several days I am going to need to have change available because the store won't be able to get change from the bank.

I don't worry about having cash for the mortgage payment, I have that in the bank and I figure anything serious enough to prevent me from getting money from the bank will be serious enough to give the mortgage company trouble finding me.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm curious: what bills?

All of mine are paid online. Cash wouldn't be any good.
Do you live in a place where you don't ever personally meet the people that provide home heating fuel? How about your local bank? I live in a VERY rural area. If it goes all bad I still want cash to put into the bank to pay the bills. I still want cash to go down and talk to Skip at my local home heating oil business so I can stay warm in the winter. I do all my bills electronically as well but that doesn't mean I'm going to completely rely on my imaginary money to do the talking when times get tough. You might be able to get $500 of home heating oil with $150 cash if you talk to the right person.

I live far enough out from the major metropolitan area's that I can still take cash down to the local farmer and buy a SIGNIFICANT amount of food for the price. I'm not talking about keeping cash to pay my cell phone bill. I'm talking about when SHTF and I need to eat or die, stay warm or die. That type of situation.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Do you live in a place where you don't ever personally meet the people that provide home heating fuel?
Home heating fuel? Around here we call that firewood. A decent axe, 2 man crosscut saw and a splitting maul and you get warm when you collect it as well as when you burn it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Home heating fuel? Around here we call that firewood. A decent axe, 2 man crosscut saw and a splitting maul and you get warm when you collect it as well as when you burn it.
No doubt. My parents burn about 5-6 cord a year for their 1400sq/ft ranch depending on the winter. But, what happens when you have a brutal chill with high winds and you end up cracking a chimney liner from a super cold draft? (has happened) Have you ever called a Mason to replace it on short notice, in bad weather, on a weekend? Depending on the height of the structure you could be looking at 1-3k worth of work. I got away with $600 because I had dead inventors to pay him with. (cold beer and some hot stew helped.)

Any time you have a situation that requires a "trained" professional to come and do you can get away with making a deal with cash. Uncle Sugar is the deciding figure on cost. Cash is king for making sure he doesn't find out.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I really don't think there can be a very hard and fast number to this. Everyone is going to vary a little in what they need, could use, and can have on hand.

If you are young, just getting started in life, and can barely scrape together a few thousand in savings right this minute, then planning to have 90% of that as cash in your hand might not be the smoothest idea. Its not exactly insured in most cases, so if someone robs you blind or your place goes up in smoke, then you're left in a tricky spot.

The nature of the community you're in, and the spirit of the people you deal with will also impact that amount. How willing are people to let things slide a day or two? How trusting are they? Can you walk into a local store, sign your name at the bottom of a slip, and have no one bat an eye at the idea that you'll be back at the end of the week to settle up?

And don't forget the ultimate in important issues: If you can't use your plastic, are you even going to be able to use cash for it?

Last summer I was up at the mall, passed the kiosk for my internet provider, and remembered that I was going to have to pay my bill sometime that week. I had the paper bill in hand, full payment in cash right down to proper change, but their power was out. They couldn't do anything for me and were waiting for someone to fix it.

I've gone to pay for meals after eating when the power went out, and gotten rather blank stares from the young staff. Not a clue how to properly calculate tax on it, no confidence to get the math right in their head, and no way to open the till so they had a reasonably secure way to store the cash me and the other customers were going to give them. Not to mention the several places with a fully automated 'print on demand' billing system: Power outage means they didn't even have a clue what my order was anymore, let alone how much it was suppose to cost me.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I generally have $30-$50 cash on me financially we aren't in a position right now to have a big slush fund of cash, and anything in the savings. Even though I'm not all that ancient, I'm oldschool enough to know exactly where my checkbook is should I need it. I know some places won't accept checks any more but I've lived in this area long enough that I can get what I need at the local stores with checks if it comes to it.
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